Interview

Code Coven's Tara Mustapha on how to get the most from your designers

Code Coven's Tara Mustapha on how to get the most from your designers

If you haven't heard, we recently launched PocketGamer.biz MasterClasses, a brand new series of deep-dive workshop sessions taking an in-depth look at practical games design topics.

We’re working with the finest industry experts to create professional, half-day activities featuring tutorials, lectures and breakout groups, all accessible from the comfort of your home office.

There are four workshops taking place on August 17-18 where you can expect to explore a range of key games design topics, from economy design and optimisation, to core design fundamentals and product management, to live operations and everything in between!

Ahead of the sessions next week, we're taking a closer look at each MasterClass and asking our expert hosts a few burning questions on what kind of content to expect, some key takeaways and who will benefit most from that particular session.

Today it's the turn of Tara Mustapha, CEO and founder at Code Coven/CDO and co-founder at Glow Up Games who will lead a session on Understanding Design – Getting The Most From Your Design(ers) from 10:00am (BST) this Monday Aug 17.

Tara is the CEO and Founder of Code Coven and the Chief Design Officer and co-founder of Glow Up Games. She is on the board of multiple game studio initiatives and is often found speaking at conferences on design, remote work and diversity & inclusion. A seasoned producer and game designer with a passion for elegant design systems, Tara has shipped over 10 titles in 15 years with Backbone Entertainment, Microsoft and EA, including the Skate series and Monster Lab.

Tell us a bit about your company

Code Coven was founded in 2018 and serves as an online coding bootcamp with the aim to nurture new and existing talent. This is achieved through the core of innovation, guidance, empowerment and experience.

With partners and industry veterans, Code Coven teaches coding and game development, but also creates networking opportunities, helping participants to find employment. Most importantly, Code Coven works towards redressing the gender and diversity imbalance in the games industry.

What does your role entail?

Everything! I’ve started Code Coven and been part of the founding team of Glow Up; both from nothing. In both scenarios, you have to build the plane while flying it and anticipate how to go from flying a hang glider to an airbus. Design thinking has thankfully prepared me for this role!

Is there anything you're working on currently that you’d like our readers to know about?

At Code Coven, we’ve had an amazing time running the Summer Program to help marginalised early-career developers get the training that they had cancelled due to COVID-19 - we’ve been able to support an amazing cohort thanks to our sponsors.

We also were able to offer scholarship positions for BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic)/BIPOC individuals to our Intro to Game Dev course, which has also just wrapped.

And we’re excited to be launching the Elevate 2020 program with Wings and the GDC Relief Fund to provide a 14-week accelerator program for indie game developers.

With our offerings ranging from courses to incubator programs, Code Coven aims to evolve the end-to-end game development pipeline, elevating marginalized voices

If you want to minimise miscommunication, gain efficiency and create workflows that lead to clearly crystallize how and where to find fun, then this class is for you and your team!

What topic will you be covering in your MasterClass?

All things game design related - but this isn’t just for designers.

It’s for everyone who works with designers. I’m going to be working with the participants to establish the core fundamentals that will provide a solid base for their game designs and also create an understanding from all the different disciplines that will help get the most out of their teams.

If you want to minimise miscommunication, gain efficiency and create workflows that lead to clearly crystallize how and where to find fun, then this class is for you and your team!

Who is this MasterClass for?

Everyone who has to work with game designers and game designers who have to work with other people, whether in a small indie studio or a large AAA corporation, these techniques will help you get the most out of your designs and your teams.

Why is it important for your games industry peers to gain a deeper understanding of your chosen topic?

Creating elegant frameworks and common languages on a team gives everyone room to focus on the creative magic that needs to happen within their role.

Tell us a little bit about the key takeaways people can expect from the session.

  • Game Design Fundamentals
  • Project and Process Understanding
  • Role Delegation and Comprehension

Finally, what are your thoughts on the games industry going forward? What major trends do you predict over the next 12 months?

I believe that we’re going to see incredible new content across all platforms and an interesting intersection with AR/VR. With the amplification of underrepresented voices and opportunities afforded from WFH, we’re going to see greater opportunity for developers who wouldn’t have had typical access to industry events gaining more traction in the industry.

Book today!

If you like the sound of Mustapha's MasterClass, be sure to book your place now - tickets are limited so purchase your ticket today to avoid disappointment!

Multi-buy deals and corporate discount

Want to attend multiple MasterClasses? Book three workshops and get the fourth FREE!

Booking for multiple people? Take advantage of our 30% corporate discount for groups of six or more people from the same company.

For multi-buy or group discounts, please email sally.kevan@steelmedia.co.uk to discuss your bespoke package.

Editor

Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with 20 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio as project manager for the UK’s first fully interactive digital TV channel. In addition to editing TheVirtualReport.biz, Steve contributes to PocketGamer.biz, PCGamesInsider.biz and BlockchainGamer.biz, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.

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