In January 2019, Moov2 became part of the Etch Group family. Nowadays they go by Etch Play, a team dedicated to making great products with a particular focus on the videogames industry. They do some really excellent work with partners such as Hello Games, PlayStation London Studio, Supermassive Games, and more.
At the time, I was head down running my own department – a department I’ve now handed over to the next deserving candidate, to take it further faster – and I didn’t know much about them in practice, other than that they were a welcome addition to our stable and had a cool client roster. Since then, I’ve been able to watch them take root within our organisation and leverage the Etch Group’s proposition as well as their own unique expertise to really set them on an exciting path for the next few years, and now I’m psyched to be able to report that I’m joining them on this mission.
There are a few reasons why this move made sense for me, but the only one which really matters is my guiding star, and something we care about quite a lot at Etch HQ: Following the things that I’m passionate about.
Development is one thing I know I’m passionate about, and I’m really excited to get back into that in a more direct way. HTML, here I come. And my history with videogames is storied, so it’s a thrill to know the market we’ll be operating in. I’ve played games my entire life, I’ve reviewed games and consoles, spent way too much time watching other people play them, and even made a couple of my own as a hobbyist. So joining forces with the Etch Play team is a match-3 made in heaven.
When I first started using the internet (at the spritely age of 13!) I was of course already in the thrall of videogames – reading magazines about them, playing them and talking about them at school. The first website I was a fan of was Bungie.net – home of the creators of Marathon and Halo: Combat Evolved. It was a set of forums, and had the ability to create hubs around specific groups of people, which they called Chapters. Any gamers reading would probably call them clans, essentially. It was impressively sophisticated for the time, and the site still exists, although it’s virtually unrecognisable now compared to what it was like over 15 years ago (still setting a high bar in terms of what we expect out of videogame websites, but in different ways!).
Back in the old days, each hub page had a theme, and new themes were created by using CSS. Peeking under the hood of these themes was my first, limited exposure to a language I would grow to love.
Some of the themes were fairly slick!
And some were… Uh… A little more "interesting".
None of the CSS I wrote in those days ever saw the light of day. It took me quite a while to get to a point where I was comfortable doing that, and longer still before anyone else was comfortable with what I shared. I did however, create my own website shortly after. My first ever, and the first in a very long list.
Not pictured: The stars in the background whizzed past, like you were flying through space.
Pictured: Me apparently writing the phrase “Halo 2 has been released! being L337 and all, ive already completed it. Enjoy the game guys!” unironically.
This was built on freewebs and I refuse to be held liable for any medical bills you incur from looking at it. We were all young once.
Since then of course, the internet has moved on a bit! And what we expect out of websites for our favourite games has continued to evolve too. It’s a hugely exciting time for videogames (when isn’t it?) with the rise of virtual reality, streaming options, and shiny new consoles just starting to appear on the horizon. It’s also, in some ways, never been easier to make a game, and connect with your fans. And here at Etch Play, we believe that games can be a powerful force for good - we've seen first-hand how the medium can bring people together, and the positive impact that gaming can have on people's lives across a hugely diverse spectrum, which is something more and more people are beginning to realise. The landscape is constantly changing, and all these games, developers, publishers, platforms, technologies, and communities need websites! So, our Etch Play crew will have our work cut out for us I think.
It’s funny how things seem circular somehow, that I should now be back in a position where I’m going to make websites about videogames again, like my first ever site, albeit in a much more professional context. I’m sure the young teenage version of me would approve of this change. I can’t wait to share all the amazing stuff the team have been making, and that I’m going to make with them in future. I know that each of them has a passion for videogames that matches or surpasses my own, and the talent to make great things happen.
My plan is to document all the best things we get up to along the way, right here. So, if you don’t mind, it looks like the next level is about to begin.
Can I be your guide?
For more about Etch Play, check out etchplay.com/work