Gareth Falkingham, Developer in Belmont, New South Wales, Australia
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Gareth Falkingham

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Game Developer

Belmont, New South Wales, Australia
Toptal Member Since
February 24, 2020

Gareth has been making games professionally for a decade, with a core focus on building robust systems and maintainable architectures for Unity3D C# game titles. He has a strong understanding of C++, which has helped when working with native platform code and building plugins for Unity projects. Some of Gareth's notable work experiences include working on Disney projects such as Club Penguin and Rival Stars: Horse Racing, a successful mobile title.


Lua, Games, Python 3, Google Sheets, Google Sheets API, Git...
Curious Creators Co.
Unity, Unity3D, Photon Unity Networking (PUN), Game Development, Oculus...
Management, Unity3D, Unity, C#, Python 3, iOS, Android, Leadership, Plastic SCM...




Preferred Environment

JetBrains Rider, Mobile Game Development, Mobile, Game Development, Git, C#, Unity, Lua

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on is Rival Stars: Horse Racing, a highly successful mobile multi-platform (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android) project.

Work Experience

Senior Engineer

2021 - PRESENT
  • Developed the core economy and progression systems (gacha, offers, missions, and battle pass) to improve monetization and engagement metrics.
  • Analyzed the data of released features to determine their value and success for future products and decide whether to keep or cut them.
  • Developed analytics collection tools to collate and present comparative analytics, comparing our titles to the top platform titles to see if our growth is better, worse, or equal.
Technologies: Lua, Games, Python 3, Google Sheets, Google Sheets API, Git, cURL Command Line Tool, Game Development, Unity3D, 3D, Game Design, Mobile Game Design, Unity Game Assets, Mobile Payments, TestFlight

Unity3D Developer

2022 - 2023
Curious Creators Co.
  • Assisted the team in learning the intricacies of the Unity engine.
  • Built a world-space mirror for VR so that players could see their avatars.
  • Wrote an optimization guide and implemented optimizations, leading to a 50% performance increase and allowing the team to continue to develop optimally.
Technologies: Unity, Unity3D, Photon Unity Networking (PUN), Game Development, Oculus, Unity3D Native Plugin Interface, Virtual Reality (VR)

Technical Manager

2020 - 2021
  • Managed six members of the technical team from diverse backgrounds, seniority, projects, and skillsets.
  • Designed and presented training materials for junior game programmers.
  • Assisted in the interview process, candidate screening, technical screening, and onboarding of new staff.
  • Managed the performance management for an underperforming member of the staff, leading to an improvement in engagement and performance.
  • Supported under-represented groups and provided them with the tools to elevate issues and see their progress.
  • Participated in a small task force working to improve agile processes across the studio.
Technologies: Management, Unity3D, Unity, C#, Python 3, iOS, Android, Leadership, Plastic SCM, Git, Subversion (SVN), Game Development, Mobile Game Development, Agile, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Photon Unity Networking (PUN), Game Design, Mobile Game Design, Unity Game Assets, Mobile Payments, TestFlight

Senior Game Programmer

2017 - 2020
  • Led a team of eight programmers to release Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge on Xbox One, PS4, and Switch, and continued to lead the team for its release on Android and iOS as Rival Stars: Horse Racing, with >100,000 DAU.
  • Wrote a native voice chat plugin for PS4 that supported eight-player star topology peer-to-peer multiplayer. This is available on the Playstation developer forums and is being used by other Unity developers.
  • Built a tutorial system for Dungeon Inc that is flexible and now exists in four projects. It was presented at the New Zealand Game Developers Conference on Tutorial Systems.
  • Built a limited-time offer system for Rival Stars: Horse Racing that allows game designers to create custom offers on the fly and deliver them via server payloads.
  • Designed a robust architecture for Rival Stars: Horse Racing in order to support offline builds for consoles and server-authoritative builds for mobile devices.
  • Developed an optimized logging system that will produce zero allocations in release builds and allows different log levels per category, which currently exists in multiple projects.
  • Developed a prototype augmented reality mode for Rival Stars: Horse Racing that is now a fully-featured part of the released game, increasing engagement across our social channels.
Technologies: Unity Networking & LAN, JetBrains Rider, Mobile Game Development, SQLAlchemy, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Python 3, C++11, iOS, Android, C#, Agile, Game Development, Subversion (SVN), Git, Xbox, PS4, Mobile, Objective-C, C++, Unity, Leadership, Unity3D, Photon Unity Networking (PUN), 3D, Game Design, Mobile Game Design, Unity Game Assets, Mobile Payments, TestFlight

Unity Client Developer

2016 - 2017
Goodgame Studios
  • Refactored the tutorial system in collaboration with the original developer to ensure its continued flexibility.
  • Worked closely with VFX and SFX teams to develop a tool that allows them to add their effects quickly and easily. Both VFX and SFX teams used the same system.
  • Optimized the skill system code by refactoring the third-party code for the Node-based editor to reduce frame delays.
Technologies: Mobile Game Development, iOS, Android, Agile, Game Development, Mercurial, Mobile, C#, Unity, Unity3D, 3D, Game Design, Mobile Game Design, Unity Game Assets, Mobile Payments, TestFlight

