People at Gameforge - Sophie / Team Lead Live Producer

Introduce yourself: What do you do at Gameforge and how long have you been part of the Gameforge team?

My name is Sophie, and I’ve recently re-joined Gameforge as Team Lead Live Producing. Basically, the team and I, we take care of our existing games portfolio, making sure any updates or events happen on time, within budget and scope, and meet our quality expectations.

Did you move to Karlsruhe for this job? How was the move and the start?

It’s honestly been the easiest but at the same time also most difficult choice to come back to Karlsruhe. The city has a lot to offer and many friends of mine still live here. But then, beautiful Scotland was an amazing place to be too. However, in the end, Karlsruhe has much nicer summers with lots of sunshine, which I’ve missed over the years. The move itself had its ups and downs, but I’m starting to settle in properly. Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive, and I’m looking forward to going outside again once the pandemic is over.

Describe your typical working day.

Typical day at work, umm… you kind of start the day thinking you’ve got the perfect plan, and then you find out everything is changing, and you need to shift your focus. So the main thing I learned, personally, is to stay flexible. Be a good firefighter, optimise processes, have a virtual lunch break with the team, keep your calm.

So many things happen day to day that it’s hard to define what a ‘typical’ day is. In the end, it’s all about prioritising work correctly, finding creative solutions, and not being afraid of change. We’re a service department, and apart from working on the longer-term vision and goals, I quite enjoy jumping into a project for hands-on support too. It’s always give-and-take, and I’m proud to be part of the amazing team surrounding me.

What are your most common tasks at work?

Facilitate communication. The company and external partners consist of so many individuals from different cultures who speak different languages, some working remotely (or all of them :P). We don’t always understand each other right away. A big part of my job is finding out where problems are, where information has been lost or where it’s unclear, and how we can improve and push forward quickly and efficiently.

What is the most enjoyable thing about your career?

Seeing how the changes we work on actually have an impact: on the players of our games, on the company itself, the team, or individual employees;
a smile on someone’s face when your feedback has helped them or when a project release has gone well, and the excitement before a release.

What makes you and your position indispensable for Gameforge?

Working closely with our strategic teams, we make sure the Gameforge machine runs smoothly from an operational perspective. If you take that away, there might still be free cake every Thursday, but maybe no new content releases for our players 😊

What made you choose this career?

Firstly, I decided on Gameforge as a company. It is the supportive environment and the feeling of ‘being home’ when walking through the corridors. The company cares about their employees probably more than most others out there. When you’re not 19 anymore, these things become more important to you. We spend so much time in our jobs, and so I wanted to do something I enjoy doing every day. Looking after lots of games is awesome by the way!

Secondly, I decided which job is right for me. The Team Lead Live Producing role provides many challenges, but it’s perfectly tailored around my skillset: helping a team grow and supporting the company as needed, getting things done, and having fun along the way.

Which three words describe the collaboration in your team?

Support, Curiosity, Failure

We support each other without any conditions. When someone is out or workload gets too much, we help and cover for them.
We don’t know everything, nobody does, and we constantly find new things to explore and apply.
We fail together every day. We mess up things, openly speak about it, do better next time, and we grow stronger because of it.

What qualities does an applicant need to have to be successful in your department, both in terms of the job and in terms of the team?

We currently accept applications for all levels of experience: juniors, regulars, seniors – we just want good people.

English in written and spoken form is essential as we are an international team. Curiosity and motivation are important too. Show us why this job is right for you. Present your strengths and explain how the team could benefit from your experience. Be self-confident and able to lead a game team, prioritise well, know how to deal with stress or conflict situations.

For the regular and senior roles: ideally, you’ve worked in production or held a similar position in the games or tech industry before. Bonus points for having completed a full development cycle. Both AAA and indie games/start-up experience is of interest.

In your opinion, what makes Gameforge special as an employer?

The work-life-balance and friendly environment.

At the weekend, I’m off and enjoy playing piano without any worries about our games. We have emergency networks in case things break, and I can fully trust them. It’s worth so much to be able to disconnect after work, yet still feel valued for the work you’ve done and things you and your team have achieved.

Also, quite a few years back, Gameforge was my very first employer when joining the industry. So it’s always been a special relationship, and I’m happy to have returned.

What do you wish for Gameforge’s future?

Commercial success, as well as expansion and diversity for the existing portfolio. Good relationships with international partners and our players.

What games are you privately interested in most?

Generally, Heroes of Might and Magic III is the best game ever.
That being said, after HoMM, Borderlands was the game that originally got me into the industry, and I very much like the series. I’ve recently gotten to know someone who worked on the German localisation, and my heart still jumped a little after all this time.

I’m into shooters on PS4 (yeah yeah, I know) but also quite enjoy some ARAMs in League, Harry Potter on mobile, Jackbox or Don’t Starve with friends via Steam. Also, Tabletop Simulator has been a vital part of my life during the corona pandemic. (Digital) Boardgames are actually awesome!

And now for an inside story. What is your personal highlight at Gameforge?

We did a virtual team event which was an online murder mystery. We all had half-scripted characters to play and really went for it. In the end, we found out who slayed poor Santa Clause! Don’t want to spoil too much but it was definitely a great evening with interesting memories.

Why do you like working in Karlsruhe, and what’s your favourite location here?

There’s sunshine here! Warm summers! Shorts and t-shirts!
My favourite place has always been the pub, Carrolls, in Oststadt. The owners are always happy and friendly, and it was nice to swing by for a visit.
Though I also like sitting outside in the Schloßpark where everything is green and it’s easy to find space to sit on the grass with food or for a nice lunchtime nap at weekends.

What are you interested in outside of work?

For a long time, my work-life-balance had been a bit out of control. And so now I’m slowly getting used to having time for myself, hobbies and friends again. I love playing games or piano or going out for a Harry Potter movie night.

I’m also actively supporting initiatives such as Women in Games, Womenize or femdevsmeetup. There are many incredibly talented women out there to speak to.

What do you still want to achieve in life?

To simply be happy. Somehow, that isn’t always easy.

And I’d like to go back to China for an extended vacation, properly be in nature, and get to know the culture a little more.

Imagine Gameforge were a party. What would your responsibilities be before, during and/or after the party?

A few years ago, I would have been the one organising everything to the smallest, little detail, then being stressed during the evening, hoping all goes well, and then cleaning up afterwards.

However, now I’m the one that comes by, drinks two beers and is having the best time. 😊

On a scale of 1 to 10 – how crazy are you?

Each of those numbers! Sometimes I’m dead serious, other times I’m really not.

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