Neil McFarland | UsTwo | Playing to The End

Neil McFarland | UsTwo | Playing to the end | RISING MINDS | Free talks exploring the intersection of technology, business and culture.

Neil McFarland is director of games at London design studio ustwo ltd, industry leaders in user experience and interaction design, where he has been helping the studio produce its own successful IP since 2009. 

Neil has helped shape ustwo's app store launches, ranging from a children's book, an experimental multi-media literature platform to the massively popular casual game Whale Trail, which is he currently shaping into a children's television property.

A core gamer, illustrator and coach livery enthusiast, Neil wants to make games that people play all the way through and be the first cartoonist on Mars. You can be disappointed by his ridiculously infrequent tweets @parishair and experience the same underwhelming feeling of irregularity at

The Rising Interview 

Where are you right now?
ustwo™ HQ, The Tea Building, Shoreditch.

Where do you go when you need inspiration? 
If I knew that I’d go there more often. I try and surprise myself by performing distracting non-inspirational tasks and hope it will strike like lightning out of the . (Somewhat enigmatically, Neil left the end of this answer. Inspiration ain't free. Ed.)

Idleness. A gift or curse? 
In my experience it’s both. Somehow it leads onto necessity (of stopping being bored) being the mother of invention…

To Bitcoin, or not to Bitcoin? 
Just wish I had bought in earlier but when I heard about them they were inextricably linked to the Silk Road and dark internet. Now you can probably buy them at Tesco.

Liberal Democracy or Democratic Liberalism? 
The second one.

Carpe Diem or nosce te ipsum (know thyself)?
Well I often fail to Carpe Diem and generally also at nosce te ipsum, where does that leave me?

Last app opened? 
Our new game Monument Valley, before that the Nickelodeon app.

Last book read?
Currently dipping into a Zelda Walkthrough but the last ‘real’ book I read was Odd Couples: Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom, some remarkable facts in there.

Favourite Album?
If you’re forcing me to make the impossible choice then Music has the right to Children by Boards of Cananda.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Mind the gap.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever bestowed?
You’d have to ask someone else for that one.

If you could be anywhere, where would it be? 
Independently travelling across the universe at multiple light speed.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
No being dead.