Game Programmer

2011 - 2016
  • Built a Lua-based tutorial system for Primal Rivals in C++, allowing tutorial changes to be delivered to the client via content download. This allowed us to improve our new user funnel rate by 10% without deploying a new binary.
  • Developed a C# TCP server for real-time asynchronous gameplay in Primal Rivals and deployed it to AWS.
  • Developed a Club Penguin minigame for Disney in C++ that had good responses from user testing and the Club Penguin community.
  • Optimized the scripting in The Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing to completely remove noticeable frame drops due to garbage collection.
Technologies: C++98, ActionScript 3, Perforce, Mobile, Amazon Web Services (AWS), C++11, iOS, Android, C#, Agile, Game Development, Flash ActionScript, Mobile Game Development, Git, Objective-C, C++, Unity, Unity3D, 3D, Game Design, Mobile Game Design, Unity Game Assets, Mobile Payments, TestFlight

Murder Party
A Roblox hidden role video game. I developed the core progression and monetization features, analyzed the success (or failure) of released features, supported live operations, and performed optimizations to improve the performance on lower-end devices.

Rival Stars: Horse Racing/Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge
A multiplatform Horse Racing video game, built in C# using the Unity game engine. The console (XboxOne, PS4, Nintendo Switch) versions are played offline and contain eight-player multiplayer, voice chat, user content creation/sharing. The mobile versions are server-authoritative, but share core gameplay, metagame structure, and assets with the console versions.

I was the technical lead on this project and was responsible for architecting the multiplatform nature of the codebase. I specifically worked on native console code for PS4/XboxOne, such as voice chat, multiplayer, and user management. For the mobile version, I worked on assorted features, from prototyping the AR mode now available in the game and building the limited time offer and tutorial systems.

Dungeon Inc.
A mobile (iOS/Android) idle 'clicker' game, with a light-hearted tone. I came on close to the end of this project and worked on core systems required to get it across the line: Cloud Saving, Tutorials, Analytics. A lot of the technologies I built for Dungeon Inc, in particular the tutorial system, have evolved and been introduced into other projects at PikPok. Dungeon Inc was written in C# using the Unity game engine.

Heroes Realm
Heroes Realm was a mobile free to play Hero collection game developed by Good Game Studios. I worked closely with other disciplines to create tools to allow them to work more efficiently. Specifically, I created a generic system for handling VFX and SFX events within the ultimate skill system. I also worked closely with other developers to refactor core systems, such as the tutorial system, to make it more maintainable. Unfortunately, this project was canceled before a global launch. Heroes Realm was built in C# using the Unity game engine

Primal Rivals
Primal Rivals was an ambitious combination of a real-time asynchronous multiplayer territory grab, a hero collection game, and a tower defense game. I worked on a team of 3 developers to produce Primal Rivals using C++ and the Ogre3D rendering engine. We built a lot of the technology from scratch and focused on robust and reusable systems design. The title was soft-launched but was iced shortly after. My personal focus for Primal Rivals was the tutorial systems and the multiplayer aspects of the gameplay, which involved developing the server architecture in Amazon Web Services. The server was written in standalone C#. The client was written using initially C++98, but we added C++11 support at a later date.

Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing
The Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing was a Unity game developed at CerebralFIx for Disney. It was released in advance of the movie as a promotional piece. The gameplay is similar to the classic game Frogger, where you move the character (in this case, Arlo, the dinosaur) progressively upwards, avoiding obstacles as you go. I worked on numerous gameplay and UI systems and helped optimize the game to a releasable standard by identifying memory leaks that were causing garbage collection spikes.

Pizzatron Mini-game for Club Penguin
A C++ game was written for the iOS-exclusive version of Club Penguin. Pizzatron 3000 is a port of a game with the same name from the website version of Club Penguin. I built the entire game using the C++ minigame framework that Disney was using for the Club Penguin minigames. We really found value in having children user test the game and seeing their reactions to the special characters showing up was a highlight.
2008 - 2010

Bachelor's Degree in Software and Information Technology

Lincoln University - Christchurch, New Zealand


SQLAlchemy, Google Sheets API


Git, Subversion (SVN), JetBrains Rider, Mercurial, TestFlight, Perforce, Google Sheets, cURL Command Line Tool


Unity, Unity3D, Photon Unity Networking (PUN)


Agile, Management, Mobile Game Design


Lua, C#, C++, C++98, C++11, Python 3, ActionScript 3, Flash ActionScript, Objective-C, Curl Language


Xbox, Android, iOS, Oculus, Mobile, Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Game Development, Mobile Game Development, Games, Unity Game Assets, PS4, Leadership, 3D, Game Design, Unity3D Native Plugin Interface, Mobile Payments, Unity Networking & LAN, Plastic SCM, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR)

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