Director of Product Development
Introduce yourself to the folks at home.
I’m Alan McDairmant and I am Director of Product Development at Criterion Games.
And what do you do with a job title like that?
I make sure we have a plan, show how the plan is progressing and try to make sure we are working well in everything we do in the studio. I also make sure we are not overspending on our budget. I get to deal with all sorts of challenges, which I love and also talk with our development leaders across the company to share and learn about how they work in their studios.
How did you get into doing that?
I’ve been a game maker for just over 20 years now, having graduated from Art College in 1994 as an animator and film-maker. I started off in games as a classical animator making kids games in Scotland. I naturally progressed into being a lead, then a producer as I tended to always be the guy who got stuck in and organized things to make sure we got the game finished.
So were you always a natural organiser, even in your artist days?
Yes, often I helped train the other artists and made sure they had everything they needed to work well. It came natural to me to plan and organise things so I tended to more and more of that until I became a Producer and worked much wider across the projects and publishers we worked with.
First game you worked on?
My first project was an interactive kids storybook called ‘The Fish That Could Wish’. I made it using a combination of drawn classical animation, Photoshop and Macromedia Director. It had lots of little mini-games in it as well as fun little story sequences. Back then the team was made up of only 4 people to make the whole project.
And what did it teach you?
I learned how to work with programmers and audio designers and how to be creative within tough deadlines. I also learned how to work and learn fast and what it was like to work with a publisher who had their own deadlines and challenges too.
First Criterion game you worked on?
I joined Criterion back on Burnout Revenge and have been involved in everything we have released since working with our awesome team. I am still very proud of Burnout Paradise. I think it stands out as a significant game from the PS3 and Xbox 360 console generation.
Your teenage self wants to get into the games business. What advice do you give him?
Be a lover, not a hater. Approach everything in work and life with energy and enthusiasm.
Favorite Board Game:
Meeting Muhammad Ali:
I once punched Muhammad Ali in a shoe shop, I have the photo to prove it!
I staged dived at a Foo Fighters gig.