Ross Duncan interviews Katie Goode- games developer

However, when she was at school, although she was clearly a very bright student, she fell behind.  In some subjects she struggled greatly, yet at the same time, she was exceptionally good at others.  Clearly she was demonstrating a spiky profile to her strengths and weaknesses. For years it wasn’t clear why this was happening and what might be the cause.  Fortunately for Katie, a very observant English teacher at her secondary Grammar School, spotted dyslexia and she was able to benefit from extra support and time in exams. 

She was able to use Excel for essay-based subjects that weren’t English. She even managed to get the highest grade doing a Foundation paper.  But what annoys her still is that a teacher decided to not allow her to do graphics in school simply because of the dyslexia.  The teacher thought that she would struggle with this. For Katie this was completely not true.  In fact, she would eventually go on to be a part-time graphic artist at the university!

Katie Goode is a successful and ambitious UK- based games developer who always wanted to create games just like the ones she played on her console as a child.

In 2013, the UK games industry employed 9,400 in development.  It contributed 0.04% towards the overall UK economy. This was estimated to be £2.7 trillion (UKIE).  The UK is ranked 3rd best in the world in its ability to attract, retain, train and educate a skilled workforce (Global Talent Competitiveness Index –Jan 2017).

To be a successful games developer like Katie in this industry, it comes as no surprise that you need to stand out from the crowd.  In being dyslexic, she believes she has the ability to think differently.  She can find solutions to problems that are obvious to her, whilst others can’t see the wood for the trees. She also believes having the capability to visualise a prototype before any code or graphics are produced is a major advantage because it can give the developer a good idea or feel before development begins.  As a designer, Katie believes having a clear vision really helps.

Over the years Katie has learned that team diversity is important in the industry to get commercial success.  But it’s often the case that developers forget about neurodiverse people, those not like them.  Occasionally, it can lead to games just not working or appealing to players.  At the same time having dyslexic developers on the team naturally makes it a lot easier to test, to problem solve and fix issues prior to a game being released.  This makes sure that the game user gets the ultimate enjoyment!

Ross Duncan

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