Unlike what many romanticize, working remotely is not so simple. It takes discipline, patience to deal with family members who can be with us all the time, and be careful not to be distracted. Due to the isolation recommendations because of the coronavirus, several professionals had to learn this to the fort, but while the pandemic changed the dynamic of many companies around the world, it did not reach Nightdive Studios.
Founded in 2012 by Stephen Kick, when he acquired the rights to the game System Shock 2, the developer has specialized in remastering some pc rooms and unlike most of the states, does not have a place where dozens of people spend the day working.
With employees spread over several countries, this was an option made by the company’s executives, and that even unintentionally, ended up helping them a lot during this complicated period that we live in. However, Kick admits that he didn’t predict what was to come when he created Nightdive, since he was just thinking of making the stadium more attractive to professionals, but that if today this model is accepted by almost everyone, until the planet stop because of Covid-19 the story was quite different. Such an opinion is shared by business director Larry Kuperman, who spoke of how this policy has influenced decisions:
We are kind of point out of the curve and we have to tell people all the time, anoint, no, we are not seeking to move to a place; this the way we want to operate. A few years ago we were approached by a company that offered us a partnership opportunity ” And it wasn’t a trivial offer that was being made, but one of the demands was that we would have to open an office, so we turned down that offer and thinking about it. , I think we’re very happy that we did that.Larry Kuperman
The advantage of allowing people to work from their homes since in this way they eliminate the need for professionals to have to move whenever they are hired. An example cited by Kuperman is that of two employees working on the same project, but one lives in New Zealand, while the other lives in.
Despite the difference in time zone, this does not prevent them from touching the project. For this Nightdive has always resorted to services with which some people have only come to know after being forced to work remotely, such as Discord or Slack. Another secret was to ensure that the employees did not fall into one of the biggest problems of industry, which are the inhuman working hours, the famous crunch. According to Kuperman, need the company to use systems to control the time people have been working so that they don’t end up harming their health.
Only this care already serves to show that the difference from most of what we see, because unlike what many imagine, most of the time working in the creation of games is far from something fun and/or pleasurable.
Stephen Kick recognizes that if Nightdive can act in this way today, much is due to the fact that they are not immense.
With about 40 employees, this allows them to interact with all professionals in an almost daily frequency, but he believes that even in a larger company this remote work-related service would be possible.
The problem is that for many this change in the desktop occurred in a drastic way and the result of this can be seen in a survey conducted by the Game Developers Conference with 2,500 professionals from the area. It was discovered that 70% of people went to work from home, which caused almost half to claim that productivity fell during the period of social isolation and pointed to a drop in creativity. Among the main reasons for this to have happened, the interviewees cited the communication between the professionals involved in the development; lack of access to essential tools to work, and isolation by itself.
However, most respondents stated that businesses were not affected by coronavirus or improved, while 62% did not see their revenues changed in the last few months. I confess to being quite curious about how the world will deal with this force of support for remote work because at the same time I have seen friends saying that their companies already think about keeping this model, it will be easy to find people criticizing those who are performing their obligations without having to leave home.
Back to Nightdive, today Larry Kuperman reflects on how the policy adopted by them jumped from something out of the ordinary for the reason of being sought by other players to give them advice on how to manage a team that is not present locally. And if before I was already made of them by the strain they make to keep alive the history of the games, now I will admire them even more.