Welcome, I'm Iain! I'm a freelance Unity game developer and game designer. I have been designing and developing games for over 15 years, specialising in Unity for the last 4 years.
I work with my partner Amanda Lobb at our studio Dull Dude. We have developed high quality mobile and web games for clients such as EA, Playstation, Cartoon Network, BBC and Adult Swim. We have also released several original indie games together and have more in the pipeline. If you already have a designer/artist for your game, that's cool - I'm also available to hire on my own as a freelance programmer or game designer (remotely or onsite in London/Southern England).
We're always excited to hear from new clients, so if you have a game project in mind, please let us know. Our skills and services include desktop, web and mobile game development with Unity and C#, game design consultancy, 2D game art production, and more. I'm also an experienced university lecturer and trainer - if your organisation could benefit from training in Unity or game design, get in touch.
3D and 2D iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android and PC/Mac game and VR development with Unity.
Game Design consultancy including help with pitches, game design documents, and gamification design.
The Dumping Ground: You're The Boss (2015, Somethin' Else / BBC)
I was Technical Lead and co-designer of this BAFTA-winning mobile game, working with the excellent team at Somethin' Else and CBBC. (Programming, Game Design)
©Somethin' Else / BBC.
Battle For Big Blue (2015, The Rumpus Room / G-Star RAW & Pharrell)
Eco-friendly mobile game with original music from Pharrell Williams! (Programming, Game Design)
Happy Studio (2016, Preloaded / McDonald's)
I worked with Preloaded to develop some mini-games for this fun educational app. Info. (Programming, Additional Game Design)
Zwok (2006, Bloc / Sony)
Award-winning online multiplayer artillery game for PlayStation.com. Created with Flash, Java and SmartFox Server. Over 1 million registered users and 50 million games played.(Programming, Game Design)
©Sony. Art by Mike Hill.
Pop Pirates (2006, Bloc)
Award-winning arcade shoot 'em up. (Programming, Game Design)
©Bloc. Art by Liam Owen.
Stackopolis (2005, Bloc)
Webby award-winning puzzle game. Play. (Programming, Additional Game Design)
©Bloc. Art by Eelus.
Owl Spin (2011, Dull Dude)
Cute puzzle avoider game. Play. (Art, Programming, Game Design)
©Dull Dude. Art by Iain Lobb.
Meta4orce (2008, Bloc / BBC)
Bafta-nominated interactive game and TV series integrating television broadcasts with PaperVision3D Flash gameplay. (Programming, Game Design)
©Bloc/BBC. Art by John Denton.
Battle Cave (2012, Dull Dude)
Fight your way through randomly generated dungeons in this fantasy platform game. Play. (Programming, Game Design)
©Dull Dude. Art by Amanda Lobb.
World Class Keep Ups (2010, Dull Dude)
Silly footie keepy-uppy game. Play.
(Programming, Game Design)
©Dull Dude. Art by Amanda Lobb.
Yoobot (2009, Bloc / BHF)
Kids' virtual world with an important public health message for the British Heart Foundation. Play.
©BHF. Art by Liam Owen, John Denton.
Protokid (2004, Bloc / Diesel)
Years before Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin (ok, not before Habbo!), we at Bloc & Diesel created a kids virtual world, packed with games and hundreds of ways to customise your character and virtual room. I personally created more than 10 games and rooms for the site, which was instrumental in honing my skills as a game designer and developer. Sadly it's no longer online, except in my heart. (Programming, Game Design)
©Diesel. Art by John Denton, Eelus, Liam Owen, Iain Lobb.
The Wrong Door
(2008, Bloc / BBC)
Off-the-wall interactive experience to go with the bonkers TV show. Built with Flash and PaperVision. Play. (Programming, Interaction Design)
©BBC. Art by Matt Allan, John Denton.
(2009, Dull Dude / Muzy)
Fun sandbox with 2D physics. Sadly no longer online. (Programming, Interaction Design)
©Dull Dude. Art by Amanda Lobb.
