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Developer Spotlight: Wyatt Fleming, Lead Game Services Programmer & Mental Health First Aider

Inflexion's Lead Game Services Programmer talks through his role working on Nightingale.

A new year brings the spotlight once again to one of the many talented Inflexoners working tirelessly to bring the world of Nightingale to life. This time we're talking to Wyatt Fleming, Lead Game Services Programmer, mental health superhero, and part-time Guardian. Without further ado, here's Wyatt:

Q: What is your name and job title?

A: Wyatt - Lead Game Services Programmer & Mental Health First Aider

Q: When did you join Inflexion Games?

A: May 2019

Q: What was your background before Inflexion?

A: Before Inflexion I was working at an electrical company doing full stack software development. I was mostly working on tools used by engineers for designing, and workflow management. Towards the end of that job I helped hire and train a new remote team to help develop some new engineering products. For university, I started out in Psychology, but quickly switched to a Computing Science degree when I discovered how much I loved it and how I could get a really good job with only four years of school.

Q: Tell us what you do on Nightingale?
A: For Nightingale I work on the Game Services team, so my day to day varies, but my main focus is the backend and infrastructure needed for our social systems. Currently we’re hosting our own chat server and have a service that we use to interact with the chat server for admin related actions that get triggered by game servers. My other main focus is my Mental Health First Aid work. I help my co-workers navigate struggles with their mental health and help them find and utilize the resources they need to feel better.

Q: What excites you most about working on Nightingale?
A: Aside from a small game I made with some friends for an art gallery, this is the first game I have ever worked on. The whole idea of making something that people will get to enjoy and spend time with is super exciting! A lot of the software I have worked on in the past was in-house applications that people were forced to use to do their jobs, so it didn’t feel as rewarding or exciting to deliver new features. The live nature of the game is also really exciting because it gives us a chance to just keep making more content and new and exciting player experiences.

Q: Can you give an example of something you’ve contributed to Nightingale that you’re most proud of?

A: I think I am most proud of the party system and how it has improved and shifted as our needs for the system have evolved over time. This project is the first time that I have had the opportunity to work with social systems and some of the underlying infrastructure and it feels really great to have those features in game and working.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role working on Nightingale?

A: I think the biggest challenge for me has been working with the partially implemented and under supported XMPP Strophe implementations that Unreal provides for interacting with a chat server. Some parts do not support the XMPP specifications, while others are missing entirely. Thankfully Epic has been receptive to questions and PRs with improvements, but it has made me wonder what implementation they are using for their games.

Q: What are you going to be working on in the coming weeks/months for the game?

A: In the next few weeks and months I will be focusing on some EULA (End-User License Agreement) workflow improvements. We have the basics in, but would like to make some improvements.

Q: Tell us an interesting experience you’ve had whilst playing the game.

A: An interesting experience I’ve had while playing the game was during a friends and family playtest for an early version of the game. I had come back to my homestead after adventuring in the Realms and gathering resources to find a player looting my log stashes. I chased them off by jumping and swinging my axe at them, even though there was no PVP. It was a really funny moment and I later found out it was a co-worker who was stealing my resources and had a good laugh with them about it.

Q: What was the last game you played?

A: The last game I played was Destiny 2. I really love the different types of content available and always feel like I’m getting my money's worth with the expansion and battle passes. I also really love playing with my friends and co-workers, especially now that it’s all cross-platform. Raiding and dungeons are probably my favorite, but there are lots of other fun things to do there too!

Q: You're lost in the mystical Fae Realms...what's the one thing that's likely to kill you first?

A: I think an Eoten would probably be the first thing to get me. Building is my favorite part of this game and I would get to chopping trees as soon as I found a cool spot to build my homestead.

Q: What is the one thing that you need to survive being lost in the Fae Realms?

A: An axe!

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