Posted on: 23 May 22

Our UI Artist celebrates the inclusivity at the heart of Glass Ceiling Games and Story Juice

Miles Rodyakin's first games job was as UI artist for The Glass Ceiling Games where they established the aesthetic and gained a foothold in the industry. Here they talk about finding a home at Story Juice, a studio that cared about making a space for them and their stories in games.

They graduated from Falmouth University with a degree in Game Art in 2020, and now spend their days making vectors, wireframes, and menus galore for all sorts of cool projects as a junior UI artist at Firesprite Games.

Miles on the game demo stand at EGX

It’s sometimes a little bit weird to play or make games when you’re not a man. My male friends get confused when I ask if we can avoid the team voice chat and stick to Discord instead. I’ve joined projects only to discover there isn’t a single woman on the team. You watch a big games event, and the latest cool protagonist is the same brown-haired not-yet-middle-aged guy who might be a father or a brother but looks just the same as the last twenty.

Most of the time, it isn’t so bad. But it does feel odd, and it does get a little bit tiring.

I hadn’t worked in the games industry before when I was taken on as a freelance UI artist at Story Juice. I was apprehensive about what I’d heard, during my university studies, about crunch, harassment, and about the possibility of being made to work on a game targeted towards an audience very different from myself. I hadn’t realised that there was space in the industry for something so much better.

Examples of the brilliant UI Art made by Miles

My first games job had me working on an unashamedly feminist game; one that shouted in pink and blue rage and joy, one that didn’t try to pretend games aren’t political or that it didn’t have a point to make. The Glass Ceiling Games does something many games don’t: it is loud and bold and makes absolutely zero attempts to hide its message. It’s a game that wants to say you’re welcome too. It gave me my first foothold into the games industry, and better yet, as a member of a team that cared about creating a space in it for people like me.

A Tweet Miles sent out when demoing the game for the first time

It was a deeply special opportunity to develop my UI skills while working on a project I was genuinely excited about. It’s a game I’ve been eagerly waiting to see completed, and it’s the kind of project we need more of. It has heart, and passion, and a kick-ass soundtrack, and it didn’t just allow me to have a seat in industry, it welcomed me into it with open arms.

I’m not on the team anymore, but I’m always going to treasure The Glass Ceiling Games and Story Juice for giving me a seat at the table and creating media that is proudly feminist.

If you like the sound of The Glass Ceiling Games and want to support our work at Story Juice, back and share our Kickstarter here!

Left: Miles and Story Juice founder Hannah at EGX; Right: Miles on a team video call; Below: Hannah and Miles on the UK Games Fund stand