Our annual Creative Days event this year looked a little different. Rather than an office full of people with spray paint in their hands, bits of cardboard being glued together or an egg hunt around the building, instead we embraced virtual calls and interactive whiteboards.
The purpose of the event was to give everyone in the studio the opportunity to take time out of their work schedule and stretch their creative muscles in something they felt passionate about or wouldn’t usually get to do. Although we missed out on the chance to work in person, it was clear from the get go that our creative output wasn’t affected. Like last year, teams ranged from individuals to large groups and the ideas poured in!
We had videos perfectly stitched together with rolling balls and falling PS5 controllers, the recreation of our favourite walking spots using the terrain tools in Unreal. Pyrography to create PlayStation inspired wood burning art, Christmas pudding’s made in Substance Designer, an escape game made for command prompt, a dragon game that even had its own teaser trailer and SO much more!
Check out this video to get a little taste of those three days:
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. Last year we wrote a blog about all the benefits Creative Days bring to a games studio and it applies now more than ever because. . .
1) We got to see a different side to the team.
Creative Days gave us the freedom to express ourselves, from our personalities, to our hobbies and interests. Working from home and having to isolate can give some of us rigid routines that start to feel repetitive. It broke us out of this cycle and let us get to know each other that little bit more.
2) We developed and rediscovered our skills set.
Whether it was a wood art burning 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.
3) We collaborated and grew our team spirit.
Not being together in person can naturally have a knock on effect to team spirit, but during these three days, we heard more collective laughter we have heard in 2020 so far! There was an incredibly strong sense of comradery which bought back memories from the social aspects of being in the office.
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.
It’s safe to say 2020 has been a rollercoaster of emotions for many of us, so being able to spend three solid days working on whatever out hearts desired was the perfect escape. There was so much excitement over our group Slack channels and calls, and the final presentation had us howling with laughter!
Shifting to work from home came with a lot of adjustments on everybody’s part and one of our concerns was losing the social aspects of our studio culture. We’re proud that we’ve kept this spirit alive and events like Creative Days helps strengthen this further.