#MeetIronGalaxy – Matt Feingold

Published by
Keenan Moralicz
April 18, 2024
Matt Feingold Blog Header

At Iron Galaxy Studios, it’s common for an engineer to flex their brains on multiple projects a year. Whether it’s our original titles, co-development projects, or supporting our partners, our engineers have the chance to work on many games. Matt Feingold is a teammate who has been a fine (scratch that) a golden contributor in our engineering department. Let’s learn more about the world of engineering in games from his life and career.


Iron Galaxy: Greetings. What’s your name and what’s your job here at IG?

Matt Feingold: My name is Matt Feingold. I’m a programmer in Iron Galaxy’s Chicago studio. I’ve mainly worked on gameplay, systems, and platform support for a number of games, including both ports and co-development projects.

Matt staring off into the distance with the sun behind him

IG: In a timely fashion, it looks like you’re about to eclipse the sun. What’s the best thing about working at a video game development company?

MF: The best thing about working at a video game development company is the people and culture. Being part of a workplace with others that share my passion for video games and other adjacent interests means I have a space that fosters collaboration and community where we all work towards bettering our craft.


IG: Speaking of adjacent interests, what are three anime you’d recommend to another co-worker that would help them better understand you as a person?

MF: Some of the most important anime for me are the ones I started watching as a kid that are still around today. I usually resonate the most with shows that have themes of adventure, self-improvement, friendship, and following your dreams. It’s hard to pick just three, but the first two slots definitely have to go to One Piece and Dragon Ball Z. For number three, I’ll mix it up with a more recent stand out and give it to Spy x Family. It’s such a fun, cute, feel-good show with great art and a little something for everyone.


IG: It’s a safe bet that plenty of co-workers have already watched those three. Solid picks. What’s your favorite perk associated with being a programmer at IG?

MF: Iron Galaxy works with developers from all over, lending our skills to many exciting projects. Having the opportunity to work with such a large variety of esteemed partners is an amazing opportunity for learning, professional growth, and networking with tons of amazing people.


IG: Jumping between different games and partners must also be challenging. What is the most rewarding aspect of creating things that other people experience?

MF: I’ve loved video games all my life. I know how special the experiences that games create can be. There have been games that have brought me closer with friends, taught me things, acted as a retreat from life’s hardships, or are just plain fun. Knowing that I’m able to help provide other people with those same kinds of experiences that I’ve had is the most rewarding part of working in video games.


IG: Everyone at IG can echo that sentiment. Let’s chat about a specific hardware. What VR games would you recommend to beginner, skilled, and expert users?

MF: One of the biggest things to consider when recommending VR games is the potential for motion sickness. I think the best beginner VR game is Beat Saber. It’s fun, pretty, and has scalable challenge without the need for virtual movement that can cause motion sickness. For skilled users, I’d suggest Half Life: Alyx. It’s still the best looking and most immersive VR game out there. The virtual movement is slow, with an option to teleport, which should help reduce motion sickness and ease users into virtual movement. Expert users should check out Blade and Sorcery. It’s a fun sandbox for fantasy melee and magic combat. The physics, climbing, and movement can be hard for VR motion sickness, but expert users will find a fun playground with mod support for things like light sabers.


IG: Much thanks for the recommendations! Let’s step away from hardware and chat video game music. Which video game has the best jazz performance(s)?

MF: One of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time is Persona 5. The jazz fusion tracks ooze personality and complement the art and style of the game perfectly. The music from Atlus’ games is always great, but Persona 5 makes it into my regular rotation on Spotify.


IG: We never saw that coming. What indie game deserves the utmost praise?

MF: I’m a big fan of survival games, and the one that stands out as the most memorable to me is Subnautica. The way the alien ocean depths feel dangerous, scary, and mysterious really amps up the emotional impact of completing normal survival game mechanics like constructing bases, crafting gear and vehicles, and learning about the world. My only wish for the game is a multiplayer component, but going through the game alone might make it more intense as well.


IG: What’s something every person must do once in their life?

MF: Travel somewhere different from what you’re used to. Experiencing different cultures is great for personal growth and helps build empathy and understanding for people around the world.


IG: +1. What’s something you have always wanted to create?

MF: For a while now, I’ve wanted to make something new and innovative in the VR space. My first project in the industry was a VR game. It was unfortunately cancelled just before release. There’s so much untapped potential for new ideas and amazing experiences in VR, and I’m always paying attention to what’s going on in that area.


IG: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

MF: This is tough, but I would say sushi if I don’t have to make it myself every time. If I didn’t have to worry about nutrition, pizza would be a good option too.


IG: Both great choices for variety. What’s one place that you hope to see one day?

MF: I’ve been trying to go to Japan for most of my life and have yet to make it happen. The long flight scares me a bit, but I need to make it happen ASAP!


IG: A bucket list item for many western based game devs surely! What is one genre of games that you think is underrated?

MF: I love tower defense games when they have an interesting spin. I think there’s a lot of untapped potential for that genre.


IG: So, you’re saying we should keep our eyes peeled for a VR, tower defense game. Got it. What was the last concert you got to see?

MF: I went to see NieR: Orchestra Concert 12024 [ the end of data ] in February and it was a great time. NieR has one of my favorite video game soundtracks, and going out to celebrate great game music is always special.

An image of the stage and band at the NieR: Orchestra Concert

IG: YoRHa salutes you. What game have you spent the most time playing?

MF: I don’t play anymore or know my hours, but I would be surprised if it wasn’t World of Warcraft. I played off and on for most of my teens and into my twenties.


IG: We know the game. How about the movie? Which movie have you seen more times than you can count?

MF: I haven’t counted but it has to be Lord of the Rings. I don’t tend to rewatch movies or shows too often, but Lord of the Rings is always such a good nostalgic movie series to go back to. I attribute some of my love of nature, hiking, and mountains to growing up with those films. Bonus picture of me on a hike in a recent Arizona trip.

An image of Matt in Arizona with greenery, sand, and mountains behind him

IG: It’s an interesting human reaction when games, movies, and media inspire us to explore outside. What’s a superpower that you’d like to have?

MF: When I was a kid watching Dragon Ball Z I always wished I had superpowers from that universe. If I had to choose one superpower now it would probably be teleportation. Being able to get anywhere in the world without having to actually travel would be incredible.


IG: Most definitely. That would eliminate that long flight experience to Japan too! You rub a lamp, a genie informs you can have one wish, no holds barred. What do you wish for?

MF: Maybe not an original answer, but I’d probably wish for immortality. There’s just too much to experience in life and too many things to learn.


IG: A timeless answer for a reason. Given a time machine, which historical period would you like to experience first-hand?

MF: Assuming I could do it safely, I’d want to witness the origins of various stories from across different religions.


IG: What fictional universe would you choose over our own? What if there was no coming back?

MF: A lot of the fictional universes I enjoy as entertainment would probably be uncomfortable to live in, in reality. Although it’s not my favorite fictional universe, I think the most fun and comfortable one would be Harry Potter. Still having a normal reality like our world, while also having a secret magic society, would be fun assuming I could use magic. I’d want to be able to come back though so I didn’t have to leave all my family and friends behind.


It's been a pleasure getting to know you and learning about your interests, Matt. Thank you for outlining a day in the life of a programmer at Iron Galaxy. Hopefully, the variety of projects and partners you’ve gotten to work on at IG have been rewarding. We appreciate the numerous game recommendations too! We’re covered on multiple platforms. We look forward to what else the future has in store for your efforts with the engineering department.


Interested in working alongside Matt? We have several engineering opportunities available at the mid, lead and senior level. Visit our Careers page to view each of our openings.