November, 2017
Living in One of Europe’s Smallest Capitals, Creating Art for the World
by Helder Lopes VP of Design and Animation
at Outfit7 Group

The art we produce at Outfit7 is seen by over 348 million people on a monthly basis. For me, that’s a huge motivation – not to mention a big responsibility.

For a lot of artists, the reality is that you can do great work, but it might never get beyond your hard drive, it may never get the recognition it deserves. I’m constantly humbled and thankful that my team is able to create art that has a global impact. And we stand behind the end products – after all, we polish and perfect every detail. That’s part of the reason I love working at Outfit7 Group; here, quality always comes before quantity.

It’s a crazy contrast when you think about it – millions of people around the world see the art that we produce in Ljubljana, one of Europe’s smallest capital cities! Only around 300,000 people live here. But Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And you’ve gotta take my word for it – I say that as a Portuguese guy. I’ve got no horse in this race!

I actually lived in Sheffield before moving to Ljubljana back in 2014. To be honest, I got tired of the UK. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place and I still have good friends there, but I wanted a change from the weather and the stress of my commute, which was filled with loads of other stressed out, exhausted people. I was looking for a new adventure. I’d never been to Ljubljana before, but it seemed pretty cool to me, right from that first visit. There are no cars in the city center, instead there are loads of green areas and great cafes and restaurants. I love the everyday vibe of it. And I love that it takes me no more than 15 minutes to get to work every day.

Today, I live in the city center and Cafetino, my favorite coffee place in town, is right next to my apartment. That means that on the weekends, I just have to roll out of bed and head downstairs, where they whip up my “regular”. Before I know it, I’m back home enjoying a little Playstation time before lunch. It’s the perfect start to the weekend!

But as awesome as my weekends are, what’s great about this job is that I don’t live for them – my weeks are pretty amazing too. I recently became a VP in the Art and Animation department at Outfit7 (Ekipa2 subsidiary). And what I liked the most was that our team dynamic didn’t change much. I still go to Magda (a cool place in the center of Ljubljana) for our usual Friday night beers and everyone still shares their ideas in the same way because at Outfit7, a great idea wins out over job titles any day of the week. We also continue to share our talents and knowledge with each other at our internal workshops.

Teamwork and responsibility are two of our core values. It sounds great on paper, but it’s even better in reality. It means that the office is relaxed; we can be friends and mess around, and it never impacts the quality of our work. In fact, I think it makes it better. This is exactly what I need at this stage of my life – a place where I feel good on a personal level, and evolve on a professional one.

helder2

August, 2017
Welcome to Nerdland
by Stiliyan Ivanov Junior Quality Engineer
at Ekipa2 d.o.o. subsidiary

I remember my first coffee in the jungle. Not the literal jungle, of course, but rather the jungle-themed coffee place in Outfit7’s Ljubljana office. I went there with Ines, our HR manager. As we walked in together, one of the guys asked if I was her new victim. As everyone LOLed, Ines just gave me this look, as if to say, “Oh, that kind of joking around is totally normal here!” Right then, I knew this would be an awesome place to work.

But how did I get to Slovenia, Ljubljana and Outfit7 Group? Well, that story got started about four years ago. I’d been visiting my mate Allan in Ljubljana for his birthday three years in a row and fallen in love with the city. It wasn’t just the super friendly people who lived there (and spoke English!) or the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside or even Metelkova City (the ultimate alternative party place) – it was for all of those reasons and more.

At the time, my mate Allan was working as a Director of QA at Outfit7 (Ekipa2 subsidiary) so I’d been hearing positive stories about the company for years. I asked him to let me know if there were any open positions at Outfit7 Group and then, one day, there was one in QA! “You’ll fit like a glove here,” he said, “it’s basically a company full of your clones!” I applied, joined Ekipa2 in October 2016, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What still fascinates me about Outfit7’s culture is how relaxed the atmosphere in the office is, but how seriously the work is taken at the same time. We all work like crazy, but we’re encouraged to be silly and relaxed while we do it. And it’s really rewarding to see that your ideas are taken seriously and that you’re never dismissed – no matter who you talk to. Outfit7’s structure is flat, which I really like. An outsider looking around the office wouldn’t be able to tell the CEO from a junior developer – not from the usual office clues, like what we wear, where we sit, or even how we act around and talk to each other.

The culture at Outfit7 is great. I feel like I can grow professionally and personally here, while at the same time I’m completely free to be me. That’s the best motivation and reward. And I love living in Ljubljana. Even on a junior salary, I was able to rent my own flat, buy a PS4 Pro, and have way more disposable income than I had back in the UK. I have to say, life here is great!

