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Speaker Spotlight: Trailmix’s Tristan Clark discusses the importance of a positive workplace culture

Meet the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Trailmix at Pocket Gamer Connects London, February 14-15

Speaker Spotlight: Trailmix’s Tristan Clark discusses the importance of a positive workplace culture

As we get closer to our London conference on February 14-15, we could not be more excited to share the fantastic line-up of expert speakers that will be sharing their learned expertise and unmissable insights with us.

You can view our entire speaker line-up so far here to get a full scope of the talent that will be speaking at the conference this February. The speakers and the massive wealth of insights and expertise that they bring to PG Connects is what makes our conference series so special and unmissable for industry professionals and anyone who’s looking to get an expert insider look at everything within the mobile gaming industry. To give you a glimpse at what you can look forward to from our February conference, we are spotlighting a number of our most highly anticipated speakers to showcase the fantastic talent and top-tier businesses that will be sharing their insights with us at the conference.

We have recently spotlighted Tencent’s Aras Şenyüz, and we had a brief chat with him about the conversation he will be leading at PG Connects London about PUBG Mobile’s localization strategy. Get caught up with our speaker series here.

This time, we spoke with Trailmix’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Tristan Clark. A 14-year game design veteran, Tristan has spent much of his time developing casual F2P teams and games, including King’s hit Farm Heroes Saga. He is now the co-founder of Trailmix, who recently released their first title, Love & Pies.

At PG Connects London, he will speak on how Trailmix achieved such a massive global success with its very first release, Love & Pies, and what it takes to foster a great team culture.

PocketGamer.Biz: What is your biggest aspiration/goal in mobile gaming?

Tristan Clark: Let’s take a long view here. Across your entire life, what is it you hope to have achieved? I always think of a quote from Jim Henson, who said something like “My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.”

My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.

That’s ultimately what I hope to do too, vague as it might sound. So what does “better” mean? We can break it down into different areas. First and most importantly, our goal with Trailmix is to provide a culture that helps our team be the best version of themselves — to challenge them to flourish in an ambitious, safe, diverse and caring environment that reflects the best of this industry, not the worst.

Secondly, we aim to make games that reinvent what the casual mobile space can be — big successes played and loved by millions for many years to come. But we do so with a mission in mind, which is to give something nourishing back to these players. In the case of Love & Pies, it’s our hilarious, ridiculous story world that gives players something to emotionally invest in and (hopefully) make them chuckle. The best fiction can be restorative and even life-changing, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t strive to provide this inside popular casual games.

And finally, think of what successful games companies have: a platform and resources. Both can be used to give back to the world, either directly or through raising awareness about the key issues we face as a species. I firmly believe that those who achieve success have a responsibility to give back, in whatever form they can, and it’s something we want Trailmix to eventually be known for.

In the end, life is only about people: the people you love, the people you work with, the people you reach with the products you make, and the people you can affect because of those products. The whole point of Trailmix is to reach as many of these people as possible to try and give them something positive.

...think of what successful games companies have: a platform and resources. Both can be used to give back to the world

What leaders/pioneers in games do you find inspiring?

Is it a cheat to say my co-founder? Carolin Krenzer is a hugely inspiring and impressive human being as CEO of Trailmix. She’s massively ambitious but also intensely moral, a rare combination that inspires me in turn to push higher and be a better person. I’m incredibly lucky to be on this mad journey with her.

What was the fundamental appeal of the mobile games industry that brought you to it?

Two things: the reach, and the untapped potential for emotional depth. I’ve always been fascinated by mainstream, massively popular works that still manage to contain real emotional nourishment for those who want it. My time at King gave me the appreciation for casual games to reach many millions of people — people who would never think there was a game out there for them. I believe we can give these people so much more without sacrificing the accessibility or apparent simplicity found in the best casual games.

Ultimately, every human being on this planet plays — so why doesn’t every human being play video games? The fact that they don’t is on us as developers, and casual mobile represents our biggest opportunity so far at reaching them with something they find fun and worthy not only of their time, but their emotional investment.

Can people get in touch with you at the event? What sort of people would you like to connect with?

Yes, absolutely! Trailmix is growing and we have a ton of open roles, from developers to producers to designers and more. Beyond that, if you just want to chat about casual game design or starting a company, find me on LinkedIn!

I believe we can give these people so much more without sacrificing the accessibility or apparent simplicity found in the best casual games.

Who’s the best speaker you’ve heard at an industry event?

Back in 2012, we’d just closed the doors on my first company in New Zealand, and I was roaming around Europe trying to figure out what my next steps should be. I went to Gamescom that year in Cologne and happened to attend a talk by Robin Hunicke, who was the producer on Journey at ThatGameCompany. Their games have always meant a lot to me — I want to combine their emotional depth with the massive casual mobile market — and the way she spoke of Journey and the incredibly heartwarming feedback they got from players made me cry. It was hugely inspiring at just the right moment for me, and I went straight up to her afterwards and blurted this out in some inarticulate way. Just a good reminder that hearing the right thing from the right person at the right time can open up whole new pathways in your brain and inspire you when you need it most.

What is one way attendees can prepare for your discussion?

Play Love & Pies so we can dissect it together!

Meet the experts

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet with Tristan Clark and other industry leaders at Europe’s #1 b2b games industry conference this February. Make sure you secure your spot today!


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