Super Gun Kids (2013, Dull Dude)
Action platformer. (Programming, Game Design)
©Dull Dude. Art by Amanda Lobb.
Soulcalibur 3 Minisite
(2005, Bloc / Sony)
Fun interactive Flash minisite (like we made in the good old days!) to promote the game release. Sadly offline. (Programming, Interaction Design)
(2002, Specialmoves / MTV)
Like The Sims, but with television's favourite rock'n'roll family. Animating this Bafta-nominated game in Flash was one of my first commercial projects. (Animation)
©MTV. Art by Oscar Wright, James Norwood, Iain Lobb.
I've been lucky enough to pick up a few awards and nominations for my games and interactive media work over the years!
I am available to hire as a freelance Unity game developer. My skills and experience include:
- Freelance Unity development for leading studios including Preloaded, The Rumpus Room and Somethin' Else.
- Lead developer on Bafta-winning, UK #1 kids app The Dumping Ground: You're The Boss – leading a team of 3 Unity developers and 4 artists.
- Skilled C# programmer with extensive Unity API knowledge.
- Excellent understanding of Unity engine architecture and “working the Unity way”.
- Extensive UI design and development knowledge, including NGUI, UGUI, 2D Toolkit and native sprites.
- Excellent knowledge of 3D and 2D physics in Unity.
- Expert knowledge of integrating Unity with 2D animation solutions such as Spine and Smooth Moves.
- Extensive experience with Unity's native animation systems and state machine ("Mechanim"), and integrating 3D FBX models and animations.
- Experience shipping to iOS, Google Play and Amazon Appstores.
- Experience using Unity with SVN, GIT and Cloud Build.
- I have been using Unity since 2009 (I was at the 1st Unity London meetup - 8 people in a pub!) and I have focused solely on Unity development since 2013.
- Over 15 years total industry experience, including 4 years leading the development team of an award-winning studio and 7 years freelancing for top studios and agencies.
- Experience creating real-time and asynchronous multiplayer games, and integrating with services such as Smartfox Server, Playfab and Facebook.
- I started my career in Flash, a platform with no in-built game engine, so I have extensive experience creating custom game engines, logic, maths and physics systems.
I am available to hire as a freelance game designer. My skills and experience include:
- I have been designing games professionally since 2001 - from hands-on systems development to high-level planning and pitching.
- I co-designed Bafta-winning, UK #1 kids app The Dumping Ground: You're The Boss, smash-hit multiplayer arena Zwok, and dozens more games.
- I have over 15 years of real-world experience “finding the fun” in game mechanics and tuning gameplay systems.
- I am fast and prolific at creating concepts, generating game ideas, and experienced in writing game design documents and pitches.
- Gamification design for non-gaming applications, such as points and reward systems for business and education.
- I have a deep theoretical understanding of game design principles, based on extensive research, and have taught game design at university level.
Some of the clients who have trusted me with their game design, development and training:
Training, Speaking & Lecturing.
If you want to keep your team's skills up-to-date, or you're running a conference or university-level course, I can give 1 day or 2 day workshops on game development and game design. Choose between Unity with C# or game design theory workshops.
I enjoy speaking at conferences too. The first conference I ever went to was the inaugural Flash on the Beach in 2006 (now known as Reasons festival). It would be an understatement to say it blew my freakin' my mind! It also inspired me to get into speaking, training and lecturing myself. The highlight of my speaking "career" so far has been speaking at San Francisco's GDC in 2012 - wow!
Here's a list of sessions I have given:
- IGC15, UKIE London, 2015 - The Triforce of Game Design. Watch.
- Digpen V: Plymouth, 2012 - Secrets of Successful Creative Studios. Watch.
- Mochi London, 2012 - Super Gun Kids, The Making Of... Slides.
- Flash Gaming Summit: San Francisco, 2012 - Two Dimensions of Awesome. Slides.
- ExPlay Plymouth, 2011 - I gave a bunch of on-the-spot talks at this awesome indie games meet-up, and also presented my favourite moments from the year's meet-ups at the ExPlay Festival at The National Marine Aquarium.
