At Keywords Studios, we provide a spectrum of Game Development services to the games industry and interactive entertainment sectors.
Recently we spoke with two producers at d3t, one of our co-development studios delivering work-for-hire services to AAA games clients, as part of Keywords.
Heather Fraser joined d3t midway through 2020 while Michael Bishop joined the studio as Associate Producer in 2019 and was promoted to Producer recently.
We talked with Heather and Michael about their paths to the video games industry, their favourite games and more.
What does a typical day at work involve?
Heather: Making sure our talented team have all of the resources, information and support they need to create works of genius. No matter the question or concern – be it big or small – I am always there to steer them in the right direction and find the answers they need.
We maintain an open communication with clients to keep them up to date, and vice versa, about any concerns. Aside from this, we constantly assess the scope of current projects to ensure everything is running to schedule.
Michael: Making sure the development team has everything they need and are not hitting any blockers or stoppers. This can sometimes be raised within our morning stand-ups or during the day when team members can reach out to me to discuss issues.
Alongside this, I keep the key stakeholders up to date on development progress and make sure they are aware of any impacts or changes to the schedule when required.
Do you have a specific area in your role you enjoy focusing on?
Heather: This is a tough one! I would have to say I love being there to support the team through thick and thin. No matter the time or day or what the concern is about, I love that either one of them are comfortable to voice any concerns openly.
I have discovered that I will carry the weight of the world if it means my team are equipped to succeed.
Michael: Yes! Client communications and business development. I enjoy learning new areas of the industry, and one area I enjoy learning more about and upskilling on is the business development side.
For instance, how do contracts come to a point of being signed and how do these business discussions come about?
I’ve been learning more and more about biz-dev during my time at d3t, and it has allowed me to explore that side of the business as well as being more directly involved in some aspects of quotes/resourcing, and planning of contract milestones.
This has allowed me to be part of the project life cycle from the beginning, negotiating directly with the client for future engagements.
How did you get into video games? What inspired your career path?
Heather: I was born into a gaming family, with my mum, dad, brother, uncle, and cousins all being avid gamers, enjoying a multitude of genres. That, coupled with a passion for Japan and technology, meant that I always knew that I was destined to end up in the industry and one day make games that my whole family could enjoy.
Michael: I grew up playing a lot of Baldur’s Gate and Icewind, all these old CRPGs. I moved on by playing older consoles like the SEGA Mega Drive and later down the line, a lot of PlayStation One. This is where my love for console games expanded.
What is your favorite video game and why?
Heather: This is indeed the big question. I would have to say my favourite game is probably Suikoden 2. It’s such an underrated RPG with spectacular narrative, combat and you have the ability to collect and play so many unique characters. I must play it [through] at least once a year.
Michael: Metal Gear Solid. I played this game far too much when I was growing up. This, to me, is a masterpiece.
Tell us an interesting fact that people may not know about you.
Heather: I originally studied Japanese language at university and lived in Japan for around three years which is where my career in the video game industry, my passion for history and cooking began.
Michael: I’m a black belt in taekwondo, it’s been more than 10 years since I did that though and I’ve put on a bit of weight since then!
If you are interested in a Game Development role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.