There are no limits to what you can achieve at Outfit7! The company gave me my first ever job and, over the years, I’ve been promoted (several times!), moved to a new country, changed a lot both personally and professionally, and helped make games that people play with all around the world. And it all started because the company reached out to me, after seeing a presentation I’d given for my Game Technology and Graphics class, back when I was finishing up my undergrad studies.
Before the interview, I looked up the company and I couldn’t believe it – Outfit7 had more game downloads than there were people on the planet. I was wowed. And they were asking ME for an interview. I downloaded a couple of the Outfit7 games and I got really into Talking Tom Gold Run, one of its most popular endless runners. Some of the details of the game (like when you put a helmet on a character, the sound you hear becomes muffled) really amazed me.
So I got that first interview – my first interview ever – and it was really surprising to me. It didn’t feel like an interview at all. I was asked about my interests and what games I played. We even chatted about AI because I’d said I was interested in it. It was really relaxing, you know? The second thing that surprised me was that there were multiple interviews. There was a technical one, an HR one, one with the VP of Technology, and another one with the General Manager of Outfit7’s subsidiary in Ljubljana. I admit I was a bit nervous! But they just felt like regular chats. I realized that the people interviewing me cared about who I was and whether I’d fit into the team – it wasn’t just about what I knew. And because of that, the nervousness faded away.
The same thing happened during my first couple of days as a Junior Software Developer at the company. I walked into the office in Ljubljana and any fears I had just loosened up. I always imagined offices being these gray and boring places, with people just looking at clocks waiting for the end of their working day. But coming into Outfit7 was nothing like that! The office was so colorful. There were nerf guns on the tables and projectiles all over the floor. People were laughing and hanging out, wearing slippers. They were all coming together to create and help each other. And I got a lot of help in the beginning. It felt like they really wanted me to grow and get the best out of the experience, and I really did.
Moving up, quickly
I started out working on updates for My Talking Angela, one of our virtual Tamagotchi-style games. At first, I was just fixing bugs, but then I started working on bigger features like the roulette wheels and sticker albums. Over time, I got more and more challenging stuff to do, and I worked on other games. And it seems I did well, because I then got the opportunity to take on the role of Lead Developer on My Talking Tom 2. It’s one of our most played games, meaning I was responsible for making the game run smoothly for millions of users. Millions of users! That step up wasn’t just challenging from a technical perspective, but from a leadership one as well.
Right now, I’m working on a brand new game that we’ve got in development. It’s exciting for me because I’ve never worked on a game from the very beginning – I’ve only joined existing games where most of the core mechanics were already implemented. I’m currently working on setting up the characters and collaborating with artists and all sorts of different people.
You know, that’s something else that surprised me about working at Outfit7. I figured it’d just be a load of development people working here. But it kind of feels like working on a movie set. There are just so many people involved in creating our games and videos and products – producers and writers and programmers and software engineers and artists and game designers and more.
It really feels like one big team as well. I remember once when I was Lead Developer on My Talking Tom 2, something went wrong with a feature – essentially, the talkback function stopped working. Talking Tom couldn’t talk! But we didn’t catch it right away, so it went live with the update. When we found out, it was already towards the end of the working day, and we had this big company-wide teambuilding arranged for the next day so we had zero time. I called our project manager with my idea for a solution, and then we called some other people, and somehow, we made it happen. It got fixed! The next day at the teambuilding, I sat with one of my bosses… But he was awesome. He acknowledged that we f***ed up, but that we fixed it, so it was all good. I liked his directness, and I realized he was actually pretty proud of us for getting it done. I ended up getting nominated for our company’s No Limits Award for the work I did to fix it, too. I remember thinking, at the time, that you can’t avoid mistakes, but you can control how you react to them. Our team came together to fix it – no one pointed fingers or threw tantrums. We were short on time, but we focused and we made the best of things. And all in time to enjoy the teambuilding too!
Jumping at opportunities
I’ve ended up getting a promotion at almost every performance review I’ve had since joining the company. I didn’t expect things to move that fast. But that’s what Outfit7’s like. Everyone has every opportunity to progress. It’s all open to you. I got lots of opportunities in those first few years, and I jumped on them.
That’s how I ended up moving from Slovenia to Cyprus actually. I was on a Zoom call – this was around the start of the pandemic in April 2020 – and the VP of Technology told us that our group was going to be transitioning to Cyprus and that if we were interested, we could move with it. Otherwise, we’d just join a different project in Slovenia. I said I’d think about it, but I was immediately into the idea.
In the end, eight of us moved out to Cyprus. And it was a really smooth process from start to finish. There were a couple of people in the offices, both in Slovenia and Cyprus, who helped us with everything from paperwork to finding apartments. One person in Cyprus actually went to see apartments for us and took loads of pictures! The teams organized flights and transfers and even hired consultants to help us with the administrative stuff. Basically, any question we had, they’d answer. Moving to another country is a pretty big deal, but I felt really safe during the whole process. We were really given the feeling that we matter.
And then Outfit7 gave me another first (in addition to my first job!) – my first time flying on a plane! I was like a kid on that flight. One of my colleagues gave me their window seat, which was really awesome of them. I’ve traveled a lot since then, but I’ll always remember that first flight.
Living and working in Cyprus
It was the first time that a whole production team was going to be set up in the Cyprus office, so it was a pretty cool thing to be involved with. And personally, I love it here. I’ve changed a lot since moving here. I’m more outgoing for sure, and I’ve tried all these different things, like horse riding and driving on the other side of the road! And there’s just so much sunshine. Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean, after all. We’ve got this little ritual as well – we go swimming in the sea every Wednesday morning and watch the sunrise. I go hiking in the mountains and walk along the cliffs on the weekends. I’m always exploring. I go to work in flip-flops! Sometimes I just lie around in the sun and think that no one could be unhappy here in Cyprus.
So much has changed for me since moving here, and since joining Outfit7 in general. But even though a lot has changed, one of my favorite things about the job has stayed the same – that moment when a friend or a friend’s kid is playing with one of the games I’ve worked on, and I get to say, “I helped make that!” That’s just the best thing. And it’s not that rare either – it happens a lot!