“it’s a work of passion, in the sense that every angle and every approach is appreciated but inspired | Pocket Gamer.biz
The gaming industry is home to a colorful cast of diverse individuals, from artists and coders to narrative designers and studio managers.
The skills needed to take on these roles, however, are complex and different, with each position requiring a master’s degree in its field, especially in these complex times that we all live by the minute.
To highlight some of the brilliant work going on behind the scenes as well as how employees around the world are adjusting to the remote working life, PocketGamer.biz is for the people who make up the gaming industry. in our Jobs in games: remote work series.
PocketGamer.biz: Can you tell us about your current role and what it involves?
Husband Burns: I’m director of development at N3twork for Tetris and Tetris Clash. My job is to facilitate the production of the project at each phase of development: design, art, engineering, media and QA.
For those who don’t play video games, I think it’s misunderstood as a load of time, rather than a creative or intellectual space.
I am also the liaison with our marketing partners and UA, while being responsible for keeping stakeholders and licensors up to date on our current status and following discussions. I like to think of him as a sort of air traffic controller, being on top of all inbound and outbound activity as well as being the hub of communication and scheduling and security management.
How did you first get into games and how did you evolve into this role?
I entered the games a bit from the side. I got my first glimpse of production in a live-action movie, but spent most of my career in a CG animated film. In 2014, I wanted to broaden my horizons, and also tap into my gamer side – I have always played games – and I started working on narrative projects, first on console, then on mobile.
I could go on and on comparing / contrasting movies and games, but my work really isn’t that different, just the focus and pace is a lot faster and data-driven in my current role.
What did you study (if any) to get your role? What courses would you recommend to aspiring professionals in the region?
I am the walking poster child of not having studied towards my career. I have a BS from UC Berkeley and my intention was to get into environmental protection with an emphasis on international development. I still think it would be a good cause.
The problem was, I was clearly not engaged in what I was studying, and it played out. I spent years working in restaurants trying out various things until I found production. My advice to aspiring careers is to go with your instincts and gain as much experience and exposure as possible to the type of work you might want to pursue.
Do you think there are any misconceptions, public or professional, surrounding your area of expertise?
I think the gaming industry is increasingly being legitimized by the general public. It is recognized that this is “real work” and that it has also become enviable among certain demographic groups. But like many industries, the audience is still somewhat limited. For those who don’t play video games, I think it’s misunderstood as a load of time, rather than a creative or intellectual space.
These misconceptions evolve rapidly, especially with the success of many game companies. The other big misconception is what it means to be a producer (which I also call myself, although my title is Director of Development) – that title itself is somewhat generic and open to interpretation. , so people often have a hard time understanding what I’m doing unless they’re in the same industry.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a job in this trade?
I want to stress that this is not a typical job – it is a job of passion, in the sense that every angle and approach is appreciated, but inspiration can come at any time. It’s the same with any entertainment industry – except we can treat it as a day job unlike other creative pursuits. But it’s very detailed, hard work with a lot of moving parts.
The profession is suitable for agile, resourceful and collaborative. It won’t be pleasant for anyone who really wants things to be set or run smoothly. And the art of work is not just getting the job done, but having fun and making it fun for others. It sounds strange but I think it’s true!
How has the shift from office to telecommuting impact your role, if any?
The only change to remote working, in my particular situation, is the lack of
ride and more convenience. I use the same equipment and attend the same meetings.
N3twork already had a strong online culture as we have multiple studios in different time zones.
We all agree that working together remotely is not the same as developing relationships through live interactions in the same space …
He almost leveled the playing field by dismantling the office culture, which varied by location, to promote the corporate culture instead. We all agree that working together remotely is not the same as developing relationships through live interactions in the same space, but we can and have built relationships through working remotely.
In fact, I feel like I am better able to focus and feel connected, which is important for my role as I can handle more of the obligations at home by being present. My workday lets me know when and how to do things.
What does your typical day look like when working remotely?
By choice, I currently live in a time zone three hours from the San Francisco office, where I was originally. I wake up around 5:30 am and stay in a meeting for the first three to four hours from six. If you knew me in a previous life, you would say there has been a change of body. I’m not a morning person! But I stay on California time and eat my lunch when it’s still morning where I am.
The interval between meetings is vigilant on Slack, the choice of N3twork as the communication platform. This has helped create the feeling that the team is able to work in sync, as opposed to the things we do asynchronously due to our local time. It’s also more efficient to troubleshoot or answer questions as they arise, to leave fewer details to come back to or, in the worst case, to get lost.
What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of teleworking?
In 2020, thanks to teleworking, I am getting closer to the work-life balance that I think I have sought. My story is a bit unique, in that coincidentally we invested in a rental property in Hawaii in January 2020. I did not anticipate that in April I would have moved with my family to protect the investment. so that we can not only keep an eye out, but also do a lot of known necessary repairs.
Five months later we’re still here and because I finish work when it’s still daylight we have a lot more time outside and I’m already home when my son is out of school (virtual ). I have never felt closer to my husband. I am able to see and understand what he does all day at work and communicate much more frequently throughout the day.
Since we mostly live in nature, it really, really helped us through this global crisis. We feel incredibly lucky and haven’t actually planned it, but we have fallen into an ideal situation.
The downside, of course, is the isolation. Sometimes I miss the conversations in the hallways or the chance to go to lunch with a colleague. I am a bit on an island, on an island. It’s not so easy to joke around, as spontaneous moments in between just can’t happen in focused meetings. But the pros far outweigh the cons, and those also seem less heavy because it’s the same fight for everyone.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you switched to telecommuting?
The best remote working practices that I have acquired during the year:
- Invest in a quality setup: additional monitor, headset (as audio is difficult for meetings without a headset), and a solid internet connection
- Have a comfortable workspace and furniture. I bought mine which was fine so far as I didn’t think it would become a more permanent setup. And I always wish I had splurged a bit more on the chair and ergonomic desk
- Create a regular recurring meeting to simply chat with the people you need to work with. This can be for a concentrated time until you develop understanding and rapport, or simply to maintain camaraderie. It may sound like “one more meeting,” but if you keep it casual and short if there’s nothing to say, the regularity creates rhythm and helps build relationships.
I really think the environment and our physique is what is hard on people.
Do you have any advice for those who are struggling to adapt to remote working?
I really think the environment and our physique is what is difficult for people. I spend way too much time in one place in my house, eat at my desk because I’m at home and I don’t go out. I think the coworkers I really want to emulate are the ones who have a lot of self-care discipline: a workout routine, to really leave the house for a walk or have blocks of time where they don’t check messages. on their mobile devices.
We work remotely, which is a new model, both mentally and physically. It can be taxing, and we must allow ourselves to treat going to work and being at work with the same breaks. Conversely, try to stick to a routine.
After the pandemic is over and if you had a choice, would you prefer to continue working remotely or return to work in an office?
If the binary choice were given, I would most certainly stay at bay, and luckily for me, N3twork has moved to a permanently distributed model. I appreciate the flexibility of travel (when we can travel again) and the reduced stress of the hustle and bustle of travel.
My days are not the same every day: some are much longer than others, so teleworking also allowed me a little more freedom to be able to do more with the rare off-peak days, which I couldn’t in an office. But what I would really like is a flexible remote work schedule, where maybe part of my day would be in an office, or better yet in a local cafe, for the irreplaceable currency of human interaction. live.