This content was created in partnership with Aardvark Swift
Now over 100 people strong, Firesprite is a large independent studio working hard to maintain its indie studio feel. Based in the heart of Liverpool city centre they’ve worked on some of the best games out there, and they’re showing no signs of stopping
Richard Wood, senior development manager, sat down with Aardvark Swift to talk about what makes Firesprite such a great studio to work for.
“The best thing about Firesprite is being able to work with the directors every day,” says Wood. “They’re not hidden away in some office, they’re part of the teams and you get to hear about their vision for the project, and the studio as a whole, on a daily basis.”
The studio was first set up in 2012 with an ambitious plan to showcase the cutting edge of video games technology. In recent years they’ve worked on The Playroom, Run Sackboy! Run! and sci-fi-stealth horror – and Firesprite original IP – The Persistence. With six projects currently in development Firesprite is expanding and continuing to work on exciting and unique IPs. But with a growing studio and a growing roster of titles the team at Firesprite is actively keeping employee welfare at the forefront of it mind.
“The culture at Firesprite is incredibly important,” continued Wood, “of course we want the games we make to be great, but we want this to be a great place to work and for everyone to be happy to come through those doors in the morning.”
Never resting on their laurels when it comes to the happiness of their employees they continuously ask for feedback from staff. For example, implementing quarterly retrospectives on projects so that any issues can be fixed during the project cycle instead of only at the end.
Development managers like Wood can then get their heads together and fix anything that needs fixing, something that is especially important in a growing studio.
For the last couple of years Firesprite has also taken a unique approach to training their graduate team. When graduates join the studio, they’re put into a team of 100 per cent other graduates.
“Engineers and producers to art and UI. They work together on services and platforms that have real-world deliveries and release schedules.” explains Wood, “They go through the full process, from ideation, development and release and that way they get the experience of what it’s like to work in a studio.” It works to develop their confidence and means they’re able to get feedback from both internal sources and real-world clients.
Graduates are an important part of the expansion plans for Firesprite, “they’re full of enthusiasm,” added Wood, “there’s no predisposed negativity. They don’t know what can and can’t be done, so having those fresh ideas and new perspectives is a huge plus point for the studio.”
If you’re not a graduate, then you’ll probably go through a couple of stages of interviews at Firesprite – a process in which they’ll give you a feel of what it’s like to work for them. “During the interview process we want the candidate to tell us about their skills, but we also want the opportunity to tell them more about the studio. It’s definitely a two-way process.”
During the interview stages you’ll meet a few people from the team you could be joining. “We really encourage questions, we want you to be curious about how we work!” says Wood.
With more incredibly projects on the horizon, big announcements coming, and more staff to join the weekly quiz – the future looks bright for this brilliant Liverpool studio.
You can hear more from Wood and more about Firesprite in the Aardvark Swift podcast coming soon.