MCV's April Rising Star talks about stereotypes, variety and being too impatient to be an artist

In her four years in the industry Megan Rice has worked across the industry in a variety of roles, including as business development executive at Ukie, while also developing an addiction to Gwent. She's now a project manager at OMuk.

How did you break into games?

I studied Game Art at DeMontfort University but it turns out I didn’t have what it takes to be an artist; I’m far too impatient.

However, I attended a lot of industry events and spoke to a lot of lovely people who gave me my first chance. I got my first job as a studio assistant at Bossa Studios in my third year and worked my way up from there. I’m a super keen learner so I picked up every odd job I could and learnt all about the industry from the inside. Trying out different jobs helped me forge a path forward.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

Running and growing the Ukie students programme. When I realised being an artist was not going to be my path I really struggled finding my way, so being able to help others and give them some hints, tips and guidance is a really rewarding experience. Running the conferences was particularly fun. The weeks running up to events could be pretty stressful but watching it all come together and seeing what the students took away from it was the best feeling.

What’s been your biggest challenge to date?

Honestly, stereotypes. Being a young woman in the industry can be seriously tough at times. I’ve struggled a lot with people judging me based on my age or gender rather than my experience. Starting so early has given me tons of experience in different areas but it can be overlooked because of your age or gender and that is wildly frustrating. While things are getting better, we still have a long way to go. Learning the value you bring to something is important and it will give you the power to push back.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety. I get to meet so many amazing people in my job: actors, directors and game developers alike and we create all sorts of interesting content. I love being able to enable and collaborate with creative people. My job is a constant adventure exploring stories and characters which is one of the things I truly love about games.

What’s your big ambition in games?

I’d really like to have a big impact on work practices in the industry. We’re all pretty guilty of overworking ourselves and burnout, which is seriously bad for our health. I really believe in looking after one another and the people you work with. We are all super passionate about what we do but we need to appreciate that people need a break to take care of themselves and find a healthy balance.

Going forward I’d like to think all the projects I look after will promote a healthy working attitude. Happy creatives make better work so if I could have a wider impact on that, that would be awesome. 

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into project management?

Work hard, be nice and get out there. There’s so much opportunity in the games industry right now you just have to recognise it and be open to it. I was dead set on a particular title or job when I was first starting out, but I have been super lucky to try different jobs and responsibilities. If I hadn’t given those roles a chance I’d never be where I am now, so take a chance and try different things, you might just find your dream job. Oh and learn Microsoft Excel, it will be your best friend. 

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