Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is around the corner, taking place on September 14th - 18th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
The conference spans across five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and a new and improved meeting system. For more details on PGC Helsinki Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.
Today's speaker spotlight is on Abigail Rindo, studio lead narrative designer at King. Rindo joined King as Lead Narrative Designer in 2019, after working as Creative Director for PerBlue and Production Director at Filament Games.
She is a passionate storyteller, and she's coming to PGC Helsinki for a session titled "Bite-sized or Captivating: Why not both? Tips on creating a compelling mobile game narrative”. We caught up with Rindo before the show to briefly discuss her time in the games space so far.
Pocketgamer.biz: Tell us a bit about your company?
Abigail Rindo: King was founded in 2003, and has developed more than 200 fun titles in our studios around the world, including the genre-defining Candy Crush Saga.
What does your role entail?
As the Lead Narrative Designer, I collaborate closely with teams in our Stockholm studio. Part lore keeper, part game designer, and part storyteller, I aim to inspire our developers to create coherent and memorable narrative experiences for our players that are as sweet and exciting as our game levels.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I didn’t realise that a career in the industry was even possible during my studies, so I took a bit of a meandering path to get here. I tried out education, administration, fine arts, non-profits, technology... and many other disciplines before I discovered that my passion for games could turn into a profession.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the space?
Do lots of research and never stop learning! Every studio is different and it’s important to understand the culture, expectations, and ways of working. Explore the different roles available, understand what the day-to-day for those roles looks like, and make sure your skill sets align. Understand and respect the basic foundations of other disciplines as well as your own craft, because you’ll be solving problems together constantly.
If you haven’t made a game yet, do it! There are lots of easy to learn tools available.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
I love the fact that games are becoming stronger social congregation platforms. Seeing players being able to create, play, and explore together is inspiring. It’s also been fantastic seeing the cross-pollination of mechanics across titles and the way that narrative is being used to tie those elements together.
It’s impossible to ignore the impact of COVID-19 and remote work. King has done an amazing job of being agile and taking care of teams in an extraordinary situation, and I’ve really appreciated that.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
People around the world will continue to seek more meaningful connections with media and each other. Players will expect higher quality from their titles as cloud services begin to eliminate hardware constraints and more easily enable cross-platform play.
Production values, aesthetics, and world-building will play an even deeper role as we create more engaging sandboxes for our audiences to play and socialize in. Emergence will experience a resurgence and players will have more tools and flexibility to craft their own stories.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
The expectations of consumers in the mobile market are higher and the overall landscape is more competitive. It’s been exciting to watch the market evolve and get more refined over time.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Meeting new people and learning new things!
Check out the full schedule to see the complete range of impressive speakers attending. You can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.
There's still time to register for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital here.