Ben Laws

Ben Laws

Splash Damage

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Ben Laws is a Lead Systems Programmer at Splash Damage. He joined the company in 2021, and has almost two decades of programming experience. Ben specialises in game engine programming, physics simulation, and graphics. Prior to joining Splash Damage, Ben worked as lead programmer at Dovetail Games, where he contributed to Train Sim World. Before his professional work in the industry, Ben started game development as a modder. He has contributed to several projects, including some in the Halo franchise. In his current role at Splash Damage, Ben plays an significant role in the development of the company's upcoming games. He has a reputation for technical expertise, attention to detail, and delivering high-quality code. Ben is an avid gamer and developer who enjoys staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies.

Ben Laws is speaking at the following session/s

Tech Leadership in Games

2:00pm - 2:45pm
Room 5

Join Develop’s roundtable discussion on the oft-overlooked topic of technical leadership in the video game industry. Whilst public post-mortems, retrospectives, and interviews tend to focus on studio founders, and creative and game leads, strong technical leadership is a crucial aspect of building a successful game.

Unfortunately, finding reliable resources and guidance on technical leadership can be problematic. Engineering blogs and social media prioritise exciting technical solutions, or zeitgeist debate, leaving leadership strategies and support in the shadows. This can lead to a knowledge gap for incumbent and aspiring technical leaders, who often have to rely on personal networks or an extrapolation of a discussion from another field.

This siloing of knowledge can lead to stagnation and limit growth opportunities for individuals and the industry. Good leadership is hard, so why not give it the same attention and effort that you might give to a technical challenge? This roundtable aims to bridge the knowledge gap by providing an open forum for technical leaders to share their experiences, strategies, and insights. Through this discussion, attendees will improve their leadership practices, and make meaningful connections to advance their careers and the industry as a whole. Learn from your peers and become better (absolutely no guarantees).

Session Takeaway

  • Practical improvements to your leadership skills, covering topics critical to you, in areas such as: team and studio leadership, strategy, process and direction, engineering and delivery, and personal development
  • An awareness of best practice, and a refresher on what you should be doing as a leader
  • Make new connections
  • Fun debate, and hopefully some new motivation

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