The Big Question: What do game developers do on holiday, and how do they unwind?

It’s July already, the days are long, occasionally sunny and Develop hits Brighton again – summertime is well and truly here. In the busy world of games development, how do studios kick back and unwind? We spoke to them to find out.

Amy Walkers, studio manager, Kuato

“I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie so on holiday you’ll find me either horse riding, surfing, biking, climbing a mountain, or throwing myself off it. However, when the high has worn off you can’t beat a cocktail on the beach watching the sunset or having a swim in azure waters…”

Ian Masters, creative director, Quiztix

"As a game dev it’s often frustrating not to be able to play all the games you want when they come out, so inevitably Easter and Christmas end up being a great time to catch up on games you missed.

Last year I managed to get to a conference somewhere new so we added on a few days holiday before the event. Not only was it an amazing opportunity to explore a new country and culture in advance but by the time everyone else arrived I already knew my way around, was relaxed and was ready to go!"

Martijn van der Meulen, co-Founder and development director at Snap Finger Click

“As Snap Finger Click is still in its early days, I’m currently wearing a lot of hats! This means I haven’t been able to get on holiday as much as I would like to. I haven’t had a proper holiday for a couple of years now, but I do manage to get the odd weekend break. I’m originally from the Netherlands so I try to visit my family for a couple of days two or three times a year. I just got back from a recent trip, but I admit that the laptop came with me! Our new game,f It’s Quiz Time, is out soon and I had a few things I needed to get done.

Building up your own business means you do find yourself taking work with you everywhere. However, I think it’s important to give yourself some space when you need it. I’m good at spotting when I’m getting stressed or tired, so I make sure I give myself a night off just to watch a film, play a game, or go out for a drink. Trying to push through without a break means your work will ultimately suffer, so it’s about finding the right balance.”

Tom Beardsmore, CEO at Coatsink

“I try to disconnect as much as possible when I go on holiday, but it hasn’t always been that way. Before Coatsink became as demanding as it is now, I’d happily spend a holiday on gaming and designing. Couple the demands of work with a growing family and I need to spend my time off wisely these days. Having said that, I’ve found plenty of time for The Legend of Zelda on my Switch during time off this Summer.”

Andrew Bennison, ‎managing director at Prospect Games

"The life of a game developer is a cycle of long hours and product launches, with not much room in the middle for relaxing. When you get a moment to disconnect you should do just that! I like to go to the countryside and coast, anywhere that gets me away from the office and stretching those tense muscles. My best ideas and clearest thoughts on where to take my business next have come from being removed from my usual surroundings, bring pen and paper with you for those lightbulb moments!"

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