Career in Games #1: Being a game developer at Panteon

At our Mobidictum Career in Games event, we discussed many issues related to the industry. İlknur Ercan and Uğur Çakmakçıoğlu from Panteon shared their valuable experiences in game design and recruitment in the game industry at our event.

İlknur Ercan has been working as the People and Culture Manager at Panteon Games since 2017. Our accompanying speaker, Uğur Çakmakçıoğlu, has been working as a Game Designer & Product Manager at the same company for nearly a year and a half. Çakmakçıoğlu, who specializes in the monetization and game design of hyper-casual games, is a name that has produced over a hundred game prototypes to date.

Our guests talked about the advantages of working in game companies and what is considered in the human resources recruitment process. They also shared some tips for those who want to become game designers.

Advantages of working in game companies

İlknur Ercan considers working in the game industry a more enjoyable job, especially compared to other software industries. The sector has mostly Z generation employees. The dynamic and energetic nature of the Z generation is also reflected in the working environment of the gaming industry. Stating that they designed their working environment according to this dynamism and exciting structure, Ercan explains the subject as follows:

“When you come here, you see a different environment. We have a fun office structure, a company structure where games are played while developing games and which focuses on social activities. For this reason, people can work more enjoyable when they come here.”

Indeed, working in the entertainment industry is advantageous because the industry produces entertainment. By being in the industry, you become a part of this entertainment production. For this reason, an environment is created where you can have fun while producing.

Ercan states that the industry is high-speed and interactive. For this reason, the learning processes are speedy, and the people working at Panteon Games can add a lot to themselves in a short time.

On the subject, Uğur Çakmakçıoğlu adds the following:

“Because there are people from many different disciplines in the game studios, it is very colorful inside. Game studios become more colorful environments where a developer trained in engineering and an artist trained in art culture are present.”

Studios offer comfortable working environments as well as entertainment. For this reason, the game industry is the focus of many people who dream of a career today.

What is considered in the recruitment process?

The popularity and advantages of the gaming industry attract people. For this reason, many people who want to enter the sector apply for jobs. Companies have a wide variety of criteria when hiring. While some are looking for employees to train in-house, others prefer experienced people. But there are some common points. One of these points is the resumes (CVs) sent to companies.

Regarding the subject, İlknur Ercan says:

“CVs are essential to us because sometimes we come across fascinating CVs. We pay a lot of attention to the portfolio, especially on the design side. On the software side, when a game developer applies to us, we want them to have at least developed a game before. We expect applicants to come to us with a portfolio.”

There are some generalized methods that game studios use when recruiting. One of them is to request some preliminary studies from the job applicant. By evaluating these prior studies, they decide whether the employee is suitable for the position. In this regard, Ercan states the following:

“First, we do an introductory interview. In this interview, we introduce our company to the candidates and get to know the candidates. Then we want a demo project. We contact candidates who successfully pass this stage and request a technical interview. When we get successful results from this meeting, we present a job offer to our candidate.”

Our speaker states that they attach great importance to the portfolio during the design negotiations. He says that they receive designer applications from different sectors from time to time, and they seek experience in the game industry for candidates. In addition, the company has not entirely closed its doors to applications from different sectors.

How to apply for a job as a game designer?

Game design is one of the shining positions of the industry. Interest in the profession is increasing day by day. The field of game designers is not sharply separated from other disciplines. For this reason, it is more open to the participation of people from different disciplines compared to other roles in the game industry.

Uğur Çakmakçıoğlu says that when applying for a job as a game designer, previous works, if any, must be declared. Adding a detailed file of previously worked projects to the application can increase your chances of being hired. On the other hand, verbal expressions will be quite inadequate when explaining game ideas. At this point, it is beneficial to make visualizations and prototypes while presenting ideas and to prepare presentations accordingly.

Expressing that being a game designer can mean operating in many different fields, Çakmakçıoğlu says that multidisciplinary work should be learned:

“As a game designer, a conversation with a programmer is not the same as a conversation with an artist. For this reason, you should accustom yourself to multidisciplinary work. On the other hand, you also need to have strong human relations.”

Our speaker states that there are many processes between the birth of the game idea and the release of the game and emphasizes the importance of project management in this process.

Finally, Çakmakçıoğlu, stating that strong and sharing teamwork should be carried out, recommends that a game designer should take the ideas of everyone in the team and respect them.

It takes a lot of dedication to be a good game designer. On the other hand, you should be open to improving yourself in many areas. This prestigious profession comes with many responsibilities.

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