Each year on March 8, we celebrate the achievements of women from all walks of life on International Women’s Day. Representation and gender equality in the games industry is an ongoing discussion and something that we believe is critical to creating and fostering an industry we can all be proud to be a part of.
In observance of International Women’s Day 2022, this week we’re highlighting some of the incredible female industry leaders that we are honoured to have speaking at our upcoming Seattle conference. We could not be more excited to have them as part of our star-studded speaker line-up, and we couldn’t wait until May to get to hear from them and to share their brilliant insights with our PocketGamer.biz readers, so, we had a chat with them about business, games and, of course, what it means to be a woman in games. We recently spoke with Take This’ Executive Director Eve Crevoshay, you can read our conversation here.
Making games is such an infinitely courageous endeavour, to engage it with a lens of “how can my mistakes help others? How can my successes impact others?” is something I deeply admire and I'm grateful for.Carolina Mastretta
Next up on our Spotlight series is Carolina Mastretta, Founder and Studio Lead of Original Fire Games. Caro was born in Mexico City and moved to Vancouver in 2010 to pursue a career in game development. She kicked off her career as a game designer at Relic Entertainment, where she had the opportunity to grow both her design and leadership skills. In 2018, she left her position of area lead designer on Age of Empires IV to start Original Fire Games.
Today, she manages the studio and production at OFG, with the goal of building an environment in which OFG can thrive, both as a team and as individuals.
PocketGamer.Biz: What leaders/pioneers in games do you find inspiring?
Carolina Mastretta: I have loved learning from other indie developers that have a scientific approach to what we do, sharing the results of their experiments in talks, conferences and Twitter threads. Making games is such an infinitely courageous endeavour, to engage it with a lens of “how can my mistakes help others? How can my successes impact others?” is something I deeply admire and I'm grateful for. An example of this is Mike Rose from NoMoreRobots.
When not making/selling/playing games, what do you do to relax?
I love cooking, writing and making sense of what is going on with the world through conversations with friends. Having a desk & computer-bound job, I need and love spending time in the forest camping and catching glimpses of birds I can’t name.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
Because it can only lead to richer conversations, which leads to developing better ways of working, pursuing different results, broadening up definitions of success. Ultimately, our games will reflect the way we work. Engaging with people with different perspectives with openness and curiosity can transform a team and what that team can make.
[Diversity in the workplace] can only lead to richer conversations, which leads to developing better ways of working, pursuing different results, broadening up definitions of success.Carolina Mastretta
What is your proudest achievement?
I'm very proud of what I’ve helped build at Original Fire Games. It has been the hardest work of my life, but it has also been incredibly rewarding to imagine a new way of working and seeing what can be possible. It's worth mentioning that waking up without anxiety after a calm night of sleep is a daily achievement I never take for granted!
What did you dream of doing when you were a little girl?
I always wanted to run a restaurant and cook for people. I used to charge my dad for dinner at home as I pretended to be running a restaurant. These days, I think that dream manifests in my love for cooking and playing Overcooked.
Hear more from Carolina this summer
Want the opportunity to hear more from Carolina Mastretta and the Original Fire Games team? She’ll be leading the conversation at the upcoming Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle among hundreds of other incredible industry leaders. Make sure you secure your spot at our west coast conference today and save up to $275 with our Early Bird offer before prices rise.