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Employee Spotlight: Corey

It's time for another Employee Spotlight! This month, we're featuring Corey from the Engineering team at Harmonix. Take it away, Corey! 

Hi! I'm Corey. I've been an engineer at Harmonix for two years, and I've been lucky enough to work on Rock Band 4, Super Beat Sports, and a few other projects as well. Across these projects I've worked on networked multiplayer systems, scoring systems, missions systems, and a many other things. I love how working in games is so interdisciplinary, allowing me to work with artists, game designers, sound designers and more. Every day offers a uniquely different set of challenges.

Music has always been an important part of my life. I sang in an a cappella group all throughout high school and played the flute in a wind ensemble. I feel very lucky to be a part of a studio that works on unique musical projects. I played Rock Band in high school, but I never thought that I would end up working for the studio that made it, let alone work on Rock Band 4! Working on Rock Band was an awesome experience because the game itself is so collaborative. My very first week at the studio, I was invited to join a company Rivals crew and I played new Rock Band DLC with the whole team. As an a cappella nerd, singing harmonies on "Africa" with my new coworkers was epic and surreal.

It took me a while to realize that I wanted to make games. In college, I tried a variety of different code-related things, ranging from web development to computer graphics, but once I realized that I could make games myself, there was no turning back, and I sought out game development internships. I spent a summer at a small studio in the UK called Fat Pebble and I spent another summer in San Mateo at PlayStation as a part of an intern research group.

After graduating from college, I worked in a neuroscience lab making spatial navigation games for research, which was a completely different experience -- we had to carefully balance gameplay and "fun" with the scientific method. I learned a lot (and I saw quite a few pictures of brain matter O_o), but ultimately decided that I wanted to be in the games industry at large.

My proudest accomplishments here at Harmonix have been working on our networked multiplayer experiences on Rock Band 4’s Online Quickplay and the networked user interface in Super Beat Sports. Testing these features was a wild ride, with some bugs requiring several consoles, controllers, and plastic instruments. Alongside an eternal tangle of cables, I learned a ridiculous amount about writing code to support these kinds of multiplayer experiences, and how to support your teammates. One of the best things about Harmonix is the people I get to work with and learn from, and knowing that when things get tough, we're in it together.

What Rock Band instrument do you play? 

Vocals! And some guitar and bass.

Do you have an office nickname, and what's the origin?

I don't! My team has tried to come up with one, but it's proven difficult. The closest we got was Cor(e)-API, but it didn't stick.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I think flying would be the most fun. Also, having a top-down view of Boston would be good for honing my navigational skills; Boston streets go in every possible direction and are terribly confusing.

What is your favorite Super Beat Sports Slugger uniform & bat?

My favorite Super Beat Sports Slugger uniform is the chicken! Always the chicken. And I would choose the fish bat to go with it.

Favorite Super Beat Sports mini-game?

I really love Whacky Bat. I like the timing challenges of switching lanes, especially when you have to coordinate with a partner. Things get pretty crazy and you have to communicate really well in order to succeed.

What's on your desk? 

From left to right: Golden Domo, Wonder Woman, little rabbit(?) thing, Jigglypuff, another rabbit(?) figurine, a felted flamboyant cuttlefish, a Danish wooden dog, Yoshi, and a clay portrait of myself that the lovely folks at Fat Pebble made for me.

What's your go-to candy bowl candy / drink fridge beverage?

I like Nerds or Swedish Fish for optimal candy fidgeting. While I don't often get anything from the drink fridge, I do make a lot of tea.