So, your title is Junior User Interface Programmer. What does that mean?
I’m the programmer in charge of making menu screens, and making the HUD work. I go to lots of meetings to talk about the UI, and then write all the code that makes it go. Luckily, the only art they have me do is prototype art. You don’t even want to see the UI elements before the artists get to them!
We hear that you read textbooks for fun. Any interest in confirming or denying such a vicious rumor? If it’s true, what’s your favorite?
Okay, I might enjoy studying math in my free time, and get overly excited whenever I get a new textbook. I’m taking a class right now that’s using Otto Bretscher’s Linear Algebra with Applications, and I’m definitely a big fan. For anyone interested in a beginner programming textbook, I highly recommend Starting Out with C++: Early Objects by Tony Gaddis.
What games have you worked on? I know we hired you right of school, so do you have any student projects you’d like to mention, with maybe a small description?
I did an internship at Tertl Studios, where I worked on a game designed to teach kids programming, algebra, and geometry.
In my senior year of college, at the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College, I worked on serious games. One was called CIMIT RIPS, which is a giant acronym for “Center for Integration of Medical and Innovative Technology Real-Time Incident Preparedness Simulator.” It’s a simulation/game for training teams in how to respond to large-scale disasters. I also worked on a game about soccer, designed to help stop violence against women in developing countries.
Most recently, at Global Game Jam 2010, I worked on a game called Quest for Stick!
Describe Life at Irrational in three words or less.
Best job ever.
What is your favorite game of all time?
Banjo-Kazooie, for sure.
Name a game everyone should play once in their life.
Portal! It’s fun, hilarious, and not even very long.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
In the winter I snowboard as much as I can. In the summer I like running, sailing, and scuba diving when I can get somewhere a little warmer. And twice a week I take a class in Capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art that can only be described as break-dance fighting. I’m not very good yet, but it’s a lot of fun!
What is your favorite movie?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but with the audio replaced by Brad Neely’s hilarious “Wizard People, Dear Reader” narration.
You’ve done a few Magic: The Gathering tournaments, correct? Any advice for your fellow players?
Yeah, you got me, I have. I’m no expert, but I’ve gotten into drafting recently, both online and at my local card shop. My advice: more swamps mean more death.
What’s your favorite Irrational story?
My favorite story is actually about my interview here. It was just before I graduated college, and it was my first “real” job interview, ever. I went and bought nice clothes, rehearsed what I wanted to say, and worked on presenting myself professionally so I’d be taken seriously. I was super nervous. Then when people actually sat down with me for the interview, they were almost all wearing T-shirts, and they swore a lot. It was not what I was expecting from a job interview at all!
Here’s why we think Kate is swell:
Kate is one of Irrational’s talented UI programmers. Fresh out of college and a newcomer to the industry, she impressed the entire team with her mad skills and infectious enthusiasm. And while others may shy away from the difficult task of coding for the end-user experience, Kate embraces it with gusto. She has a great time doing a tough job, and with her propensity for smiles and jokes, everyone around her knows just how much fun she’s having.
Ms. Baxter plays lots of games – probably more than most folks in the office. Card games, video games, board games; you name it, she plays it.
Kate was also a fiercely loyal customer of the late lamented Little Q Mongolian Hot Pot Restaurant. You never had to ask where she wanted to go for lunch. You just knew.