Here at Gay-Nerds, we like to highlight LGBT people in the industry. George Skleres has been a part of the game industry for the past five years, working primarily on casual and kids games and volunteering at the Game Developers Conference every year. He joined Riot recently as a Flash Developer. He was awesome enough to spare some time to give us an interview!
Gay-Nerds: One of my favorite games currently is League of Legends. I was always a huge fan of DotA. Did you ever get into the game before working at Riot?
George Skleres: Yes I also used to play a lot of DotA, and I got in the League of Legends beta before I worked there.
George Skleres: I played the hell out of LoL and wound up maining Morgana, which back then you had to have one of her on every team, so I got to ride up into to the top 500 players on the coattails of better players than me. 🙂
Gay-Nerds: Haha, I can still hear the chants of her being “OP” even now. Who do you main anyway?
George Skleres: Now? I don’t know anymore, it used to be Blitzcrank, and still I think over 50% of my games are played as him but I haven’t played him in a while.
George Skleres: I really enjoy Corporate Mundo, so I play him a lot. Also still play a lot of Morgana, Sona, Lux, Rammus, and lately I’ve been watching Pendragon play so I started doing jungle Yi too.
George Skleres: I’m a sucker for support and tanks! 🙂
GN: Haha, good choices. So, you’re pretty hardcore into the game? How did you get from fan to developer?
George Skleres: Well, I am a Flash Actionscript programmer, and I volunteer at GDC every year. Last March, I decided to host a tournament for all the volunteers and I invited Riot to come.
George Skleres: It was pretty awesome, we had over 20 computers that people voluntarily allowed to be used for the tournament. So in two huge circles in our lounge, we had laptops set up and EVERYBODY was playing League of Legends. It was ridiculously awesome and my inner nerd just about jumped for joy! 🙂
George Skleres: I think 12 or 13 Riot staff showed up for the tournament and it was so amazing. Then they invited me to their party as a thank you. When I went there, I met some other Riot staff and they found out I do Flash programming, so they asked me to apply.
George Skleres: Several months later, I packed up all my stuff and moved from Atlanta to LA!
GN: Haha, that makes me nostalgic about LAN parties. Sounds pretty awesome
GN: Anyway, what’s it like working at Riot?
George Skleres: It’s so awesome! Everyone is super fun and extremely talented, and we all get along really well. The turnover rate is very very low because it’s such a positive, awesome work environment.
George Skleres: I really can’t say enough good things about Riot. I love my job so much!
GN: Haha, it comes off in the game. It’s really well done
GN: What are you in charge of specificially? Hopefully not game balancing because I fear for your safety and sanity
George Skleres: Ha ha, no not balancing. I do the programming for all of the in-game UI. The bars at the bottom, the team frame in the upper left, the options menu, in-game item shop, etc, all of that stuff that stays on the screen in the same place no matter where you move your camera. That’s what I’m in charge of.
GN: Nice, haha. So more about you, what do you do to unwind after work?
George Skleres: Hmm… uhhh, this might be a bit cliche, but honestly, I play LoL. 🙂
GN: Live and breathe it, huh? Haha
George Skleres: I also do a lot of reading, and I play some other games too. I’ve been playing Civilization V, and I’ll likely play Dragon Age 2 eventually.
GN: So you’re more of a gamer nerd?
George Skleres: Oh yeah. Total gamer through and through. My idea of the perfect day is game, eat, game, eat, game, eat, game. 🙂
GN: Sounds awesome. So, random question time! (we’re almost done, I swear)
GN: If you could have any Pokemon as a pet, which one would it be?
George Skleres: SNORLAX!!!!
GN: Hahaha, good choice. Body slam some bitches
GN: If you were forced to be in a reality tv show, which would you choose and which reality show stereotype do you think the producers would edit you as?
George Skleres: I would choose not to be in a reality TV show because I don’t watch any TV ha ha… I don’t even know what is on at this point. I haven’t turned on a TV (Xbox playing aside) of my own volition in I think 8 years now.
GN: Haha, fair enough. Last question, you wake up after 24 hours because of a huge gaming marathon. It is now the zombie apocalypse. What’s your plan?
George Skleres: Plant as many peashooters as I possibly can as quickly as possible!!!
GN: Hahahaha, I like you and I’m sure our readers will too 😀
GN: Thanks for letting me interview you. You’ve been awesome
George Skleres: sure thing! it’s an honour to be interviewed, I really appreciate it