Founder Alexandre Kikuchi explains why developers may want to head to Brazil

Recruiter Hot Seat: Odin Game Studio

Name: Alexandre Kikuchi
Title: Founder & Developer
Developer: Odin Game Studio
Country: Brazil

What differentiates your studio from other developers?
At the very beginning, we wanted to make the type of games that we want to play and used market research to discover how we could fit our interests into the market. To do this we created a lot of different apps and advergames, which gave us a great amount of knowledge.

We then started to focus on evolving our management process and our monthly income to make our own games. From developing all of this, we managed to generate enough resources to open our very own office.
Finally, each member of our team brings different specialities. I specialise in management so we can hit deadlines, another comes from an IT background and we also have a member of the team who is finishing his studies in game design.

Overall there are four of us from different backgrounds and areas that give us the benefit of four varying opinions on how we approach the development of games.

How many staff are you looking to take on?
We don’t want to grow too much right now. We need a big hit before we can expand considerably, but we will be looking to hire one more person during 2014 to make the team stronger. We also plan to hire two more next year. That is if our current strategy goes according to plan.

What perks are available to working at your studio?
We let everyone make their own game ideas. In order to decide what projects we want to pursue, everyone at the studio has an input and we then decide together which one to focus on.

Of course, we really need to focus our development ideas based on market research and we either eliminate or put on hold games that can’t be completed within an eight-month timescale.

We focus on giving everyone the opportunity to adapt and evolve their skills and always focus on the entire team growing in experience and technical knowledge.

What should aspiring developers do with their CV to help ensure they get an interview?
In Brazil specifically, aspiring developers need to focus on growing their knowledge instead of pursuing big salaries.

We do pay our staff well but, because it’s hard for the company to grow, we like to work with people who understand the difficulties of the games market and want to work with us in growing the company and facing challenges. Having a demo, game lab or something that can prove your skills is vital to getting a job.

Who is the best interviewee you have ever had and how did they impress you?
Our best one is Andr?, who is working with us now. He showed us some great demos, but the most important part of his interview was his enthusiasm and passion for developing games.

I remember when interviewing him, he said to me: “I love your work, you must hire me because I will work hard, you must hire me, I have all the required skills.”

And who was the worst interview you’ve ever had?
The worst interviewee was someone who came in and immediately asked what the salary was before anything else. I had to tell him “If you want to get rich fast, this is not the place for you. Working in this area and in our country at the moment will not make you rich.”

What advice would you give for a successful interview at your studio?
Show us that you have a passion to create games, be persistent and prove that you can learn new skills fast.

If you have recruited internationally, what is the process like?
We have only recruited people from Brazil in the past.

How have your recruitment needs changed at your studio?
It hasn’t changed very much. We are still learning how to better evaluate recruitment procedures.
Why should developers join you when indie and self-publishing have become more accessible?
One of our key focuses is that we share experience with our colleagues. We don’t keep the knowledge for ourselves, everyone in the company can grow and develop their skills.

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