Charting Viking Territory: My Summer as a BVG CO-OP

By August 22, 2013Culture

Going into my final academic year, I’ve had a few co-op experiences to shine up my resume, and enough practical experience to provide me with a solid working foundation. I assumed I had hit my stride in that my final placement with Big Viking Games would be just like the others – creative personalities, fast-paced environment, and any other company stereotype you can pull from the average job posting.

What I didn’t know prior to starting at Big Viking Games was that I was walking into the Wonka Factory of co-op placements.

Reminiscent of Silicon Valley startups, Big Viking Games is a very employee-centric, people friendly work environment. It is clear they care about not only attracting new talent, but also retaining a maximum happiness for existing staff.

The studio located in downtown London aims to make your days as easy and enjoyable as possible. With catered meals (EVERYDAY!), a wide snack selection and full café drink options, staff can buckle down as if they are working from the comfort of their own home. When I’m at work, I want for nothing.

It can’t all be fun and games though, there is work to be done. Working around such passion and talented people certainly taught me a lot, but there were obstacles I had to overcome along the way.

Technically speaking, JavaScript has proven itself to be a dangerous language to work with, and using it to write performant game code has been daunting. Thankfully, strict code standards and merciless code reviews forced me to be a better programer and accelerate my learning.

Working at Big Viking Games supplemented my previous technical knowledge and allowed me to put it to the test in the real world. Most importantly, I was treated like a full-time employee, not a student. I was working on projects with great depth and importance.

Because of this, I was really able to round out my skills and gain a strong grasp of the game development industry. I was involved in different processes, including game design, and was even given the chance to do some sound work and get my voice into a game.

If given the chance, I would definitely co-op at Big Viking again. I am completely in my element when I am out in the real world, knowing I’m contributing to a project that others will see and enjoy.

To any future co-ops reading this, all I have to say is: get involved in the company you work for. There are company events to attend which allow you to become better acquainted with your co-workers. Take advantage of those. And of course, always work hard!