Q&A: Gustavo Costa, Senior Programmer at Playsport Games

How does the Motorsport Manager magic happen? The answer is the fantastic work done by the incredible Playsport Games team.

So that’s why we’ve decided to show you behind the curtain and give you a chance to meet the team who bring the game to life.

First up is Gustavo Costa, who’s a Senior Programmer at Playsport. We caught up with him to find out how he joined the team, his proudest moment making the game and a bit of behind the scenes office gossip.

How did you get into the video games industry?

Well, to summarize a long story, my father owned an arcade in the nineties that eventually became a LAN house. Having constant access to those wonderful arcade games like Metal Slug, Puzzle Bubble and Super Pang definitely helped gaming become a passion of mine.

The first time I really started doing anything related with game dev was when I discovered MUGEN – a fighting simulator that you could insert your own sprites into to create custom characters – and later I started making maps for Counter Strike and WC3.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the skills I learnt while modding and experimenting would help my application at the University of the Creative Arts (UCA) where I studied for a course in computer games design.

When and why did you join Playsport Games?

While at university I met Luke Finlay-Maxwell (now a Designer at PlaySport games), with whom we started our own little studio called Mojobox Games.

After making some not very successful games, we met Christian West at a PG Connects in London 2014 where he was demoing this little game made in his bedroom: Motorsport Manager.

After realizing that there were some important skills still needed to make Mojobox Games a success, I got in touch with Christian. This was June 2015 and he had a position open for junior programmer to work on the PC game.

The studio had a great vibe and its people were extremely passionate and motivated. That sealed the deal and I joined Playsport Games.

What are you responsible for working on in the Motorsport Management series?

I have my hands on most game systems, mostly because I was one of the first programmers to join Playsport when we started developing the PC version.

The coolest system I worked on was definitely the vehicles crashing in the simulation. I remember at the time, people were so excited with the idea but we weren’t sure if we were going have the time to implement it into the game. So I took the task home for a few weeks. It was a very exciting moment to show to the team, and I recall sending an email to Christian with some gifs of the first iteration of crashes in action.

Gustavo Costa is the only man happy when your driver crashes in MM PC.

Also, working on the supplier network was fun, designing a system that was robust but easy to edit was a good challenge!

What’s the most enjoyable aspect of working on the game and why is that so enjoyable?

For me, it’s working hard on a feature and hopefully exceeding the expectations for it. We are all very passionate about what we make, and because of it, we are probably our biggest critics. So when it’s time to show the implementation of a new feature, and it is well received by the team, I can’t help but feel happy and proud of my work.

And what’s been the most challenging part of your job so far?

It’s probably when Will Evans (co-founder, Playsport Games) somehow manages to beat me at our regular lunch time FIFA match.

That always leaves a sour taste in my mouth that usually lasts the whole afternoon.

If you could describe what it’s like working at Playsport Games, what would you say?

I feel like the team is really close and very fun to work with. Playsport Games is made of extremely passionate and bubbly people. They know when to put their head down and work hard to achieve the best game we can deliver!

Who has the best sense of humour in the office?

Probably Kieren Belkus (an Artist for Playsport Games). He has a strange love for cat flaps!

And who has the worst fashion sense?

It has to be Luke with his fantastic blonde wig.

Finally, can you tell us about your own greatest personal Motorsport Manager moment?

After being given the task to implement the endurance racing, my most satisfying moment was seeing both class A and B cars racing side by side, with my newly implemented faster simulation mode. This ended up being a very important part of the Endurance DLC, since having people race for 6 hours was a bit long with the old speeds.

Check out the jobs going at Playsport Games here.

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