This time A Conversation with… took the ferry over to Vancouver Island and found Adrian Audet, an alumni of the 7th graduating class, working at Gamehouse Canada.
- Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry
My current role is Producer at GameHouse Canada, in downtown Victoria. Producer leaning towards the Project Manager side, with numerous opportunities to engage with creative features or new content. It’s a great mix currently which I find very engaging.
- How has this changed since you graduated?
For me, the change isn’t to drastic. Even during my first couple of interviews after graduating from VFS, a few sage and savvy interviewers told me I was a riddle because they couldn’t (clearly) determine whether I wanted to be a designer or a producer. I focused really hard on being a good designer, and had some positive roles in design. However, even after a few projects, a deep and profound feeling to move to project management and production was fully present in my heart and mind. I wanted to help everyone I was working with, and as a designer I felt I couldn’t realize this potential to help others as much as I wanted to. Even alredy in the industry by now, I followed this desired path up by tackling a deeper project management course to further prepare myself for the roles I would encounter moving forwards. I’ve now enjoyed several roles as a Producer type, and this is a ‘fit’ that I feel very engaged and rewarded with at the end of each day.
- Can you describe a typical day in your office?
This is a trick question yes? Granulating my work day into words is a terrifying prospect. Nothing in games is typical for very long, since teams and studios need to adapt (or fail) as they move forward. We do have beer on tap at the studio though, so every day ultimately ends well. I do promise to talk at length at the a First Friday event I’m able to attend when I’m in Vancouver next time.
- What’s the most fun thing you get to do? What’s the most stressful/challenging?
Most Fun: Helping foster environments where creative people can kick some ass while laughing at the same time from the fun they are having.
Most Stressful: Everything to some degree stresses me out. Only weekends allow me to relax. I truly love my responsibility to handle/prioritize the stresses, and find solutions to help those I work with everyday. I love solving challenges and building a team’s confidence and camaraderie. If you like chasing down (and solving) the pain points and areas of friction in game development, then I would encourage taking the production track.
- What games are you playing right now, and what elements have impressed you?
Fallout shelter stands out in my mind for a well managed suprise for fans. I’m impressed with Bethesda’s approach and success at E3 this year. Shelter has no new mechanics, but it’s a series of well polished pieces tied together. Unfortunately the end game for Fallout Shelter is crap.
To be honest, running (GM’ing) Pathfinder’s Emerald Spire Superdungeon Campaign here at work every Friday night is eating up huge amounts of my time after work. Added to this I’m also painting all the figures (monsters) needed for the storyline. When I’m not gm’ing or painting, it’s a zealous and consistent dose of League every night, and Magic The Gathering Drafting online on the weekends. I’ve been playing catch up with Shadowrun content on steam, and this has been fun, albeit a bit simple and not very challenging.
I prefer not to purchase v1 of any new console, however I admit I’m already salivating to play Fallout 4 in November.
- What are some trends you see in upcoming games?
I’m drawing a blank in front of my laptop right now, and I would probably just regurgitate something I just read on Kotaku, GiantBomb or Gamasutra last night.
One thing I find more and more, is that I really just want people to love the games we make, and ensure the people who make them don’t burn out and go crazy doing so. I am just as satisfied making games for 65 year old women as I am for 17 year old boys. I’m now curious to chat with more industry alumni to see if this sentiment is shared by others.
- What do you feel was the most valuable skill that you learned in the Game Design program at VFS?
- If you could give a current student in Game Design some advice, what would it be?
Work very hard with intention, and check your ego at the door when you enter. Every mentor you meet has a wealth of information, so engage them with sincere questions. You have strengths and weaknesses. Find your strengths, and make these excellent. Find your weaknesses, and make sure they will not hinder your ability to succeed. A big factor in your projects and finals will hinder on how well you and others have figured these out.
Thanks Adrian, and best of luck with Gamehouse and your next superdungeon campaign!