August, 2017
Why I Have the Best Job in the World
by Allan Stowe Director of Quality Assurance
at Ekipa2 d.o.o. subsidiary

I have the best job in the world. There, I said it. But what else would you call a job where you get paid to play games every day? For me, working in the gaming industry is a dream come true. I’m one of those “digital gaming babies.“ Games have always been my passion. But I didn’t know working in the industry could be like this; when I got started, the values and the culture at Outfit7 were unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Everyone worked towards a common goal – to create the best gaming apps. The energy around that was mind blowing.

I joined Outfit7 Group back in 2014, when the company was still small. It was the best decision I ever made – and my biggest professional and personal challenge by far. It was just after the release of My Talking Tom, which skyrocketed Outfit7 into stratospheric levels of success. The company was fast becoming one of the leading casual game creators.

My main task was to bring new and improved processes to the QA department. Now, I grew up knowing pretty much everything about desktop games, but when it came to understanding the specifics and the scale of the mobile industry? Well, that was a challenge. I wanted to make sure that the end user got the best possible experience playing our games, so I had to figure out new ways of testing the game and handling the variety of different devices. From the very beginning, my idea was to include the QA department from day one of the development process of every product. We wanted to go beyond ‘normal’ QA, we wanted to give our users a voice, let them have a direct influence on the product. Looking back today, I think we can say we succeeded.

I encountered some personal challenges too in those early days. I had to build the team from scratch and figure out how to motivate them. Luckily for me, mentorship is strong at Outfit7. Ultimately, what helped me the most was the mentorship I received from Luka Renko, VP of Tech, and Miha Obal, the Senior Director of QA here at Ekipa2. Leading by example, they showed me how to build trust and responsibility within the team, and gave me lots of amazing advice that I was able to pass on to my team. My management style and abilities evolved and developed more than I can say at Outfit7 – it’s been quite a ride!

The first app launch I was responsible for as a QA lead was My Talking Angela. To be honest, it was hard work and we worked long hours, but we really wanted the app to be perfect for our users. And, let me tell you, the beer that we drank after that app launched tasted amazing –  no other beer had ever tasted so good. After all those long hours of work we put in, we were able to kick back and drink ice cold beer together and laugh our asses off. We were proud of what we had worked so hard to do – the app was a job well done, and one well worth raising a glass (or two) to.

I have the best job in the world. Of course, not every day is all sunshine and beer. But for me, the fact that I’m happy to come into work every morning and that I can’t imagine working with any other team is as close to perfect as it gets.

allan2

July, 2017
Talking Tom Gold Run – The Game I Always Wanted to Make
by Bojan Makuh Director of Product Management
at Ekipa2 d.o.o. subsidiary

Talking Tom Gold Run was the game I always wanted to make. Literally. But, for one reason or another, I was never able to turn my ideas into a reality with any of my previous companies. I saw that Outfit7 had launched Talking Tom Gold Run – it was such a great game, and it used a lot of the same ideas I had. I heard that the company was looking for a producer and I didn’t hesitate. I applied straightaway. I thought, “These guys think the same way I do!”

Actually, I think I must have broken some sort of record when I applied – for both the shortest application and the fastest one submitted. In my application I explained exactly what I thought was great about Talking Tom Gold Run and why I loved the way the game was made. I got a reply from Luka Renko the very next morning. Just like that! I had no idea at the time that Luka was the VP of Technology at Outfit7 (Ekipa2 subsidiary), managing a team of over 100 developers, testers and game producers. And here he was emailing with me, all friendly and open.

I answered all the questions that Luka sent me so quickly that he actually asked how I managed to do it so fast! But I didn’t want to wait. I had a really good hunch about this company. And, as I told him, I already knew all the answers – they were right there at the top of my head. Before I knew it, I had an invite for an interview with HR.

I joined Outfit7 Group in December 2016 and I realised pretty quickly that my hunch about the company was correct. Outfit7’s culture is built on trust and responsibility. Immediately, I started to appreciate the value of us all owning our own tasks. It felt great that there was no micro-management. I am trusted to be responsible for my own work and I have the freedom to choose my own leadership style and set my own timings (within reason, of course!). This really motivates me.

While there’s lots to like about the culture here, I think my favorite thing is that ideas come first, not the people proposing them. It’s always the power of argument before the argument of power. That means that it doesn’t matter whether where the idea comes from as long as the it’s good, as long as it helps the game be better and more fun. What matters is the quality. We always push towards the outstanding here. This is something that still fascinates me months into my job at Outfit7 Group because I’d never seen it in practice before.

It was only when I went to a workshop on internal values and personal motivations that I understood how the Outfit7 culture was built. We’re all encouraged to be ourselves because that’s the only way we can give our best. But we’re also taught to understand each other’s values and motivations. I think that’s the main reason that creative ideas can come through – they’re not held back because of personal clashes.

I came to Outfit7 thinking that people would listen to me, and that my ideas would get a chance to become reality – and I’m happy to say that I was right!

bojan2

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