Chopin and Nintendo
Zsombor had just freshly finished university when he was already hunted down by one of the top picks on the list of dream workplaces, IBM Budapest Lab (previously known as Ustream). Today, he is pretty much a one-man show representing the complete EngineeringEffectiveness team himself alone. Besides this job, he is also a recognized game developer. Although everything pointed towards becoming a software developer since birth, at one point he got very close to eventually playing on a completely different keyboard.
Have you been considered to be the type of kid who already knows what he wants to become when growing up at the age of 6?
Well, not that early, but by the time I turned 11, I already started developing games using software that would now be considered so very ancient called MacromediaFlash. Then I started to make money on it by the time I was in high school working for a tiny Hungarian studio developing a wrestling game.
So it seemed quite obvious you’ll go to ELTE (Eötvös Lóránd Science University) or BME(Budapest University of Technology).
Totally. Yet, for some time I wanted to go rather to the Music Academy to the Faculty of PerformingArts. They say I had a shot to get in, I played the piano pretty well by then. I even made some additional money on top of what I made on game development by playing in little bars and cafés. Although these were rather special occasions.
Then somebody made you change your mind?
It wasn’t really necessary. By the time I was graduating, I was quite sure I’ll apply to ELTE’s SoftwareArchitectures in Computer Science MSc program. And there my existing experience made a big difference. My fellow students often turned to me with questions and if they needed some clarification of certain topics.
I believe software developers are very much in-demand. Has found a job cause you any difficulties?
It is true that demand is high for good developers, though it makes a big difference where you work in the end. But I was also lucky with this. I was already working for a small company during university years when I got recommended to Ustream. They called me in, we had a chat and they gave me a good offer. I’ve been working there ever since.
And do you still have time for game development?
Definitely! In fact, I am just in the middle of developing a Nintendo game that can be played by four people at once. And we are reaching soon a very exciting milestone when I send it to Nintendo for approval. And today I not only develop games but also make tutorial videos about it reaching now more than 12.000 viewers.
So you’ve become a real influencer. Got those bathrobe pics from different hotel room uploaded to Insta?
This rather has other advantages. I use a software called Unity for development that is the most popular game engine amongst independent game developers. Most of the known independent game sare written on this platform. And they just decided to sponsor my next two videos with an invitation to Unite 2019 Copenhagen, Unity’s next global conference, what is a real honour and acknowledgement.
Is there anything else remaining to push for from here?
There is for me. My dream is to have my own little studio with a few similar blokes like me. And of course, some successful game releases behind us. If this is fulfilled than I’d be more than satisfied. Now you are working for one of the coolest companies of the city.
So what brought you to KAPTÁR?
Community lunch. Of course, it is a bit of an exaggeration, but definitely the community, the people here. I wanted to be surrounded by people with whom I can have a conversation with, who can move me in a sense, who show me new things. And what I experienced is that community is no bullshit, things really happen here
And did it really work out for you?
Absolutely. Although it might seem a bit unrealistic, I got to know two members here who I already consider friends. If not for anything else, but for this, it was definitely worth it.
If you are curious of Zsombor’s work and other secrets, follow his Youtube channel called CouchFerretmakesGames!