tributes to UK dev legend Paul McLaughlin •

homages to UK dev tale Paul McLaughlin •


The UK video game sector has actually commemorated Paul McLaughlin, that passed away in December aged 57 after a lengthy fight with cancer cells.

Paul was head of art at Godus programmer 22cans, however prior to that operated at Myth manufacturer Lionhead as well as Dungeon Caretaker developer Bullfrog in a profession that covered greater than three decades throughout the Guildford growth scene. Paul played a crucial function in the Myth collection, Black & White, in addition to Heavily populated 2, Amusement Park, Distribute, Magic Carpeting as well as Dungeon Caretaker.

Eurogamer accumulated a variety of homages from those that dealt with Paul for many years, as well as has actually released them listed below.

Paul McLaughlin, 1964-2021.

Peter Molyneux, founder, Bullfrog, Lionhead as well as 22cans

“Paul entered my life back in 1990 when he began at Bullfrog as worker number 4. He was the very first appropriate video games musician I had actually ever before experienced. Promptly he ended up being indispensable, a crucial part of the lots of titles most of us serviced. He definitely made all the distinction on Powermonger, Distribute, Magic Carpeting, Amusement Park as well as Dungeon Caretaker.

“After That, when Lionhead was established, he not just directed Black & White, The Flicks as well as Myth however likewise assisted route the business. A wonderful musician, a fantastic coach as well as a motivational guy.

“Paul was a substantial foundation in my life. He was a specialist, ethical as well as amusing individual that had the capacity to see the reasonable as well as reasonable method in any type of circumstance. I miss him on a daily basis in every method. His heritage will certainly be really felt as well as seen for a long, very long time.”

Annah Wootten-Pineles, lead musician, 22cans

“I’m uncertain where to begin, truly, besides stating exactly how delighted I am to have actually recognized as well as functioned together with Paul. He was a really skilled musician as well as art supervisor, whose silent as well as systematic assistance made him a well-respected leader of the group.

“Paul had a huge history in the video games sector prior to I concerned deal with him at 22cans, however he was constantly extremely hands-on – from the starting ideas of a video game where he would certainly play away in his garage at the weekend breaks as well as offer the workplace on Monday a totally become aware version made from cardboard or timber, to being motivated by some type of maker he had actually saved in his loft space which he would certainly generate for us to deconstruct as well as create concepts off, to covering our workdesks in illustrations on post-its (his preferred kind of interacting a suggestion). His recommendations as well as review were constantly requested, as well as he was constantly encouraging of any type of job we did.

“Paul was recognized for his ‘Greetings’ handshakes. He would not most likely to his workdesk till he would certainly finished them. Initially simply the officer group, it after that broadened to the art dept, as well as lastly the entire business. Paul maintained this pattern no matter the truth it was taking him longer as well as longer to obtain rounded every person, however I believe we were all thankful for his recognition.

“Other than job, Paul was the provocateur of the business’s Thursday lunch socials, where we would certainly play (as well as in some cases defeat) him at swimming pool. He was likewise the primary business employer for Friday’s ‘Game-Dev Footy’ suit where a number people would certainly direct to the sporting activities park as well as have fun with some Lionhead as well as various other video games workshop workers. These suits were constantly exceptionally enjoyable as well as extreme, as well as I do not believe there were lots of where Paul or I really did not leave without a swelling or a nosebleed! It went to completion of among these video games that I’ll constantly keep in mind Paul informing me regarding a prickling in his fingers which (unidentified at the time) became the very first sign of his dreadful disease.

“A number of months prior to Covid as well as the very first lockdown struck us, Paul brought a couple of chess establishes right into the workplace, among which he placed in between our 2 computer systems, as well as we wound up playing a number of video games weekly. After lockdown we after that proceeded to a chess application. I can inform it was obtaining more challenging as well as more challenging for him to play however we proceeded our erratic video games till some months prior to his passing away. I still have our last incomplete video game on my phone.

