For Ali Tocher, growing up in New Zealand, working in games was not an immediate calling but he used to sneak into his computer obsessed grandfather’s office to play iconic 90s games, Star Control II and LHX Attack Chopper. An interest for audio, founded in his teens, didn't find an outlet in the music industry. However, thanks to seeing and hearing people who thought like him on YouTube and podcasts, he had the revelation that people could make a career out of designing the audio for the games that he loved and he already had the necessary skills, where the audio wasn’t just music based but flowed around time and shapes.
Ali found working on Surgeon Simulator 2 for the BAFTA winning Bossa Studios, really gratifying as he was able to shape the audio of the game from its conception, without limitations. Serendipitously, during this period of working on a digital hospital space, he also won an artistic residency to take part in a real medical project to improve the aural experience of patients in a Parisian ICU, with the goal of reducing anxiety, which meant designing a whole new audio space for a hospital environment. And he loves that he’s able to create entertainment that can help people.
As he is self-taught, Ali is excited to use the BAFTA Breakthrough honour to learn from sound designers and people in the industry, not only how to make great audio but how to sustainably grow his business, hoping to emulate the work of and get advice from BAFTA award winning audio professional, Adele Cutting.