31st Aug 2020

Keywords staff spotlight: A day in the life of Electric Square Producer Abbey Plumb and Product Lead Lewis Nicholson

Electric Square is one of our renowned Game Development studios, providing world-class design and engineering services for the biggest and best client partners in the industry.

With expertise in LiveOps, and extensive experience in F2P and racing, Brighton-based Electric Square originally formed as the sister studio to the renowned Studio Gobo in 2015.

In 2018, it became a member of the Keywords family and has since overseen major releases in Forza Street and Hot Wheels id while opening new studios in Leamington Spa and Singapore.

Recently we spoke to two of our team members, Producer, Abbey Plumb and Product Lead, Lewis Nicholson, to help gain an insight into what it’s like working to deliver top-quality games designed for success. Here’s what they had to say:

What does a typical day at Electric Square involve?

Abbey: As a producer, it’s my job to liaise with the development team, making sure they are happy and fully supported, knowing they are being heard and understood.

My main responsibilities relate to connecting people with the tools and information they require to efficiently perform their role. I also ensure that work is captured, broken down, scheduled and manageable for the team to successfully achieve the project goals.

Abbey Plumb, Producer, Electric Square
Abbey Plumb

Lewis: Typically, as a product lead, my day largely involves reviewing analytics data and working with the team to make changes to the product to help improve KPIs. Recently, I’ve also been working more as a technical designer on an unreleased title which involves designing and coding mini games

Do you have a specific area within your role that you enjoy?

Lewis: I enjoy the process and challenge of having to identify weak areas of the game, design improvements based on trends in the data and working with the development team to implement the proposed changes

Abbey: The best thing about being a producer is getting to work with a range of talented individuals from different disciplines and backgrounds.

I enjoy working with interesting people, listening to what they want, identifying what they need and delivering the support they require. By delivering support, I am fortunate to be able to constantly learn through my work, it’s fantastic.

Tell us a bit about your career to date?

Abbey: Since 2016, I have worked in games across mobile, console and tabletop gaining experience in marketing, LiveOps, events and community within games before settling into a career in production.

In January 2020, I joined Electric Square – which I am absolutely loving. As well as working as a Producer I am also a SpecialEffect Charity ambassador and a Women in Games ambassador.

Lewis: I have also been working at Electric Square since January 2020. I started my career as a programmer before transitioning to product lead before joining Electric Square.

What three tips do you have for someone who wants to work in your area of expertise?

Abbey: Practice your plate spinning! You need to be able to think about multiple areas of development at once and how one decision may impact multiple departments.

Every day is a school day; there’s always new and exciting tools and methods to be learning about.

Electric Square provides Game Development services to the video games industry

Lastly, work on your listening skills. Taking the time to understand your team is incredibly valuable. Production isn’t ‘one size fits all’ so being able to listen to your team and accurately respond to their requirements is important.

Lewis: Play lots of games! Learn how to interpret data and learn one or more languages (R, SQL, python etc.).

What recent changes or trends have you noticed in video games development and what are your predictions for the industry over the next five years?

Lewis: Games are becoming increasingly more accessible and cross-platform. I believe we will see truly cross-platform (mobile-console) experiences become the norm.

Abbey: I think the next five years will see a shift in who is making games and getting to play them. More and more people are starting to learn that working in games is for everyone and action around accessibility is making waves. And I’m excited to see more diversity in games!

What is one thing you want to see more of in video games development?

Abbey: Fun! Games are fun therefore, making games should be fun. I do think more and more studios are starting to appreciate that.

Lewis Nicholson, Product Lead, Electric Square
Lewis Nicholson

Lewis: Time and resources for ongoing learning and support for those who want to make a transition to a different role.

What, in your opinion, are the key considerations for making client project a success?

Abbey: Honesty, trust, communication, demonstration of knowledge and clear plans of action.

Lewis: Fully understanding the client’s expectations, the project and the audience.

What are the common misconceptions when it comes to hiring an external development studio?

Abbey: Clients may worry that a team are not 100% dedicated and passionate if they’re external. The truth is that external development teams are quick to adopt and nurture projects, the passion and drive is 100% there!

Finally, what is one thing most people don’t know about you?

Lewis: I guess something most people don’t know about me is that I’m a qualified kayaking instructor and, separately, used to sail Laser-class dinghies back when I lived by the sea.

Abbey: I am really into baking! Cupcakes and bread are high on the list of favourite things to bake.

Are you interested in a role with Electric Square or Keywords Game Development? You can find current open positions on the Keywords Studios website.

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