Game development is something that takes years to complete and thousands and thousands of human hours to create. Sometimes gamers can fall into the trap of thinking that a person or studio is responsible for creating the video game experiences they enjoy and love, but that just isn’t the case. Often times, various studios under one roof come together to create these defining experiences, but that doesn’t include help from outside studios, mocap studios, etc.
For the United Studios of People Can Fly, collaboration is a key term, and good collaboration requires open communication. People Can Fly has seven locations around the world, including European studios in Warsaw, Rzeszow, Lodz and Newcastle, as well as North American studios in New York, Montreal and Chicago. Although Project Gemini is primarily driven from Europe and Project Dagger from North America, they both benefit from the expertise of developers around the world.
Game Rant recently spoke with Roland Lesterlin of People Can Fly New York, Sam Girardin of People Can Fly Canada and CEO Sebastian Wojciechowski about the company’s growth in North America and its unique approach to collaboration. and a fun working environment.
The United Studios of People Can Fly – Operating as one
One potential fault line for such a high level of collaboration is how studios operate differently. It is known that there are rivalries between certain development studios under one banner, but that is not the case here as Lesterlin puts it. When asked to describe the relationship between PCF New York and Canada, Lesterlin said, “Well it’s honestly hard to tell the difference. “
Of course, each studio retains its own identity. Some studios speak different languages like Polish or French and then there are time zone adjustments but the management and the teams are so spread out that it becomes easier to make those differences go away. This is especially true because People Can Fly offers language courses, in order to overcome language barriers between its developers.
Girardin sees this merger for collaboration as an “incredible accelerator”. It is important that People Can Fly remains transparent and over-communicated to a certain extent, but due to the different companies, cultures and experiences, the developer has “the ability to master a lot of different things and new ideas”.
People can fly – operate during a pandemic
Of course, nothing has tested this collaboration and communication quite like the pandemic, but Girardin believes that “working from home has removed the distance between our people.” This is because there are more direct ways to communicate at all times and all barriers in the office have been removed. In addition, it ensures that People Can Fly puts its developers first. “We still have very few people who come to the office because our first instinct is to protect them and not push them to return to the office so quickly”, explains Girardin.
Even so, it should be noted that communication is something that no one is perfect for. There are issues from time to time among the best communicators, and it is important that in this digital world people are heard. Lesterlin describes this experience as trying to be “a very open and very honest group, from management and production to all the developers as well.” Creativity can spring from anywhere. So, it’s not just about communicating to yourself, but also about listening to others and hearing cool ideas and then making sure they can be acted upon.
And what is remarkable in this communication is the complete breakdown of the barriers, described by Girardin. Granted, there are companies out there where no one can hang out with a leader, boss, or CEO, and that applies to all industries. Girardin praises the “corporate” structure of People Can Fly:
For me, PCF is the least publicly traded company in the industry. The structure is kept flat and people are accessible. If you want to send a message to Roland, you send a message to Roland on Slack. You want to talk to me about something, you are talking to me about something. If you have an idea and want to discuss it with Seb, go to Seb. We’re always open, and that’s just because we’re passionate. So really, I want to point out that it is the least publicly traded company of the time in the video game industry. This is the flattest company you can be in right now.
People Can Fly – Extension
People Can Fly has grown a lot over the past few years, with 2021 seeing Chicago join the collaborative fold of the company. Many would expect growing pains, communication issues, and difficulty when trying to bring a whole new group onto a project, and that isn’t to say there weren’t any setbacks, but Girardin describes the arrival of Chicago as “very natural”. Girardin has been in the industry for a long time and describes building bridges and teams as one of his core skills, and this is reflected in PCF Chicago, which was once the Phosphor Games. On this addition, Girardin and Lesterlin had nothing but praise.
Chicago, ex-Phosphor, was already working with the Dagger team before the acquisition. So we already had that vibe, that internal experience of how it was. Then, we seized the opportunity to integrate this team into PCF, in order to also add their expertise.
“It gave them stability, got them into projects they were passionate about, allowed them to work on even more important things and added much needed expertise to the Dagger team as they have a lot of experience. with Unreal for a It got us through all of our toolchains and ideas… Suddenly the next day I have a whole new group of awesome developers ready to go. “
People Can Fly – The Real Importance of Unreal Technology
Lesterlin says that when developers are looking for a job, they want to “work on the coolest IPs with the fanciest toys.” Everyone in the PCF seems eager to work on Unreal Engine 5, always eager to see this next technology, and the United Studios of People Can Fly have all that history and knowledge to tap into. The Polish engineering team, for example, have been working on Unreal for 20 years, and the best part is that it allows developers to focus on games. The importance of gaming technology is not just how well they work, but how they can be tricked into ‘telling the stories. [developers] Means.”
The graphics, load times, haptics and all of that are matched only by the “creativity that connects them to the game …, says Lesterlin.
This focus on technology is not about technology, but the games it can make and the fun developers can have in doing so. A great culture and a great work environment translates into better games, and it’s something leaders around the world have said time and time again. Maybe no one is putting together People Can Fly’s plans, in terms of future games, growth, fun, identity, culture, communication, and collaboration, than CEO Wojciechowski:
2022 is fast approaching. We’ll stay focused on working with our current projects, whether it’s Outriders, Dagger, Gemini, or the game we plan to self-release. These are our priorities. These are the projects that will drive our growth. We also intend to further develop PCF through acquisitions and mergers. I can’t share more now, but we are always looking for opportunities. Having said that, the most important thing is that we want to remain a very creative place to work. This is something Sam mentioned, Roland mentioned, a place where we create new, exciting IPs, where developers can grow and learn while having fun. This is the most important for us in the future.
People can fly work on Riders, Project Dagger, Project Gemini and a new self-published project.
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