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Viking Profiles

The Finance Corner of the BVG Equation

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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 Lydia to learn more about what it’s like to be a Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis at Big Viking Games.

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

Lydia: I have worked at Big Viking Games (BVG) for almost 2 years in the role of Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A).

Q: What does a Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis do at a games company?

Lydia: My role has multiple components. I lead the annual budgeting process, the monthly forecasting process, and I am responsible for monthly and weekly management reporting and analysis. In addition, I am the finance lead to support the business departments and it is my focus to gather and analyze data which would provide important insights to the company. These insights then give us a picture of our current and future financial health as well as to continuously maintain the budget and forecasting models. I also support the accounting month-end close process and work on any specially requested projects or ad-hoc analysis.

“The better and more accurately we can forecast, the more robust we will become as a business.”

 

Q: What does an average day look like for you?

Lydia: My days vary. During month end there are specific activities towards generating reports, adding commentary, and preparing them to distribute to stakeholders. After Accounting closes the books, I am responsible for summarizing the financial position for the last month, the current quarter, and the year to date.

Other times when managers or groups need information, I gather the financials of their special request or I may do a slide deck with analysis to support their project. I’m hoping in the future, I’ll be able to spend more time doing scenario modelling which means that instead of looking only at the current picture of one business case, we consider some sensitivities and see how that affects a financial model. This way, if one or two variables change, we will foresee how our broader financial picture will change as well. The advantage is that each business will understand how they’re contributing to the company as a whole, and BVG will know which mix of variables will optimize financial performance. The better and more accurately we can forecast, the more robust we will become as a business.

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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