You could say Joel Knight gets his passion for designing video games from his grandfather. Joel’s grandpa was a rally race car driver in Australia’s northern outback back in his day, and Joel inherited the mechanical gene.
“As a kid I was very intrigued by how things worked – cars, cameras, you name it. I like how things function, to investigate what’s going on under the hood and behind the scenes,” he says. “That’s what fascinates me.”
As he grew older, the same fascination applied to cameras, and he added photography to his growing lists of hobbies. So it’s no surprise that today he loves wildlife and sports photography – with an emphasis on stock car racing.
“It’s the same thing with video games – there are so many mechanics that all link together,” he adds. “First-person shooters were always the most intriguing back then, and I was interested in how they worked too.”
As a game designer for Early Warning Entertainment, this Darwin native has turned his passion into a career. He started creating 3D spaces early on and soon found himself doing level design for video games. Now, with several years of video game design under his belt, he’s committed to taking Atrocity: Field of Hands to another level in first-person shooters.
Field of Hands, the first installment in Early Warning’s Atrocity franchise, gives Joel the chance to get back to his roots in first person shooter games, his favorite as a kid. It’s a bit of a departure from previous games he’s developed in recent years in the sci-fi and fantasy genres.
“I really enjoy the element of working on a realism-based military game,” he says. “There’s a lot of attention to detail.”
Because Early Warning operates as a global distributed and remote team, the company benefits from staff with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, allowing Joel to work from his home base in Australia. The Early Warning team includes military veterans, artists, programmers and others with diverse life experiences and abilities.
“Something I like about Early Warning is the different level of interactions you get. There are people from so many different backgrounds, parts of the world, lots of military experience, all at different stages of their careers and in life. I just really enjoy the different people on the team.”
Joel also continues to pursue his other interests, and works as a photographic assistant and casual stringer. In his free time, he plays video games, takes pictures and tinkers with his camera, and also plays classical piano.