This year, for the first time we hosted ‘Creative Days’ – an event where everyone in the studio had the opportunity to take time out of their busy work schedule and stretch their creative muscles in something they felt passionate about or wouldn’t usually get to do.
Check out the full video to see what we got up to:
We spent two full days working on ideas, either in teams or individually, and the result was beyond anything we had expected. We saw everything from a live action remake of our latest game – Blood & Truth, to a Scotch Egg recreated in Substance Designer, a music VR experience with gnomes, a card game mining for gems, water colour art work, paper mache shoes, an autonomous vehicle called Jetson Blaze and so much more!
On the third day, we gathered at a local cinema and presented our ideas on the big screen back to the whole team whilst we roared with laughter, clapped with admiration and marveled at how something was created.
We set up Creative Days with the intention of breaking us out of the day to day and working on something that would get us thinking differently. It proved to be a huge success, and we’ve since had brilliant feedback and requests to do it again in 2020. We knew the idea would be met with open arms, but we’ve all been pleasantly surprised by the wider impact it’s had.
Here are our five key takeaways:
1) We got to see a very different side of our team.
Creative Days gave us the freedom to express ourselves, from our personalities, to our hobbies and interests. We all got to know each other that little bit more. We foster a diverse, welcoming and friendly environment where we recognise individuality and differences, and creative days made that more visible for us, seeing sides of people we didn’t know existed.
2) We developed and rediscovered our skills set.
Whether it was a watercolour technique someone had always wanted to do, or a project that required speaking to as many people as possible to curate content, Creative Days allowed us to proactively work on our personal development. We know our team are curious about the world around us, and by broadening the way we usually worked we sought different perspectives, whilst keeping an open mind to expand our own thinking. Along the way, we stumbled across ideas and work processes we might not have thought of before.
3) We collaborated and grew our team spirit.
During these three days, we heard more collective team laughter than we have ever heard before. There was an incredibly strong sense of comradery throughout the experience. It helps us recognise that we will always achieve more together, and this is important to us, as we actively want to build a team that celebrates each other’s successes.
4) We got creative.
Creative Days allowed us to think outside of the box. This is fundamental to every games studio in order for our industry to thrive and prosper. Hosting three days away from people’s usual roles shifted the routine, got people out of their comfort zone and allowed us to try something new. There was a chance to experiment as we were free to approach our work in our own way, and we shared what we learned for everyone’s benefit.
5) We had fun!
We had such a variety of ideas, some were hilarious, and it was clear the event really helped create an environment where everyone was comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. The positive energy was utterly contagious. Whilst Creative Days challenged us, being surrounded by creative people whilst learning something new is a great recipe for fun. Everyone had the opportunity to get away from their screens and desks if they wanted, and the atmosphere in our studio was buzzing!
Often teams are focussed on one goal, but it’s important to remember that side projects like Creative Days don’t steal focus away from the studio’s main objective, they can add to it. By embracing people’s passion projects, spectacular things can happen.
The three days allowed us to take stock and served as a reminder that we work in one of the most creative and fun industries in the world.