Universally Speaking GDC Wrap Up
GDC 2016 is over, and what a week it was for the industry and Universally Speaking. Thousands of people descended upon the city of San Francisco to take part in and experience all that the global games industry has to offer, and there was one common theme dominating the Moscone this year, VR.
While VR isn’t something new to the industry, the buzz around it is now well embedded in the public eye with the imminent release of all of the major players, including the Vive, Oculus and Playstation VR. There were a lot of smaller VR experiences on show as well, allowing people to experience bird flight using a simulator, and even an experience where the player is strapped into a harness and placed onto a frictionless disc allowing them to run on the spot while they hunt down their opponent in full VR-FPS style.
Universally Speaking had an amazing week; We spoke to so many incredible developers and publishers looking to ensure that their game became the next big thing. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to talk about our localisation, QA and voice over services with an incredible bunch of likeminded individuals, and to meet a plethora of interesting people showing off some awesome ideas.
There were numerous games, tech, hardware and ideas on show, and GDC does not disappoint in terms of innovation. Universally Speaking had an epic time and we can’t wait to go back next year and once again be part of that.
Meet the team: Kieron Baker
Kieron Baker has a crucial role at Universally Speaking.
As Business Development Assistant, he is the one tasked with telling everyone about all the great work the QA and localisation firm can do, and developing new business along the way.
And having studied game design and after a brief stint as a tester, he is well placed to extol the virtues of what US can do.
Let’s find out more about him.
How did you get involved in the business?
I studied Games and Interactive Media Design, and the moment I finished my studies I started job hunting and landed here at Universally Speaking. I started at the bottom, as a tester, then moved up to a lead position. After the end of my first year at the company I had moved up into the position that I hold now: business development assistant.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have never had the same day twice. My job ranges from talking to potential clients, researching industry trends, assisting the operations department and flying the Universally Speaking flag for our services, to being in charge of the entire company’s social media presence and analytics, as well as implementing a lot of our marketing through online channels and producing content for it as well.
And when I’m not in the office I spend a lot of my time attending events around the world meeting clients, putting the US name and our services in front of as many people as possible. Right now I’m writing this from Barcelona airport after not being sat at my desk for nearly two weeks. I was in Amsterdam last week, so everyday is different, and everyday takes me somewhere new.
What has been a career highlight so far?
My career highlight so far has to be being part of the incredible team here at Universally Speaking, and them giving me the opportunity to do what I do now. I’m extremely grateful for the trust and faith the company has shown in me in the time I’ve been here, and to have progressed so quickly into the position I am in now really stands out, for me, as a massive achievement.
What are the biggest challenges about what you do?
The work/life balance is extremely important within any job, and working in business development can be challenging when you’re away from home often – especially in the global games industry, where events happen all over the world throughout the year. You have to be able to adapt quickly and take everything in on the go because you’re rarely standing in the same place long enough to finish what you’re doing. Your stamina is quite possibly your most important asset and it’s key to being consistent and focused in everything you do, because your company relies on you to be you.
Do you play games, and if so, what sort of games are you most interested in?
I play games whenever I can! I’m heavily into strategy games and city builders: I’m a huge old-school Sim City and Cities Skyline fan, as well as the Total War franchise, and I’m super excited about Total War: Warhammer. However, because I travel a lot, I do a lot of mobile gaming as well, and recently I’ve been playing Battlehand, which is super awesome, and I am still paying Fallout Shelter.
What are your thoughts on the changing world of games and where do you see it going?
I think regardless of the platform or hardware, people will always want to play games and will always find a way to do it. The technology behind what goes into creating a game is always changing and evolving, but the core part of what makes games fun should always be the first thing developers think of. There are so many ways to make a game and so much technology to help you do it, like VR, advances in facial recognition and new or improved engines. But, as we’ve seen before, new ideas and platforms come along all the time, and the one thing that’s always been consistent is that people will always play games if they want to, because they’re fun. I think the industry has always been good at accepting change, and even being pro-active in wanting to evolve itself, so I’m always excited about the future of the industry.
What advice would you give for someone trying to get into your sector?
Business development is about building relationships with people, and the best way to build relationships is to be yourself. Most people don’t want to talk about business in the industry, because quite frankly it’s just not that interesting. There’s a reason we’re in this industry so don’t drone on about the ‘business’ you think you can do together, because we work in the most exciting industry in the world, so why not talk about that? Talking about something normally leads to talking about nothing, but talk about nothing and you’ve got nothing to lose, and something might just happen. Be a people person, not a business person.