Copyright 2002

[ February 26th 2002 ]

Aore Design's newly acquired front man Gary Reading - appointed PR Manager following the departure of Susie Hamilton after her eight year tenure - stops by to talk to tombraiderchronicles dot com on life within the ranks of Derbyshire's famous game developers and the auspicious home of Lara Croft.

- Who is Gary Reading?

Hi, I am Gary Reading; I'm 27 and have led a bit of a nomadic life. Starting off in Barrow-In-Furness in 1974, I quickly moved to Malta and from there to Holland, Germany, Scotland, Wales, back to England and have lived in about 9 different places here. Up until 18 months ago I lived in London but came to Derby after an accident that left me with a broken leg and ankle. I've worked in a few areas of employment - I've been a carpenter, retail manager, store detective and of course now I'm a PR manager.

- When did you come to Core Design?

I've been at Core Design since October last year so for any of you that might have emailed the previous PR manager Susie Hamilton in August or September then that's why your reply might have been a little slow in coming back to you. Sorry!

- Why Core Design?

My connections with Core Design go back a few years as my brother has worked on various titles that Core have released. If you look closely on the "credits" you'll see the name David Reading. Through him I got to know a lot of the guys and became very jealous of how much they enjoyed their jobs and also the environment in which they worked. Strangely, I used to do business with Jeremy Heath Smith and his brother Adrian Smith and when I heard that the job had become available I couldn't get my CV in quick enough.

- What do you make of the Lara Croft phenom?

The Lara Croft phenomenon is daunting to say the least, of course I knew of her before I joined the team but I had no idea to what extent the fans cared and respected Lara. I've had to study her background intensely as so many of you real fans have such an in depth knowledge of her life, and lets face it no-one likes to get something wrong do they? The sales figures and world wide recognition of her is something that any designer dreams of and here at Core we are lucky that one of our creations has done so well. We are very proud of her.

- Why do you think it works?

The Tomb Raider success I feel is down to several factors. Firstly the introduction of a female character at the time was incredibly innovative; also the 3d aspect of the game, enabling a roaming environment was something that excited gamers everywhere. Also because it's not a pure shoot 'em up the gamers care about the character and do their best to help her survive rather than just going in all guns blazing. The puzzles created a mental challenge and also the games are genuinely difficult meaning that people play it longer and therefore they get more involved in the game. There isn't one area that we could say caused her success, it was a multi-layered attraction made by a very talented and dedicated team.

- What is your favourite Tomb Raider?

My favourite Tomb Raider is -Tomb Raider II

- What changes would you like to make at Core Design?

It's very difficult for me to say what changes I'd like to see at Core, probably the same as everyone else, more money and fewer hours.

- How easy has it been to fill Susie's shoes?

One of the most difficult aspects so far has been filling Susie's shoes. She did an incredible job and is well known throughout the industry. She was in it for years and got to know so many contacts worldwide, she certainly made it easier for me when I came here, and everything was in place already. We are two very different people so as much as I'd like to compare myself to her I couldn't as we are so different and she was so good - I'll get there one day.

- Do you intend Core Design to be your final career stop?

Now I'm here at Core they'll have to send in the troops to get me out. I have never had a job like it and don't want to change it - ever! It's a friendly buzzing place to work where logic and artistic license stand side by side with people that are fun and interesting. What more could anyone ask of their workplace..?

Mind Bytes - We Say, You Say...

- We say potato, you say...?


- We say assault, you say...?

..."I was at home with the wife officer...honest!"

- We say Paramount, you say...?


- We say Next Gen, you say...?

..."No comment, for now!"

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