A Conversation with… Mack Flavelle

This time A Conversation with… tracked down Mack Flavelle, from our 8th graduating class, who is VP of Marketing at Tapstream.


  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m VP of Marketing at Tapstream. We’re rocket fuel for mobile apps. We help developers turn their mobile apps into businesses by providing the tools needed to measure and grow their user base. We’re used by some of the biggest apps on earth- including games.

  • How has this changed since you graduated?

I used to run play tests at EA, for console games! (That was my first job out of school.)


  • Can you describe a typical day in your office?

I show up at nine. Earlier than most people in Games. We have a distributed team, so there’s only three or four of us in the Vancouver office normally. I spend the day trying to get more people to know about Tapstream by engaging on social, working with our design team and getting my hands dirty in creating marketing collateral and driving inbound leads.


  • What’s the most fun thing you get to do? What’s the most stressful/challenging?

I go to SF semi-regularly for conferences, parties and associated bad decision making. It’s fun.

Working for small companies is stressful because there’s usually no playbook. When I show up at work I have to not only do my job, but decide what my job is and then evaluate myself against that criteria. Of course the self direction is a pleasure and an honour, but there is an associated stress.


  • What games are you playing right now, and what elements have impressed you?

Alto’s Adventures and Monument Valley. Game play is so different- but the commitment to craftsmanship, the striking beauty and the strong sense of fun exists across both.


  • What are some trends you see in upcoming games?

New ways to get money out of your free users and ways to up sell existing paying users. Expiring energy mechanics are here to stay- but what’s next? Vanity consumables and card packs make sense but that’s not the last stop for this train.

On mobile, interconnectivity between apps is beginning to shape the industry through deep links, extensions and intents. The implications of this for meta-gameplay is interesting- though I don’t pretend to know exactly how that will shake out.


  • What do you feel was the most valuable skill that you learned in the Game Design program at VFS?

The most valuable part of the program is the teachers you meet. Find the good one’s and latch on to them. Do not let them escape your vampire grasp.


  • If you could give a current student in Game Design some advice, what would it be?

Be useful to as many people as possible. In whatever capacity you can, become the person who makes problems go away.


Thanks for the update Mack, best of luck with Tapstream!