Name: Richard Davison
Date Of Birth: 30/09/1983
Location: Sunderland, United Kingdom
Current Role: Lecturer in Game Engineering at Newcastle University
PhD from Newcastle University
MSc with Distinction in Computer Game Engineering from Newcastle University
BSc (Hons) Network Computing from University Of Sunderland
I have been interested in computer game programming for a number of years, starting when I downloaded the Doom 3 SDK, to see just how hard programming could be! I have been hooked ever since, and have been involved in programming ever since, gaining experience in OpenGL, OpenAL and the Visual Studio development environment as I go. My largest project has been a game engine capable of loading maps and models from the 1996 Bullfrog game Syndicate Wars, which included some degree of reverse engineering of file formats that were barely documented. As part of the engine, I also designed and implemented a GUI system, which can utilise simple scripts to control the position, style, and function of GUI elements, and was loosely based on the GUI scripting of Doom3, which obviously left an impression on me as the first game codebase I’d ever tried to modify.
This interest in video game technology led me to further my formal education in the field, resulting in obtaining a Masters degree in Game Engineering at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom in 2009. My performance and interest in the technical side of game engineering led to a PhD scholarship in 2010, where I undertook a project on utilising video game technology for the purpose of physical rehabilitation for people suffering from hemiplegic and acute stroke. The project made use of motion and force sensing devices to detect fine changes in a user’s ability over time, and to train the player using both limbs to maximise the effect of neuroplasticity.
During my time as a PhD student I developed course material for the game engineering related modules at Newcastle, both undergraduate and postgraduate. These modules largely involved computer graphics in some way, including teaching undergraduate students how the graphics pipeline worked using a software rasteriser, and a masters level module on advanced rendering techniques, that takes a student from ‘my first triangle’ to a scene lit by 100s of lights using a deferred rendering pipeline in 4 weeks.
Since 2019 I have been part of the faculty at the university, as a lecturer in game engineering. I take great pride in being able to share my knowledge with the undergraduate and postgraduate students attached to the Games Lab, and enjoy helping their various gaming projects come to fruition.