This article is the first instalment of Virtuos Insider, a series of interviews where Virtuosi share about their careers and experiences in the company and video game industry at large. We speak with Adalberto Bruno, Senior Technical Director at Black Shamrock – A Virtuos Studio, about his career highlights, life at Virtuos, and all things game engineering.
Above: The streets of Dublin
Games today are a varied bunch. While they come in a wide variety of genres and art styles, all of them share similar qualities, such as amazing art direction, or engaging and responsive gameplay.
But it’s not enough to look good and be fun; to make a good game great, you’ll need top-tier engineering to ensure steady framerates and enough quality-of-life features to provide a seamless experience for every gamer.
Virtuos wholly believes in the importance of game engineering. With a crack team of more than 40 engineers sited in our Dublin and Paris offices, we assist European studios in overcoming an array of technical hurdles from creating tools and APIs and integrating cloud gaming services, to engine version upgrades and optimization projects.
This list might look daunting for the average person, but to Adalberto Bruno, it’s just another day at work. As Senior Technical Director at Black Shamrock – A Virtuos Studio, Adalberto has years of experience under his belt, stemming from his prior stints at Marmalade Technologies and Electronic Arts, among many others. This week, we spend a few minutes together for a quick chat about his life and experience at Virtuos.
Above: Hard at work at Black Shamrock – A Virtuos Studio
Can you give a brief description about your career history, and how you eventually joined Virtuos?
AB: I started as a software engineer back in 2000, working on 3D graphics, visual simulation and virtual reality (VR). I was involved in engines and tools for research and production projects. Back then, VR was a really niche market and I’m happy to see the evolution in this space.
Gaming was always my passion, so after 6 years I decided to move from Italy to the UK and started my journey in this industry with Electronic Arts (EA). As a technical director, I initially worked on an internal cross-platform Engine before getting involved in multiple iOS and Android titles due to the rise of mobile gaming. These ranged from casual to high-def simulations that used a variety of proprietary and commercial game engines such as Unity and Unreal.
After eight years with EA (the final two in Montreal), I moved back to the UK where I joined Marmalade, a high-performing abstraction layer solution mainly used to bring games to multiple platforms, as their VP of Technology Services and later, CTO.
I then moved to Barcelona for a couple of years to drive a team working on freemium or free-to-play webGL-based games. That experience was critical in granting me a closer look at how to build solid game-servers and backends.
At some point, I had an inspiring conversation with Virtuos and I was immediately captured by the idea of building up and leading a Dublin-based engineering team, working on fantastic PC and console projects. That idea soon became reality and now here I am, with the team growing at a rapid pace.
You’ve worked in many places around Europe over the years. Which country is your favorite and why?
AB: I like to travel and have moved quite a lot in the past. So far, I’ve worked in Italy, UK, Spain, Ireland and even in Canada! Italy will always be a special place for me and Barcelona is probably my favorite city, but I have to admit that I’ve been charmed by Dublin – it’s a real gem.