Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 will take place on October 1st to October 2nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
For more details on PGC Helsinki and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
In this speaker profile we caught up with Nam Nguyen from Unicorn Pirates Studios. Nguyen is a Junior Producer who is interested in developing different skill sets to understand game production deeper. Concentrating on learning to develop decent and quality games as well as how to scale game business to bring not only high quality experiences to players but also growth to the industry as well as exploring new undiscovered lands.
At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 he'll be part of a panel discussing being a foreign employee in a new country.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about the company
Nam Nguyen: Unicorn Pirates is a mostly female run studio, HQ in Helsinki, Finland. Currently UP are working on three big game projects with announcements to come in the near future. We support Women in games, Feminism and LGBTQIA movements.
What does your role entail?
My job involves mostly planning and acting upon daily events within the team. Working with people and communications are key factors in satisfying the job's requirements. Good listening ensures that I satisfy both what my team wants and what our project’s schedule demands. Reports to external stakes holder as well as leadership team. Holding the vision of the project and nailing down game design with designers, then transforming it into practical, well-written and specific tasks for dev and art disciplines.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
A gamer at heart and a nerd at core! Attracted to computer games around 10 and grew up with them, had great memories with friends and families around gaming. Seeing how game is taking dominance and shaping entertainment needs of modern human life. Games as a digital business, how huge and profitable it can be, or why it can/should be profitable are topics raising my interests. Sustainable, fitting into post-materialism era, healthy with environment and nature. Projecting and shaping the audience's perspective as well as their values is one of the gaming industry’s power that I’d love to explore and take advantage of to influence more positive changes to the world.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Participate, get involved, make games, any roles. You work for the game industry, show that you can do games. Play games a lot. Talk and network with people in the industry. Live games, breathe games!
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
There's been something exciting and new every day. Projects go live daily. Updates and events in game go out constantly. We saw the birth of the Battle Royale and Hyper Casual trends. Mobile games MMO and RPG compete and develop constantly. Sulake is on fire with Hotel Hideaway, Red Dead Redemption had a huge release. Borderlands 3 and lots of other triple A games in the making and closed to be out of the closet: Oceanhorn 2, Control from Remedy and Starbase from Frozenbyte. SuperCell soft-launched RushWars. Big fan of 2D art and artistic games over here: Cuphead inspires animation-lovers and Gris is my personal favourite delicate/emotional journey. My favourite studio ThatGameCompany just came back with Sky: peaceful, non-verbal communication between players and lots of flying/sliding in between dreamy stunning environments. NintendoSwitch is doing hella great. 8-year fan of League of Legends and they still manage to keep me excited. Madly in love with their work on the latest Virtual K-Pop Performers Music Video. K-Pop maniacs like me can't escape that charm!
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
I like Bomberman, wish to see a version of that. Expecting to see more from VR, something completed like Beat Saber. I keep wondering what's coming after Battle Royale? Maybe next generation's Feeding Frenzy? Oh I once encountered this MMO game based on Bit Coins, allowing players to mine them in the game at last year's PGC. Wonder how they're doing?
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
Not much, I came in the time when mobile and F2P are ruling. I'm extremely grateful to have access to the right education and knowledge of F2P models and business practices. Triple As and Double As stay the same. New game stores and new gaming devices lead the market to new lands. B2B businesses like Apprien offering dynamic IAP pricing which is a super interesting business model to me. The next generation will probably ask their parents "Which games you played when you were younger?" rather than "Which movies you watched in your 20s?".
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Lots of presentations and pitches and talks and sharing experiences. Can't wait to see new ideas!. Will definitely jump by every stands to see how B2B and services are doing in gaming industry. Will also try to catch up with new tech and tools to see how game development processes can benefit from them.