“I have the fondest memories of dealing with Paul, as well as already when I discover some intriguing gizmo or maker I’ll take an image, due to the fact that I recognize Paul would certainly have liked to review it.”

Paul McLaughlin. Picture credit scores: Mark Webley.

Mark Healey, founder as well as innovative supervisor, Media Particle

“I was fortunate as well as fortunate adequate to be able to talk to Paul a couple of times in his last months, having actually not truly seen him for years, as well as was advised of his evil wit, heat, as well as to earthiness.

“I dealt with him at Bullfrog and afterwards Lionhead for years when I functioned as a musician. His hands-on job was constantly outstanding, both practically as well as creatively, as well as constantly made me wish to aim to improve. And also as a supervisor you could not want anymore, egoless, handy, leading by motivating instance… as well as excellent humour.

“Truly, the primary tale that embeds my head with Paul is him offering me a task to begin with (at Bullfrog) – I keep in mind showing up for the meeting with several of my deal with floppy, regrettably I had actually brought the incorrect disk – as opposed to my job I had actually grabbed a duplicate of Dpaint (an art bundle musicians utilized to utilize a great deal in the 16-bit period). Thankfully it had one art piece on it I had actually inadvertently conserved, which sufficed for Paul to provide me an opportunity. I really really felt guilty that he provided me the work, so demanded returning as well as really revealing even more job!

“It’s a really heartbreaking loss, he was as well young to leave us currently, however gone he is – not in my (as well as lots of others’) mind though, he will certainly constantly have an unique location there, as well as I will certainly ask him when required for recommendations on exactly how to be a much better individual.

“Relax in tranquility currently Paul, you were fucking fantastic.”

Jemma Harris, executive manufacturer, Sumo Digital

“Ask any individual that ever before went across courses with Paul McLaughlin, as well as they will certainly constantly claim the exact same points. You will certainly listen to words such as straight-forward, kind, an ideas, excellent man, skilled as well as the best type of individual you want to deal with. The truth that words coincide is a testimony to the authentic, unusual, as well as regular individual that he was. His uncomplicated as well as practical method was a continuous beverage in the ever before expanding as well as loud office. His capacity to chat feeling, keep one’s cool as well as assist those around him by continuing to be friendly was a lesson that no management publication can educate.

“Making video games can be tough sometimes so it is very important to have a common sense of humour, which indicates having laughs when you can take them. Paul comprehended this greater than a lot of as well as made certain whatever was fixed with a smile as well as with great intents. Humour played a huge component in what composed Paul, his transmittable wit is something that no-one will certainly fail to remember whether it was working together with him on the workshop flooring as well as issue addressing in yet an additional conference.

“In addition to utilizing his individuality to motivate his groups as well as create attractive art, Paul had an additional quiet superpower that he had actually been making use of for years. The power was to be able to see individuals for that they truly were as well as what they can end up being. This power to comprehend individuals as well as their prospective suggested that Paul is currently in charge of kick-starting the occupations of lots of skilled individuals as well as workshops in the video games sector today. Whilst those around him remain to take pleasure in success as well as go with the spotlight, Paul was never ever externally acknowledged for his payments, however this was as he desired as he despised any type of ‘hassle’ as he called it. I do believe that he would certainly be better to be honoured in fatality as opposed to living as it indicates no hassle for him as well as a lot more for us.

“Many thanks for whatever Paul, in behalf of every person at Bullfrog, Lionhead as well as 22cans. It was an enjoyment as well as an honour to recognize as well as deal with you.”

Barry Meade, supervisor, Fireproof Studios

“Paul was the very first art supervisor I functioned under as well as I recognized I had actually levelled up the day he evaluated me adequate to join his group at Bullfrog. Around the workplace at that time Paul was irritatingly qualified: enthusiastic as well as bloody amusing, he was the very best musician in the structure however likewise the best worker by a mile. When I would certainly fulfill him years later on he appeared all the same: Mr unfazed, captain of all he sees, Paul McLoughlin.

