Last month Elite Game Developers hosted a live webinar between Sophie Vo, Game Lead @ Voodoo, and Founder and CEO of Elite Game Developers, Joakim Achrén. The talk was about working from home for gaming. By choice or COVID-19 circumstances, almost every studio have had to deal with remote work right now. The talk is split into 3 parts, and dives into different aspects of it.
Part 1 is led of Joakim as he shares interesting insight about the state of remote work over all. He discusses the main points from the famous Remote Work Report by Fyi, which also sheds some light on the very important difference between COVID-19 Remote vs normal remote work. The difference on the mental state, and work choices are huge, and one must be aware of them. He then shares collection of tips and insight from various popular companies that work remotely. His last point focuses on the state of Remote Work focused startups, and the different areas that are being served, and still need serving.
Part 2 is more focused on the game industry, and is the promising part for us. Sophie Vo talks about her work over 6 months recruiting and building a new team in Berlin. By the time the team building was done, it was March of this year, and just as she wanted to get the team started, lockdown happened, and everything changed completely.
Instead of the normal plan of onboarding the team, exploring directions, R&D, Q1 Goal, and the social bonding off site exercise, Sophie had to cancel all and stick to onboarding the team and exploring the studio directions. Sophie had originally intended to experiment with one day a week remote work once the team was acquainted and ready. The events of COVID-19 forced it to be full-time remote, and before they could even get started.
Instead of trying to pressure for normal work however, Sophie likes to adapt the Play & Fun Exploration method. Different kind of activities to break the barriers, get the team to know each other in humor way, and then divide the team into smaller ones and do kind of small game race for the month of April. The results were actually interesting and promising, they ended pushing two of the games to test market. The practice also allowed them to learn about the studio capabilities and its limits, and build the vision for the studio.
And while right now, some employees are gradually starting to go back to office, with social-distancing in place. The experience was very fruitful that Sophie now is considering 2-3 days / week remote option. This is exactly the kind of outcome we’re looking for and expecting to hear more about. Adapting to remote work is not easy ofcourse, and will take some effort. But once it’s there, the team can start to reap the benefits of it, and it can pay back times over.
Part 3 is a live Q&A that brings in more useful insight and stories to benefit from if you want to improve your remote work experience. To get the full benefit of the talk, watch the entire video below. Also I suggest you subscribe to their channel, as it shares a lot of useful content for game studios in general.