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Career Advice

What it Means to be a Producer in Video Games

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Our series of Viking Profiles aims to shed some light on the some of the lesser-known roles in the gaming industry. Today we’re talking with Viking Robyn to learn more about the process behind game production and what, exactly, is produced by a Producer.

What does a Producer do

What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

Robyn: I was hired to be an Associate Producer (on both YoWorld Mobile and Tiny Tappers for Kongregate), and when one of those games wrapped I was transferred to the other full time. After shipping both, I was promoted to Producer.

What does a Producer do at a game company?

Robyn: One the favourite jokes of my developer friends is “a Producer doesn’t actually produce anything!”, which is hilarious to devs, but less funny to Producers. Producers are responsible for making the hard decisions to keep everything on track and make sure a game ships.

The role varies from company to company. I’ve had it be a catch all, where I, as the Producer, did everything except code or draw, including marketing material, community outreach, and social media. I have even been responsible for video editing!

Thankfully at BVG it is a very defined role: managing the team and working with the Product Manager to deliver a game. The Product Manager handles the creative decisions of what goes into the game, and the Producer decides how we execute on that vision, which involves a lot of planning and scheduling of sprints.

So, though a Producer might not produce anything, they do make sure that everyone else is producing on schedule!

“Producers are responsible for making the hard decisions to keep everything on track and make sure a game ships.”

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Want to work in Canada? We want to help!

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Move to Canada work at Big Viking Games

The Big Viking HR team has been receiving a lot of questions from talented professionals located outside of Canada who are interested in joining the horde. Big Viking Games is a proudly Canadian-based company, and a big part of that identity is being welcoming to talent from all over the world. In the hope of answering any questions you might have about immigrating, or what it’s like to live and work in Canada, we’ve put together the following site: Work in Canada

With more than a dozen positions currently open, and plans to hire for many more, we’re eager to hear from you!

The Life of a Game Designer

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There is a fierce demand for game designers in the gaming industry, but most people are unsure of what, exactly, a game design job entails. To help us better understand this essential role, we sat down with our very talented game designer, Stojan. In this Viking Profile, Stojan shares how he got into game design, what makes a well-designed game, and how aspiring game designers can break into the field.

Game Designer at Big Viking Games Stojan

Q: What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

Stojan: I was hired by BVG as a game designer in February of 2013, so I’ve been with the company for nearly four years now.

“Game Designer” can tend to be a misunderstood role. What does a game designer do?

Stojan: The short answer? A game designer is somebody that creates an experience that succeeds in maintaining the interest of a player for as long as possible, using various game design conventions.

The longer answer is that a Game Designer is the one who is responsible for a game’s core loop and builds out detailed specifications for features in the game. Depending on the type of game, this specification could include an overview of what the effect of certain features will be (short and long term), the proper math, the proper economy balance and impact, and the necessary high-level user experience flows.

The designer also has to verify any features before they are rolled out by ensuring that any new features are consistent with the game’s existing design. And, of course, a successful game designer needs to stay on top of the current trends in game design, particularly Free to Play trends. Read More

Five Years of Working at Big Viking Games

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In October of 2011, Big Viking Games was formed. From that start with only 6 employees, to the BVG of today, with over 100 Vikings, our team has come a long way. Fish World and YoWorld, two of our earliest games, are still running strong, and years of research into HTML5 have paid off with titles like Tiny Tappers and Galatron.

To celebrate 5 years of BVG, we sat down with Gary Stevenson, Senior Product Manager for YoWorld and Fish World, who has been with us since the company started. From a humble beginning as a customer support representative, to now being responsible for two of our highest grossing games, Gary shares how he has grown at BVG in this Viking Profile.

Gary Stevenson Big Viking Games

How long have you been working at Big Viking Games?

Gary: I was actually hired prior to BVG’s existence, back in October of 2010, when we were still known as Tall Tree Games. So I guess you could say I’ve worked for Big Viking Games for its entire existence.

Please tell us what life was like at BVG when you started working here. Read More

Life as a Full Stack Developer at Big Viking Games

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Big Viking Games is looking for a talented Full Stack Mobile Developer with a passion for gaming to join our Toronto studio. To get a better idea of what life is like for a Full Stack Developer at Big Viking Games, we asked Tom to tell us a bit about what inspired him to become a Viking and what keeps him motivated. 

Full Stack Developer Big Viking Games
What advice would you give to other developers who are wondering how to work in the gaming industry? 

First off: never stop learning! Go to school and get a good base in computers and programming. But don’t limit your studies to your classes. Read up on games and the gaming industry, try games you normally wouldn’t play—from the complex to the simple—and develop a critical eye for what makes each one a good or bad game.

Next, try your hand by making some simple games by following some tutorials, and then share all your work in an online portfolio on github (or a similar service). Finally, and this might seem counter-intuitive, but: embrace the mistakes you make! When you make an online profile of your work, share ALL of it—even the stuff that didn’t work out!

What made you decide to apply for a job at Big Viking Games?

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