Vancouver indie developer and VFS instructor Roger Mitchell has partnered with UK indie developer Stephen Hawkes to launch Tiger Shark Studios, a small enterprise that will initially create assets for Unity projects with the possibility of taking on contract work for specific projects.
Both Roger and Stephen have several years’ experience as artists and modellers; Roger began his game development career in 1986, working on a Commodore 64 before moving on to an Atari ST512 – I had one of those, too. His first job came in 1994 at UK game development studio Ark Developments, where he worked on such titles as Rosco McQueen, Firefighter Extreme and Track Attack, which was when he first met Stephen Hawkes. Both Roger and Stephen further developed their skills while working for Psygnosis, before Roger moved on to Bullfrog, Kuju, Asylum Entertainment and Codemasters before being recruited by EA Canada in 2004 for its Fusion PSP department at the Burnaby Campus.
After falling victim to studio lay-offs, Roger moved on to work for other Vancouver game studios before co-founding a studio named DropShip with another EA Canada alumni, but he has since left that company. Over the span of his career, Roger has been credited on thirteen games and contributed to many more, with additional experience leading art teams in the creation of Wii and DS games.
In speaking about the motivation to start another partnership, this time with friend and former co-worker Stephen, Roger said that he has “always enjoyed making art as a primary function, and with Tiger Shark the main focus will be in producing polished, game-ready art assets. This means that it can be 2D, 3D, Low-poly, High-Poly and Super High. We will initially be concentrating on art with a goal of expanding into other realms. Our art assets will initially be available on the Unity Asset Store, but we will be selling them via other online stores as well as our own website.”
Both Stephen and Roger work with young people entering the game development world, Roger as an instructor at Vancouver Film School’s Game Design Program, while Stephen offers mentorship to share his experiences.