Interview

How to get a job at GSN Games' new Palo Alto office

How to get a job at GSN Games' new Palo Alto office

The Palo Alto, Ca studio of GSN Games - formerly SilverTree, of Cordy fame - is a developer of casino and casual games on mobile and web, and part of the wider GSN family

The 24-person team is currently looking to grow, with 12 vacant positions, and has moved into new office space in downtown Palo Alto to accommodate this.

We got in touch with Karen Lalley, Vice President of Human Resources at GSN Games, to get some insight into what sort of applicants she is seeking and what new recruits at the Palo Alto office can expect of the company culture and working environment.

If you're at all interested in applying, make sure to read on for some advice directly from the firm's recruitment team.

PocketGamer.biz: Could you give us some background on GSN Games and what you do?

Karen Lalley: We are the games division of GSN TV network, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and DirecTV.

We’re one of the world’s top game publishers and creators with games on mobile, social and the Web, and are most recognized for our top-grossing mobile games GSN Casino and Bingo Bash.

This summer, we launched GSN Grand Casino, our newest mobile game, worldwide on the App Store and Google Play.

GSN Games Palo Alto, fomerly SilverTree, developed Cordy and its sequel before being acquired by GSN in 2013

As Vice President of Human Resources, I oversee all people operations, including the recruitment, retention and growth and development of our most valuable asset - our employees.

Showcase your talent in the context of the game industry and build your professional network.
Karen Lalley

As you're overseeing recruitment at GSN Games, what do you look for in candidates?

No matter the discipline, we always look to hire people with qualities that match our culture.

Folks who are energetic, passionate and who question the status quo will fit right in. Also, we love to play, so a fun and competitive spirit is a must.

Why do you think GSN / Palo Alto is a good place to work? How will you be trying to encourage a strong company culture?

GSN Games is unique in that we offer a startup mentality with strong financial backing. We are small enough to be nimble, and stable enough to be creative and take chances.

The Palo Alto office has its own unique culture as a strong, very tightly-knit studio of about 25 employees.

They work on creative mobile titles like Solitaire TriPeaks and GSN Grand Casino that push the boundaries of the social casino and casual game genres.

The Palo Alto team's new office

They recently moved to a new space in order to grow, and we are looking to add talent in the way of 3D/Unity artists, mobile producers and fullstack engineers.

What advice would you have for someone trying to get into the games industry?

First, start by figuring out how you want to be involved in the game industry. Decide if you want to build games or be part of the industry in another role, such as in marketing or analytics.

Then, my advice is twofold: showcase your talent in the context of the game industry and build your professional network.

With your idea of what role you’d like to play in a game company, develop the skill set that you need to be successful, and then take it to the next level by demonstrating how you can apply your skills to the industry.

For example, if you’d like to be a game artist, create new characters for your favorite game or a new world for them to live in, and build a portfolio of spec work that shows your passion for games.

Networking, whether through a university, industry meetups or other events, can help you find your path into the game industry.

Talking with other people about your professional ambitions will likely introduce you to new opportunities and helps you to create connections to achieve your goals.

You can see the open positions, which range from Palo Alto to Boston, Banaglore and the Ukraine, through the GSN Games jobs page.

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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