- Mochi London, 2011 - Addictive Game Design. Slides.
- Digpen III: Falmouth, 2011 - 10 Years, Some Lessons. Watch.
- GameCamp 4: London, 2011 - 2D Game Art Beyond Pixels
- Flash on the Beach:Brighton, 2010 - Zero to Game Designer in 60 Minutes
- London Flash Developers and Designers Meetup Group, 2010 - Creating Successful Flash Games
- Flash on the Beach: Brighton, 2009 - A 3 Minute Lesson in Game Design. Watch.
- FlashBrighton, 2009 - The Flash Game School of Wizardry
- FlashBrighton, 2009 - Designing and Developing Multi-User Flash Games
- London Flash Platform User Group, 2008 - Successful Flash Games
Writing and Blogging.
I regularly write tutorials and articles for a range of online publications. I've written professional tutorials for GameDevTuts+, articles for .net magasine and been Technical Reviewer for the Friends of Ed book The Essential Guide to Flash Games. Since 2008 I've also been writing down my thoughts and experiences on my blog: blog.iainlobb.com. Some of my more popular posts have included my open source keyboard input library for Flash Gamepad, postmortems of Meta4orce and Super Gun Kids, and my Flash performance benchmarks such as BunnyMark.
The Creative Coding Podcast is a collaboration between me and the ever-inspiring Seb Lee-Delisle. We talk about the pure joy (and frustrations) of creative coding. With more than 70 episodes so far, we've interviewed some of the biggest names in digital art, interaction design and game development. Guests have included Zach Lieberman, Stacey Mulcahy, Mr.doob, Daniel Shiffman, Keith Peters, Marius Watz, Golan Levin, Robert Hodgin, Joel Gethin Lewis and Ben Fry.
Logo and branding by Val Head.
I founded Dull Dude Limited in January 2009 for my game development freelancing, and now it has grown into a two-person games studio, with my partner in love and business Amanda Lobb as Art Director. We've worked with games studios Electronic Arts and Mediatonic, as well as advertising and digital agencies such as BBH, Isobar, Doco, Mook and Chemistry. Sadly most of my work from this period is under NDA, but I assure you, it's really good!
Joining in 2004 as a junior designer, I pretty quickly rose through the ranks to become Head of Interactive, helping to create one of London's most acclaimed and successful digital creative agencies. My games and creative development work from this period, some of which is showcased above, won dozens of awards, including Cannes Lions, NMAs, BIMAs, FWAs, the Webby award for Best Game (Stackopolis), and a Bafta nomination. Bloc itself was a finalist for New Media Age "Creative Agency of the Year" in 2007, thanks to an incredible dream-team of talent, including Eeelus, Liam Owen, John Denton, Tom Jennings, Mat Groves (and me!), amongst many others. It was a crazy, roller-coaster four-and-a-half years, and I think I'm still recovering. I need a cup of tea!
After graduating university, I answered a job ad for a graduate training programme at television producer TwoFour. Somehow I got the job, and started on a pretty strange year helping to make "factual entertainment" programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, and Discovery. One of my own show ideas "The Estate We're In" was even commissioned by the BBC and ran for two seasons. Although I pretty quickly returned to my true calling in games, I've dabbled in video work, including directing and editing some daft online viral videos (remember those!?) while at Bloc.
Specialmoves were kind enough to give me my first job in the industry, a year-long industrial placement which included making some of my first Flash and Shockwave games. I learnt a lot about programming, and a bit about myself. The stand-out was the amazing The Osbournes game, based on MTV's reality show, where my job was to turn Oscar Wright's pencil-and-paper character designs into coloured and shaded Flash animations. Definitely one of those inspiring, "let's throw everything at it" projects, worthy of the awards it picked up.
MediaLab Arts BSc (1999-2003)
I graduated First Class with Honours from Plymouth University's outstanding MediaLab Arts BSc (now known as Digital Art and Technology), after an inspiring four years experimenting with game design, filmmaking, generative art, and interaction design. After almost a decade away, I returned to help out as a part-time Associate Lecturer from 2011-2014.