Hi everyone, when I first started writing these blog posts I wanted to break up all the moodily-staring-into-the-distance-wondering ‘yes, but what is game design?’ posts with a variety of other topics which may be of interest. One of those was to look at the various roles that make up a videogames company, something we started with this post on game coders and this quick overview of the other roles and then… promptly forgot about.
Well Played Games has expanded significantly since we began, so I’m pleased to say that over 2019 we’ll be running guest posts on production, QA, analytics, and art, with each giving an idea of what the role entails. But before all those, let’s take a look at what it takes to help run a games studio, with this look at the Studio Support role from Julia.
So this week marks my second month at Well Played Games as studio support. I thought it may be interesting for me to share a bit about what the roles involves (so far.) So let’s start with –
I have been lucky enough to start working at the studio on the build up to the Christmas holidays which has meant organising fun festive events such as the Christmas meal outing in Leamington Spa, with obligatory ‘forced fun’ quiz for staff including a competitive four round computer games quiz. But it’s not like we are taking it very seriously or anything? Ahem.
The team made some unique looking baubles last week for our Christmas tree. As Christmas is just not Christmas without a Vindicare Assassin hanging from your tree.
The team have been totally focused during 2018 on making our games fun, fun, fun and ready for release later in 2019. So we have neglected that our studio also needs to be fun, fun, fun. So I have been busy making the studio a more creative environment to work in. I made a start by getting artwork on the walls that our co-founders choose when we started out. Getting every employee at Well Played Games to select a piece of art for the studio helps exhibit our varied personalities, interests and passions.
As every failed startup knows keeping your cash flow in good health is paramount to success. 1 in every 10 start up businesses fail in their first year of business. So as studio support I will be monitoring a lot of the finances. This will range from becoming proficient in our bookkeeping system, paying bills, making sure payroll is on time and monitoring cash flow.
Our team are very busy and for staff to keep this level of productivity and creativity up they need sustenance. This often involves caffeine and cake! Every week our team go through – 1kg of coffee beans, 50 tea bags, 6 litres of milk and 36 cans of soft drinks.
Making sure our studio is safe for all our staff is a key area for studio support, the boring health and safety stuff that is, in fact, very necessary – as our staff are Well Played Games so we must look after them! This can be anything from making sure the lights work when people leave the office on dark winter evenings to PAT testing all of our electrical equipment.
Our staff can work flat out for months at a time, with no halt on the pace in which work must be completed. So to make sure we do not all burn out, we try to keep our staff happy and productive.
There a few ways we try do to this:
- We do lunchtime fun – we paint miniatures, play games, and eat yummy food.
- We do fun stuff together outside of work – recently some of us went on a beer focused Friday in Birmingham, and others had a shopping trip out in London.
- We plan future fun – ideas right now are go-karting, a coffee bean factory tour and a war / board game weekend.
- Arnold the office dog is another way to keep our staff happy and relaxed.
Thanks, Julia, for the insight into one of the less spoken about but still absolutely essential roles that goes into keeping a videogames studio running!