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Jonathan Ridgway


Job Role: CEO & Creative Director


Favourite Game/s: Shenmue


What’s your role in Rebourne Studios?


My role as Creative Director is to project manage the team and direct the creative vision of the game. I work with the artists and designers, setting them tasks and providing them feedback on what they produce until we're all happy for it to be implemented into the build. I've also designed many of the core mechanics as well as handling the marketing of the game through various social media streams. I also work alongside the Technical Director to ensure all the designs are viable and the time frame they take to implement so I can determine what to focus the team on next.


What inspired you to want to develop video games?


Ahhh, where do I start! I mean I grew up playing them. I always used to write and design my own little games on paper. I was mostly inspired by board games, RPGs or D&D back then. I guess my inspiration came from playing narrative-driven games like Final Fantasy, Shenmue, Metal Gear Solid as well as many others. Just playing them opened my eyes to the potential that video games have as a story-telling medium. The fact that video games are an interactive experience makes them unique to their media counter-parts. You can immerse the player through decisions and allow them to influence the way a game unfolds. I just thought that this is such an underappreciated medium and the opportunity you have as a storyteller is unlike anything else. So after high school, I went to college to study Games Development and I haven’t looked back since.


You’re favourite game is Shenmue why is this?


Shenmue just has a ridiculous amount of attention to detail. I remember playing it growing up and it literally blew me away. The amount of detail in the game, how interactive it was! There was just so much to do. Most games, even today are quite static. If the player isn’t moving, you genuinely feel like nothing is happening in the world. Shenmue was completely different. The world was so believable and alive I didn’t feel like I was the world I felt as though I was a part of it. It created an experience where I genuinely felt like I lived in the setting, I got to know the people in the neighbourhood. How their lives were as well as my own. In regards to video games, without a doubt the most immersive experience I’ve ever had, no game even by today’s standards comes close. Whilst what I say might sound mundane, you felt as though you were actually living there, it all means so much in regards to making you care about your own story as well as those around you. A beautiful game which was ridiculously ahead of its time.


Outside of video games, what are your hobbies?


I really enjoy travelling. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a fair few places around the world. My favourite of which was Okinawa, Japan where I went for just over 2 weeks to train in karate as well as experience an entirely different culture. I just love seeing new sights and witnessing how different other places and cultures are. When I was in Japan for example, just seeing how respectful everyone is to one another. Can’t say it’s exactly like that here in the UK! Also learning about different religion and history of each country I visit. I believe you have to experience these things first hand opposed to just read about them online or in a book. As well travelling I also enjoy watching pro wrestling, something about the way it is put together just really interests me. I have trained in karate for 10+ years so I sort of appreciate it in the same way I appreciate the katas & bunkai in karate. Also love reading, watching films, I love a good psychological thriller! Films like Old Boy & Battle Royale, can’t beat them.

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