We talk to Dan about life at Firesprite as a Development Manager
Thanks for joining us, Dan, let’s start with a fun fact about you!
I used to be a DJ! I DJed around the UK at some huge venues and events including Leeds Festival! Also taking the stage with the likes of The Libertines, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Cribs, Huw Stephens, Russell Kane and many more!
When did you know you wanted to work in games?
I’ve always wanted to! Until I saw others doing what I wanted to do, I didn’t really think there would be an opportunity to have a career in games - I’m very glad there was.
What advice would you give to your younger self on your first day in the industry?
Don’t be too nervous. Ask the questions, be brave, try things.
What is your favourite thing about working at Firesprite?
The people I get to work with everyday. Everyone is incredibly passionate about what they do and want to pull together as a team to ensure we achieve our goals.
What’s your Development Manager superpower?
Patience and supportiveness. It can get hectic with lots of voices and lots of ideas. Be patient, be reliable and foster a good working environment with your team and you’ll reap the rewards.
How did you develop and refine your skills as a Development Manager?
Production is a balance of facilitation, support and planning. You learn a lot by talking to people and listening. By taking every voice on board you can develop skills in how to most effectively support your team.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working in Production?
Seeing how everything lines up and seeing the fruits of our labour manifest in a happy and productive team.
What are the challenges of Production and how do we overcome them?
Time-management. Work to prioritise your, and your team’s, workload. Look at what can be achieved in the time you have. Effective planning and team involvement can help prevent problems.
How do you stay connected with your teammates whilst working remotely?
We have daily work-related calls but then also make time for social events. It’s important to keep in touch on a personal level with people.
How would you describe the work life balance at Firesprite?
Firesprite do a fantastic job of trying to ensure a healthy work-life balance. The studio understands people have lives outside of work and do what they can to accommodate everyone’s needs.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given since starting your career in gaming?
Be brave. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone. As David Bowie once said, “Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
What lessons have shaped the work you do today?
Some work won’t ever see the light of day, and that’s not a negative thing. It’s always a learning curve and a way to always improve on everything you do.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a Development Manager?
You can do it. Work hard, be patient, do all the extra things to expand your knowledge. Make sure you’re people-focused and supportive of others.
What most excites you most about coming to work every day?
Working with the biggest array of creative and technical minds to help create excellent games for people to enjoy. I get to work on things that I enjoy playing - can’t get better than that.
What makes you proud to be a sprite?
What we’re creating as a studio. It’s incredibly inspiring and motivational to see the amazing work going on around us all.
What have video games taught you?
Excellence comes from diversity and creativity.