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How to build the next Supercell

I have a secret to build the next Supercell. Really, I have it! Have I ever built a company like Supercell? Of course not, but I mean: we live in the age of suggestions, advices, best practices, influence, likes, follows… So why shouldn’t I write some wise article about how to do things, right?

As any secret, this one is very easy to understand too: stop treating people like children. Easy, right? Let’s see three common ways in which you are treating your people like babies, including before they join your company.

Technical tests and assessments

In some case those are necessary, especially for junior talent or for talent that is switching radically the sector. For instance, passing from free-to-play to AAA. Anyway, if you are hiring a person in his forties please: give me a break!

Our curriculum, carreer and our ex colleagues speak from themselves. We have nothing to demonstrate anymore and we are completely capable of doing the job at a technical level. Do I really need to show you how I structure an economy in a spreadsheet? Do i really need to demonstrate my presentation skills? Do you want me to create a flow and a wireframe? Or worst, a single GDD bible? Please, I do this since probably before you joined that company. Again: give me a break!

Do this instead:

  • Interview for cultural fit
  • Review in detail past experiences
  • Ask for referrals of ex colleagues and employers

When I see a test proposal I just think: “ok, you are not capable of evaluating my kind of profile. Next.”

Show me the next things to do with no context

I remember when I was a little dude asking to my father: “Why should I do that?”.

“Because I say so”, was his answer.

35 years later, history repeats. And I am very tired of that. You give a task and a deadline, with no perspective. I will do that for you the best I can. I swear. But I will never understand anything like this. Why is this important for the project? And how will we demonstrate that in fact it was? When we shoud have some learning? What about the past iteration? How did it go?

Maybe you are too busy to explain well the vision behind any choice. That means that you are not doing the job you should, to me. Because if you are my manager, you should be focused on manage my team and myself. Not the game. Not the code. Not the art.

Put your hands on my work

This is tipically something that you do to game designers. And tipically something that occurs in small-mid sized companies. We spent weeks designing something, researching, getting the problem right, sync with all the people involved. And then you decide to change everything because you have your own idea in mind. You are the founder or the leader of the project and you have the last word.

I could be wrong and you right, of course. Still, you are stealing my opportunity to learn more about the audience and the kind of product we are doing together. I just feel that my solution will never be tested on the field. Your solution maybe can be successful. And probably you will be happy and still will recognize my work. But you stole my opportunity of seeing a design I made going out there.

Stop play with my toys, those are mine!

Published inGame DesignPersonal

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