So once again I’m looking for a new gig. I’m sad to announce that the awesome crew at Tarsier Studios were unable to offer me any more work after my contract ended last week. Yeah, it sucks. I feel sad about it, but at least I had five nice months there before my time at the studio was over. If you know anyone looking for an associate producer or a community manager, be sure to send them my CV, or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I figured I wanted to write something about myself here, just to get my thoughts out of my head, and to maybe give you a short presentation of who I am and what I’ve done. This blog usually focuses on my art hobby, so here’s something about what I actually do for a living! So here’s a few lines bout me, nothing planned or too fancy.
To start things off, I feel like I learned plenty, that my XP and skill tree is now bigger than ever, and hopefully that will show in my work from here on. At Tarsier I got a good insight in what it’s like to work closely with a big producer like Sony, and also I was part of developing secret stuff from scratch. It feels valuable to have been able to broaden my horizons over the past years, working for three different studios. Before I got paid to do games I went to game development University in Sweden, Skövde. I got a bachelor’s degree in game design, and during my time there I completed several game projects and worked as an QA intern at small game companies. My time at Uni was totally badass and I just got blown away by all the talented students and bubbling creativity!
My first (paid)job in the game industry was at at a start-up named Junebud, working my ass off to get things of the ground, learning everything the hard way. The thrill and excitement to take something from early idea to a launched game! We put together an MMO named MilMo, and I’m still very proud to have it on my CV, to have built a helping and friendly community for a free to play game (!). I have been employed at Sweden’s biggest publisher of games; Paradox, where I was part of a new in-house studio developing a Magicka MOBA: Wizard Wars. I worked with setting up the company-wide data telemetry system and lay the foundations for metrics guided game design over there. Working at Paradox in Stockholm was great, but eventually I decided to move back to Malmö in Sweden because I never truly felt Stockholm was the city for me. Hard choices, but sometimes you gotta follow your heart.
After my time at Paradox I got hired by Tarsier. Looking back at my time at Tarsier, I’m happy to have the experience of working with mega publishers and also develop something small and unique inside a mid-sized game company. During my time in the industry so far I’ve mainly worked with community management, setting up events in-game, hosting competitions, writing blog posts and helped players, but I’ve also worked with game data and as an associate producer. At my time at Junebud I concluded reports about revenue, retention and looked to the telemetry to find pesky bugs and ways to improve the mmo MilMo. Collecting data about your users and using it to help make business and design decisions bout the game was kinda new back then, and at Junebud we tried to embrace this opportunity. Since math is not my strongest skill I’ve used the insights hands on community management has given me, to combine it with data, to do game analytics.
I’ve noticed that I thrive and deliver the best results when I get to work with people or the user experience at heart. Sometimes as a bridge between users and developers, like in the case of MilMo, and sometimes I have been providing structure to a team of skilled developers, like I did at Tarsier. I like to keep track of tasks, do planning and make sure things get done on time.
I can honestly say that my morals and production rate goes downhill if you lock me up in a closet and only let me do number crushing. I’m a bit of an extrovert, and I really need a brain storm session now and then, or a casual meeting to help my ideas reach its full potential. I try to be very respectful and want to make sure all members of my team feel that they contribute, that their input is valuable, and I try to include everyone on their own terms. I’ve learned that the development team almost always has what it takes, but sometimes you just need to inspire them or gently push them in the right direction. I’ve more than once gone out of my way to arrange company parties or beer nights. I think that what keeps me in the games industry is the awesome people you meet and get to know. Together you craft things that capture other people’s imagination. Sharing your knowledge is a big passion for me, so when game development schools ask me to come and give a lecture about game design or community management I’m never late to book some train tickets and put together a power point presentation.
I’m not sure where I will go from here, what my next adventure will be, but I’m sure I will be OK. Today is also exactly four years since I moved to Malmö for my first job in the industry, at Junebud as an intern, doing my exam project about viral marketing and community management. When I look back I realize I’ve come a long way, and that I have been lucky enough for some key persons to believe in me and give me a chance to prove myself. I’m thankful for that.
Onward, to new adventures!