Ever wondered who works at GIANTS Software to create Farming Simulator? What their faces look like and what their actual job is? Well, we'll show you in our Employee Spotlight series to highlight the people behind your favorite agricultural playground. Get to know Thomas Brunner, Lead Programmer at GIANTS!
Thomas, tell us about your gaming history!
I was always fascinated with computers, and games. Back when I was a teenager - almost 30 years ago - my favorite game was Quake. It was such an impressive game, in so many ways. I loved the graphics and the 3D rendering work, which was something you didn’t often see back then.
Were you always interested in programming games?
I really wanted to create something like Quake by myself. It would have been great to create something on my own, but I wanted to have the necessary skills required for joining a development team. The goal became to work for a gaming company.
This passion led me to study computer science. It was a sharp contrast from my teenage viewpoint, I’ll be honest. It was hard work, but I was earning the skills I desperately wanted to enter the games industry. The next issue to overcome; there were practically no game companies in Switzerland at this point.
Thomas Brunner & Marc Schwegler receiving their GIANTS Award for their 10-year engagement at the company.
Tell us about you joining GIANTS Software!
Around 2003-04, I stumbled across a webpage for a group of people who wanted to create a game. I decided to get in touch and see if there was a gap I could fill, to work on a project together. Everything was very professional, but they also shared the passion I had for games, and game creation.
It turned out Stefan and Christian were all part of the team, and they were working on an engine which later became the basis of today’s GIANTS engine, which runs Farming Simulator currently. I loved working on this engine, it even became an activity for my spare time.
What does an average day look like for you?
We work in small groups, bouncing around ideas and brainstorming features we would like to implement. As a team, we discuss an order of working, then I begin to assign tasks across the group. The first step, after initial design, is to create prototypes, which then allows us to work out lead times from inception to final product.
How do you work with the modding community?
We like to try to make life as simple as possible for them. Modders can ask us technical questions through our website, and each mod is open so that modders can learn from each other. Our editor makes everything very simple and user-friendly - we always want the mod teams to feel free with what they create.
What’s your biggest achievement from Farming Simulator, so far?
I’d say getting the game to work on Nintendo Switch. For other consoles, and obviously PCs, we have more power to work with. Porting the game to Switch required a lot of work from our team. Today, I'm very happy with the result and glad that Farming Simulator is running on this cool console, too!
That's it for this time, folks! We continue our Employee Spotlight series, soon! Stay tuned for the next one in line. Until then, you might want to take a look at the upcoming Premium Edition & Expansion - coming November 14th for PC & consoles.
This interview was first published in the official Farming Simulator Magazine.