Interview

Jobs in Games: Nanobit's Jure Rasic on how to get a job as head of product

Jobs in Games: Nanobit's Jure Rasic on how to get a job as head of product

The games industry plays host to an excellent cast of colourful and diverse individuals, from artists and coders to narrative designers and studio heads.

The skills to pull off these roles, however, are complex and differing. With each position requiring mastery in its field.

As such, seeing a game come together is a beautiful thing akin to a puzzle as an overall picture becomes whole.

To highlight some of the brilliant work that goes on behind the screen, and help others who may be keen to dive in, PocketGamer.biz has decided to reach out to the individuals who make up the games industry.

This time, the spotlight is on Nanobit head of product Jure Rasic.

Can you tell us about your current role and what it entails?

My current role is head of product at Nanobit and my main mission is to build the best games for the market together with a team of more than 70 professionals.

I am focused on delivering great new titles for the company, but also to improve and grow existing titles.

To ensure the best games I believe it’s crucial to have the best team, so it is among my top priorities to build a powerful team and create the best possible culture so that everyone can grow and share best practices and knowledge.

How did you first get into games and how did you progress into this role?

Nanobit was my entering ticket, I was hired to work on many different tasks in a growing company.

That time was amazing for me as I learned so many things - as some of you know, Nanobit was one of the first companies to publish games to the AppStore.

Quickly, I was in charge of the biggest game for the company at that time: Hollywood Story, as a producer.

Nanobit's Hollywood Story

My role was to lead the team and work as a game lead. We were a very small team, but super powerful, as we were able to release a top performing game in less than a year with a team of eight.

I always knew I want to make games. Even as a kid I created board games that my friends loved to play.
Jure Rasic

Games are, first and foremost, fun, so it’s also immensely fun to work on them.

I would say that my progress was possible because I am passionate about building games and playing everything available in the store, as I really appreciate all the amazing games that are released daily on the App Store.

Is it something you ever imagined yourself doing?

Well, I always knew I want to make games. Even as a kid I created board games that my friends loved to play.

Recently I found an old notebook with a list of games I played as a kid and it was full of ideas, mockups and new features for these games.

I was 12 at that time and now when I read these I am super proud of kid-me.

What did you study to get your role? What courses would you advise for aspiring professionals in the area?

A few exams are keeping me away from becoming a BSc of Informatics, but I think that getting into the right university is not crucial to get into this industry.

I’ve met so many amazing designers, coders and product managers without any formal education. That’s great about this industry, you can learn so much from watching tutorials, talking to the people in the industry, reading great books about making games and visiting gaming conferences.

Nanobit's Hollywood Story

I’ve finished the Game Executive program at Helsinki’s Aalto University and it was a great way for me to learn a lot about the games industry and great practices on how to create ideas, how to lead the teams, and more.

I love the feeling when we’re thinking up new ways to entertain and make more fun for our players.
Jure Rasic

I would say you should follow your dreams and walk until you get there, every individual is best at what they are passionate about.

What part of your role do you find most fulfilling?

The creative process, whether it’s working on pre-production or new updates and features. I love the feeling when we’re thinking up new ways to entertain and make more fun for our players.

And then seeing it all come to life, and knowing that there are people in the world having fun because of your work, nothing can compare.

Do you think there are any misconceptions, public or professional, surrounding your area of expertise?

I would say that the last few years have changed things a lot in that way.

We see a trend of many new gaming companies publishing great titles on the market, so product development in games is more recognised than before.

We can see that in our surroundings as well, where gaming has had a boost lately.

Nanobit's Hollywood Story

We’re actually the largest studio in Croatia and have been doing some groundbreaking things, so I can say we are a good example of how a gaming company can grow quickly in a short period thanks to great games and powerful teams.

If you love games, if you have creative ideas when you play them and the need to create, try it.
Jure Rasic

There can be some misconceptions in public, but I would say these are common for the games business because some people still don’t understand this is serious and that we’re not just playing around.

Is there anything about the job/industry you wish you would have known when first joining?

I soon learned that the mobile games industry is an ever-changing field, rapidly improving and that you have to learn and act fast.

What other advice do you have for someone looking for a job in this profession?

It would definitely be to try getting into the industry, even at the very bottom.

If you love games, if you have creative ideas when you play them and the need to create, try it. You can achieve a lot just by learning everything bit by bit, following your drive and inspiration.

Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.

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