Kalvin Lyle was living the good life in Vancouver, one of North America's game development hubs. Starting work in the games industry in the mid - '90s, he worked on his fair share of AAA titles in a number of major development studios. So when he recently packed his bags and headed off to merry old England, it raised a few eyebrows.
This kind of move isn't a tiny one. When a person leaves their native land it means leaving friends and family; it means abandoning years worth of contacts; it means adopting a new culture and way of life; it means, in a lot of ways, starting over. When things are going your way and then some, this is not the easiest path to take.
Lyle got his start in Edmonton, Alberta, at a little place known as BioWare Inc. "When I started at BioWare I was employee number 27, I think, and when I left the company was around 100 people." Lyle had a hand in a number of BioWare's franchises including Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and MDK2.
From there, his next job was at Black Box Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. He worked on SEGA Soccer Slam and NHL Hitz before EA came and bought the studio. "I knew that I wouldn't enjoy working at a large company, so I moved on."
After his time at Black Box, he established Next Level Games, an award-winning studio named one of the top employers in British Columbia.
But that was in 2002, and as nice as it all was, there was a bigger picture for Lyle. "One of the things that really interested me about the games industry was the potential for travel and living abroad, and while I've traveled a lot over the last 12 years I'd pretty much only lived in one city during that time. I knew [moving] would be an experience that would help me grow and give me a different perspective on the world."
So in 2007, after finishing up his roles as the Art Director for the new Punch Out!! title, "I decided it was time to move on from Next Level and take some time off. I handed the art direction reigns over and spent the next eight months relaxing and decompressing."
It wasn't long before a new opportunity presented itself. "One of my childhood friends that I had worked with at BioWare called me up shortly after leaving Next Level saying he wanted to start up a game company in the U.K.," Lyle says. "Endrant was founded in December 2007, but we didn't get our first project until April 2008." The upstart studio ended up taking on a project that every industry professional knows and respects: "We're doing the multiplayer for Wolfenstein and working closely with Raven Software to make sure the game is as good as possible."