Total War: Shogun 2, Fall of the Samurai

#NAOHOAstory: In 2011 – a year after graduating – I landed my first job in the games industry as an Illustrator. I was hired to create the ‘Event Pictures’, which would pop up whenever the player achieved something, in Total War: Shogun 2, Fall of the Samurai.

It was an intense 3-month contract, where I worked in-house at their studio in Horsham. I had less than a week’s notice to find a place to live (not easy when most do a minimum of 6-month leases!) in a place I’d never been to, had no contacts, for my first professional role in a new environment. The journey from Newport (Wales) to Horsham (England) was 4-5 hours, which I had to do every week via public transport, as my rent only covered weekdays. I lived out of a suitcase for that time and assimilated best I could.

Despite all that, I had an amazing time. ✨ The people were warm and welcoming, I organised countless lunch and dinner gatherings and got to know people pretty quickly, whilst churning 80-something illustrations for the game. I feel energised around good people, so although life was all-go, it was a fun ride. Being in my early 20’s helped too. 😜

If I hadn’t been hired for a permanent role towards the end of my contract, it’s likely I’d have stayed at CA. They were trying to find ways to keep me on, but given the time restraints and recovering from recession, I had to go for the most stable route. It’s crazy to think that @naohoa may not have happened if they did!!

Overall, I had a fantastic time at CA, but that’s not to say there weren’t issues. I’ll be talking more honestly about sexism in the gaming industry in my podcast, @ajourneysharedpodcast and reasons why I left.