“I would not be operating in this sector two decades later on without the idea Paul received me therefore lots of others. Relax in tranquility to a huge guy that leaves a vast as well as ever-growing heritage.”

The Dungeon Caretaker map display.

Jonty Barnes, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Hiddengrin

“While many individuals appreciated Paul for his unbelievable imaginative ability, I appreciated him for being the very best type of leader at Bullfrog as well as Lionhead. He led by instance, regulating not requiring regard via the effect of his job, as well as mentoring others to end up being skillful in their craft.

“He was simple, motivating, as well as really did not avoid a challenging discussion when you sought his point of view. He brought positivity right into the space as well as was based with a completely dry humour, advising us that making video games was an opportunity as well as needs to be a satisfying occupation, so we really did not take ourselves or the job as well seriously.”

Annes Stevens, history musician, Pet dog Ears

“Paul was special as well as had a unique overview on the globe. The memory that embeds my mind which exhibits this ideal is the moment I returned after lunch to locate the limp remains of a little bird nicely positioned on a yellow post-it note on my workdesk (Paul’s workdesk being as well crowded with documents to be able to suit the new kid on the block).

“He had actually found it on his lunch break run as well as, struck by the elegance of the little animal, had actually really felt obliged to take it with him. The precise factors he really felt obliged to take it with him I have actually currently failed to remember, however I will certainly always remember locating it there on my workdesk as well as the truth that he had actually placed it on the post-it note. Placing a dead bird on Annes’ workdesk, completely great, however I would certainly much better place it on a post-it! It’s secure to claim dealing with Paul was never ever monotonous! He was a kind spirit as well as possibly one of the most laid back employer I will certainly ever before have.”

Guillaume Portes, CTO, One More Location Productions

“I became aware of Paul’s fatality a couple of weeks back, as well as it left me with excellent unhappiness. Terrific shock as well – I had not talked with Paul in around 3 years, as well as had no suggestion he was ill.

“I never ever functioned straight with Paul, however recognized him well as we played football with each other for years, long after we both had actually left Lionhead.

“I will certainly constantly remember him as solid, kind as well as having a terrific feeling of humour. Paul was constantly in a great state of mind, as well as I liked socializing with him. I’ll miss him.”

Paul McLaughlin. Picture credit scores: Mark Webley.

Rex Crowle, lead developer on Tearaway, Media Particle

“Paul was just one of one of the most charitable innovative individuals I have actually had the advantage to deal with. At Lionhead most of us recognized Paul was the one in charge, however he never ever tossed his weight around as well as would certainly pay attention thoroughly while the most recent participants of the group included all their ideas as well as concepts. He would certainly provide musicians room to be their ideal selves, carefully urging them to expand in ability as well as self-confidence with a smile, a kind word, as well as an unshakeable idea in what they can attain.

“For lots of, he provided us our very first get into the sector. Throughout the very early days of Job Dimitri at Lionhead we were hiring an idea musician. The typical flooding of paints of spacecrafs as well as wizards showed up from developed musicians at various other UK workshops, as well as all can have gotten the job done flawlessly well. Yet the application that captured his eye was by a young musician in Egypt with a design like we would certainly never ever seen, as well as that’d never made a game before. The artist was flown over, got the job, and brought a completely different perspective and set of skills to the project. Within a few years that artist (Kareem Ettouney) went on to become a co-founder and art director of Media Molecule. So many of us now in the industry owe our careers to Paul and him taking a chance on us at the start. I know I do. Thank you Pauly Mc, both for getting us started, and for being such an encouraging and inspiring example to us all.”

Kareem Ettouney, co-founder and art director, Media Molecule

“Paul McLaughlin is simply why I have a career in the UK games industry, he gave me and many others our first shot and opportunity, and he had a tendency to look at lots of diamonds in the rough talents that have no proven track record but he saw something in us and gave us that first break into the industry.

