Meet the Members: David Holyoake

This month’s "Meet the Member" features indie games developer, snooker player, and three ball juggler David, who has a very sweet tooth.

Tell us a little about yourself and why you come to Unicorn Studios?

Hi, I'm David and I am finally realising my dream of being an indie games developer.

For most of my life I worked in engineering, in a metal work/machine operating environment This didn't bother me too much as I just got on with it, but it just wasn't what I wanted to do. Since leaving school I have taken many computer courses in various languages and areas to try and get into I.T. But never actually worked in this area.

Since the late 70s (yep, I am that old!) I have been tinkering with writing games and apps with whatever unique and amazing ideas my inquisitive and creative little mind can conjure up and some of these (unique!) creations made it out in the real world.

In 2018, my wife and I sold our South London home for a better life in Frinton-on-Sea and I can now concentrate my global domination take ov...errm, sorry, concentrate all my energy on my little game dev. business full time.

As much as I love working from home, it does have its distractions. Such as the kitchen being right next to my office. I have a sweet tooth. So coming to Unicorn Studios is a great mental break from the week where I can feel, and sometimes hear :-) the creative and talented energy buzzing around from the other members to carry me through the day.

I also have interest/hobbies in psychology and the mind, magic (my dad was in the Magic Circle), fitness, snooker, art and the making of films.

What was your first job?

My first job was in a metal work factory where I went to Wandsworth college one day a week to study Fabrication and Sheet Metal Work. This apprenticeship was for 4 years. I was in the top area of the class so I used to (sometimes!) have the day off and not go to college.

By the time the report got back to my employer a week later I just said I had a cold or something. My grades didn't suffer as I used to help others with their technical drawing. I used the days off to tinker on the computer and learn assembly language. Or maybe play games a little!

Apart from the factory making bespoke metal parts for other companies, there main products were anodised giftware that sold in Harrods.

What work accomplishment are you most proud of?

My most proud work accomplishment was when I created a fitness app for Android mobile. This took me three years whilst holding down a full time job. The app had around 150 3D animations. I look back on this app and I am really proud of what I achieved within my circumstances.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?


I need very little sleep and feel a lot better on around six hours of sleep. I usually go to bed around 12am and get up around 7am. Sometimes, I set the alarm for 6:30, get up and go for a 40 min walk around the block and see the sun rise over the sea :-) , get back and get a couple of hours work in by 10am.

Most of the time I wake up naturally (with no alarm) early, so this is my healthy sleeping hours that work for me. If I force myself to get eight hours, I have a bad day.

When working at home what is your guilty pleasure?

I have a sweet tooth so anything like biscuits, sweets, fudge (ooooh fudge, yummy) that has already been opened, will disintegrate within a nano second. They are hard to come by though, as I try not to have them in the house.

Oh, and my lovely wife make a few cakes now and again, so, yep, cake mixture and cake tasting is the order of the day as well.

What’s one of your favourite memories this year?

One of my favourite memories from last year was a boat trip (with a meal) on a little boat up the river Orwell that I got for my wife's Birthday. It was a little chilly in July but just relaxing with my wife and a lovely meal and drink for a few hours was really enjoyable. 

What’s something you’re planning on doing in the next year that you’ve never done before?

It will be very tight as I am a few months behind on my current game but I was intending to demo a game at EGX Excel London. One year it will happen. One Year. :-)  

What I will probably end up doing though that I have not done before is indoor wall climbing.

What is your hidden talent?

It used to be that I could do Tweeky (the robot) from 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' but It isn't that impressive. So don't ask! I can however juggle three balls and I could juggle three clubs a few years ago.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

To be able to do amazing slight of hand magic (coins and cards) confidently and wow my audience. Oh, and to be able to pot snooker balls regularly.

What three people would be your fantasy coworkers at Unicorn studios? And why?

Peter Molyneux - a game developer who I admire and who I can pitch my ultimate game idea to and wow him.

Stan Lee - he was just infectious with his passion for his Marvel creations and I would love to have him to talk to.

Robert Green - American author on strategy, power and psychology I have an interesting theory to pose to him and I would find him so interesting to talk to.

Would you rather be a tiny unicorn or a giant hamster?

A tiny unicorn as a giant hamster is maybe possible! if a hamster ate and ate and ate until he was massive, he would be a giant. OK, maybe not!. However, a tiny unicorn is magical. And I just love having magic in my life. Plus, my wife loves Unicorns :-)

Benefits of joining Unicorn Studios


Work-life balance

Cost effective


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