JASON WALKER -
MAN ABOUT EIDOS
Copyright 2008 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ April 18th 2008 ]
about Eidos is a series focusing on the poeple
behind the scenes, whose roles make up an integral
part of the internal mechanics of the Eidos
machine. We kick off the series by pointing the
spotlight on Jason Walker, Head of Mastering at
Eidos' London headquarters.
Walker is more than just Head of Mastering for
British publisher Eidos Interactive, he's an institution
in his own right, a proud member of BAFTA, and
he courts a wrap
sheet longer than a roll of Andrex. Eidos
acquired Jason in 1998 as lead tester, with his
first major coup being on Warzone 2100, a real-time
strategy and real-time tactics hybrid computer
game developed by Pumpkin Studios.
Jason tripped the light fantastic from Quality
Assurance to Compatibility, spearheading a new
department charged with ensuring interoperability
between titles and consoles. In 2000, two years
after joining Eidos plc, Jason Walker became Head
fellow with a brown mop and an interesting side-kick
named Ray, Jason recalls. "Day to day tasks involve
taking code from all the studios and developers
we work with and making it available to all the
relevant departments within the Eidos group worldwide,
be it disc burning, image compiling, uploading
to foreign offices etc..
continues: "I work with lots of bespoke software
written by the console manufacturers, ranging
from big button tools which anyone could use,
to Cygwin based sdk's requiring patience and a
careful typing finger .
by far our biggest 'customer' as they test all
the products going through the company. I also
burn code for all pr/marketing requests, so if
a review by a website or magazine you can
be sure that the code they reviewed past through
my hands at some point.
of Mastering, Jason expands: "I'm also responsible
for actually mastering the finished code, which
means taking the final version and preparing it
for manufacture. This means handling the submission
of the code to Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony or adding
the copy protection system to the final PC exe."
Jason joined the ranks of BAFTA following a successful
application to their Interactive section. "I've
attended the Bafta movie awards on a few occasions
in a suit is something you don't see everyday,
only on special occasions!), and thoroughly enjoy
taking part in the movie voting.
2 years I was on the jury for the games awards,
which involved having to play lots of other people's
games and judge them at BAFTA HQ among a group
of fellow members."
by flaw or design, there is little doubt Jason
Walker is committed to his craft. "I was raised
by my dad and brother, my dad being on the IT
sales side, and my brother just being a God with
computers. So my work ethic is entirely based
on them, they are both workaholics and I am too.
My dad always said as a rule "Follow the 6 P's
(Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance)"
and I have. It's worked reasonably well so far."