“Paul very quickly became a close friend back in Lionhead where I was first hired and he was the head of art. He had perfect wit and humour, combined with amazing humility and kindness. He had vision and great artistry, yet he also gave everyone huge space and room to explore, expand and contribute.

“It was impossible to do small-talk with Paul – very quickly any conversation with him was meaningful yet unpretentious or contrived. He was a great listener and was really interested in people, and loved the collaborative process. He was an amazing traditional artist too – his watercolours were gorgeous.

“Most of all he loved people – he was the warmest, most helpful and kindest person. And it was an honour to know him. He will be hugely missed by his family and all the people that his kind and warm attitude has touched.

“Thank you Paul for everything and RIP my dear friend.”

Adam Sibbick, art director and co-founder at Glowmade

“Paul was someone that had an incredible gift, beyond his amazing art skills – he was this voice of calm, having this remarkable ability to steer, influence and encourage all at the same time. I always felt we were in safe hands with him at the top.

“He had time for everyone. My enduring memory of Paul is after mentioning that my wife and I were expecting our first child, he paused, and in his soft Irish lilt, said: ‘It always gives me hope when nice people have children.’ That simple line has stayed with me way beyond all the balloons, cards and teddies after my son was born. That was the sort of person he was.

“Paul taught us that you could be creative and successful, but be yourself and be a lovely human. Many of the artists from that Lionhead era have gone on to lead teams themselves, and carry those lessons forward, and in that sense, Paul’s legacy lives on, and hopefully will continue to do so for generations of games artists to come.

“Totally gutted. He was one of the best, and a huge influence on the games art scene – especially around the Guildford games dev community.”

Jon Eckersley, lead artist, Media Molecule

“Paul was a special guy; you don’t get lucky that many times hiring so many talented people. He had a real knack for identifying great artists who were also lovely people – and in many cases, artists that have since gone on to have memorable careers of their own. Remember – this was 20 (or 30 years ago in some cases); many of these people had very little-to-no professional experience in games. No-one had a bad word to say about him, for good reason. He was extremely encouraging, warm and had no ego.

“Paul was a keen tinkerer and craftsperson and we would often chat about what projects we were working on. He once built a boat entirely by hand, just because he wanted to understand the process and enjoyment of making it. That’s something that really stuck with me; that hand-crafted touch is something that you see throughout the games he made, and those he inspired to follow after him. I think you can track his influence throughout the Guildford games scene (and beyond).

“I worked with him for seven years at Lionhead, where we worked together on Black & White 2 and then less directly on Fable 2 & 3, where he was Head of Art for the whole studio. Not a single person has been unmoved by his untimely death.”

Andy Bass, art outsource manager, Hutch

“Paul was my art director at two studios, Bullfrog and Lionhead. He had the uncanny knack of creating art that you had actually admire then wonder how on earth he did it! He also rode motorcycles as well as had an old Ducati SS 750 that he could hustle down a back road better than most as well as a crazy Ural sidecar combo – which he crashed twice on his first day commuting on it!

“I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days in Vegas with Paul during our time at Lionhead which you couldn’t make up. A blues club in the middle of the desert, an awards do, bikers of assorted sizes as well as Paul’s cheeky smile will stay with me always.”

Joe Rider, supervisor client operations EU at Esports Engine

“I worked directly with Paul in the art department of Bullfrog for a number of years towards the beginning of my career. I know that sometimes I would try his patience, but he was a great mentor to me, a generous colleague as well as a good friend. He always encouraged my professional curiosity as well as I always had the highest respect for his work as well as creativity as well as in more recent years would often return to see what he was working on.

“Paul had a beautifully dry sense of humour as well as made every pub lunch enjoyable as well as every work trip highly memorable. He helped give me the confidence to pursue what I wanted to do, as well as I am very thankful for that.”

Paul is survived by his wife Evie, his son Conor, as well as his two daughters Louise as well as Evy.

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