Christos Lappas joined Gameloft Sofia about seven years ago right after finishing his master’s, and he’s never looked back since.
Our lead programmer is a huge fan of games and has been creating programming and making his own games since he was a teenager!
Find out more about him and his life as a programmer at Gameloft below!
Hi, Christos! Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I am Christos Lappas and I am a lead programmer at Gameloft Sofia. Currently I am the lead of the Gameloft Sofia Prototyping Initiative.
I started working here in 2014 after I finished my master’s in game development in Chicago. After I finished my degree, I was certain about two things: I wanted to work in Europe and I wanted to work on big mobile games. Gameloft was the first company that came in mind because at the time I was a huge Dungeon Hunter 4 player. This was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Ever since I started working here in Sofia, I have worked on many amazing projects, like GT Racing 2, World At Arms, Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics, and March of Empires. For the past 4 years I’ve also gotten to work on a game I really love playing in my spare time, which is Dungeon Hunter 5. I guess my enthusiasm for the game fuelled my efforts even more than usual because I was promoted to lead developer of the project from 2018 until earlier this year.
I have been crazy about video games ever since I got my first console when I was 9 years old. I especially loved playing Fantasy RPG games after playing my first Zelda game on my NES. Of course, this obsession became even stronger when I got my first PC at age 15. Soon after, I realized I wanted to make my own games and tell my own stories, so I started learning how to program and making small text RPG games for my friends.
Studying computer science was an obvious choice for my university years, and while I was doing this, I was always trying to make my own games. It was there where I was exposed to a world I didn’t know existed and gained the majority of the skills that allowed me to be an asset to the teams I worked with in the future.
What is your role, and what do you enjoy most about your job?
My role as a programmer is to solve problems. Depending on the phase of production and scale of the project, the role of a lead programmer varies a lot.
To summarize it in a few lines, it is mostly about finding the best solutions to the problems that arise when implementing systems or gameplay mechanics that were requested from the designers.
As a lead, I am expected to maintain a certain standard of quality and make sure people perform to the best of their ability.
After this, there are endless hours spent on the code, trying to find and fix impossible bugs that players discover from playing the game in a way you could never imagine.
What I love about this job is that I keep learning new things constantly. One of the most important things in game development is to always keep an open mind because no one will ever have all the best answers, so in a team environment we always teach and learn from each other regardless of our positions.
What are some of your most memorable moments at Gameloft?
I think my most memorable moment at Gameloft was the development of this huge in-game event called Sanctum Assault for Dungeon Hunter 5.
I remember we were working day and night to create and balance 20 new levels for the players, and I kept playing them over and over again with one of the game designers who was also a huge fan of the game.
In order to make things more interesting between us, we started making bets on who was going to complete each level faster with his gear setup. It was funny because in the end, this was what helped us identify many potential issues and make the game experience really fun for the players.
When we released the event, we were pretty confident that the end product was fun and the players’ enthusiastic reaction was the best reward we could have gotten from this.
What advice do you have for people who wants to work in gaming in a similar role?
Don’t underestimate the power of a good early education. Having solid foundations and learning things in a constructed way is the key to becoming a good and useful programmer. There are always shortcuts on your way of building knowledge, but they will most definitely come back to haunt you in the future.
Make sure you mentally prepare yourself for a life of learning because in this line of work, this is the only constant. But if you build your knowledge and have a positive attitude, you will have a career full of amazing experiences. You will help create many magical worlds and see them take form in front of your eyes… and then play in them!
We want you to come and help us create magical worlds like Christos! Apply to our job opportunities in our studios around the world here, and stay tuned for another edition of Humans Behind the Game!