How experience across multiple business verticals has impacted game development.
February 5, 2020 - Games - Games & Entertainment
We’ve been involved in game development for years, but we’re not your typical game development studio. Today, we spend much more time building back-end infrastructure than creating games from scratch. We’ve worked with some of the world’s biggest game companies over the past 11 years and our senior staff each have more than 25 years experience in the industry. This is how we got here.
Between 2012 and 2015, we saw 100s of work-for-hire and outsourcing studios pop up. As games got bigger and more complex, a new breed of companies emerged to build in-game assets, or create ports of established games for new platforms. With other companies focusing on front end development, we saw an opportunity to deploy our existing enterprise development teams to work on intricate and complex back-end solutions for games companies.
Planning and Infrastructure Drives Success
So in essence, we’re not built like a game studio, nor do we feel the need to operate like one. We’re not shy to admit that we’ve gained some great experience from the business, but we’ve evolved as a team and company to service the industry in a new way.
…we’re better equipped to tackle the hard-to-solve challenges in the games industry.Tyler Mervyn
The planning and infrastructure that goes into large-scale AAA games has positively impacted how we work and drives how we build our products and sustain our relationships with game companies. With a ton of experience building products across a range of non-gaming businesses, we’re better equipped to tackle the hard-to-solve challenges in the games industry.
Building from our past experiences is one of the things that has allowed us to become a stronger team. Mixing people with backgrounds from a variety of games, graphics, enterprise and mixed reality projects provided us the opportunity to create unique hybrid teams that constantly grow and learn from one another.
This has allowed us to build a range of game related products for clients; such as web applications, companion applications, complex subscription services, purchase-related components and user-management accounts.
Technical Depth and Experience
Our work is known to be of the highest quality and we deliver on time – that’s pretty rare in the games space. We have also invested in building easily configurable and deployable back-end services that are scalable, secure and can be easily monitored. This framework is currently used by our clients in retail and financial services, but the technology is easily applied to the games industry.
We blend our technical expertise with deep industry knowledge.Tyler Mervyn
Whereas traditional game developers can struggle with the heavy lifting, we excel in that environment. We blend our technical expertise with deep industry knowledge. That’s not our only differentiator, but it’s part of the unique workshop mentality we have.
The success of Finger Food is predicated on being ahead of industry trends, remaining on the cutting edge, and being able to do many things across many platforms and languages in a way that most companies can’t. Finding people who can and want to do that has been instrumental to our success.
We also happen to have our headquarters in the greatest region in the world. Vancouver’s lower mainland has a great variety of tech industries including gaming, mobile, VFX and animation which creates opportunities for strong multidisciplinary teams. It’s interesting because we get a nice blend of the gaming, multimedia, animation, and graphics people who are doing web and cloud development as well as those building these immersive experiences.
As we move deeper into XR gaming, a lot of our skills, both technical and creative, come into play. So having that local VFX and games scene means that we can draw talent and create teams with more relevant experience. We’re able to blend the two cultures together and create something more special because of this local talent hotbed.
From a technical standpoint, the games industry is great at sharing, but not always in a well-documented format. There was a lot of tribal knowledge, people would often be working on cutting-edge stuff with very little documentation, best practices, or a support network outside and had to just figure things out themselves. We make sure that the knowledge is shared from top to bottom, unless, of course, our clients deem a project strictly confidential, but we still learn.
..it’s our willingness to learn that drives success for our clients.Tyler Mervyn
That kind of thinking and scrappiness and ingenuity are part of our culture and it’s our willingness to learn that drives success for our clients. We’re often working with new technologies or technologies that are not fully baked, so time and time again, we’re doing things before they really become a thing. We’re amping up our skill-base before anybody else and before a new tech becomes commoditized!
As a company, we have a few core values; pertinent to our gaming DNA (our Do and Own values). We specifically hire people who want to do things and want to own their work. We look for people who have that spark of not only doing what they know how to do, but those that want to learn new things and explore new technologies.
We hear from many of our team members that what makes the company great, is the feeling that they’re always doing fun stuff. Someone might be on a project for 6 months but then switch to a different project with a different technology, which means no one project is the same and the learning opportunities are endless.
For many it almost feels like they are starting a new job every 6-12 months.. The work is always fresh and the teams are always fresh because we refuse to allow people to burn out – there’s always a lot of energy and at the end of the day we deliver something we’re proud of.
One thing we have also taken the time to adapt is our philosophy around project delivery, crunch time and employee burnout.
When the company was first started, the founders decided they had had enough of countless hours of overtime, long nights, and people never seeing their families. Having balance for our employees was and is one of our core values – we latched onto that early as something we would always endorse and encourage our employees to take the time they need to recuperate.
For our team, the back-end work is as exciting as creating a full game!
It’s been a super journey, and our growth is allowing us to take on bigger and more complex projects, and more and more of the world’s largest games companies are trusting us to meet or exceed their standards. With our background and knowledge of the gaming space, we have been asked to take on a number of new projects, where we have built systems around gaming. Unfortunately they’re top secret, so that’s all we can say!
For more information about the company, or if you have any further questions, please email our team firstname.lastname@example.org.