Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Maria Vasilchikova, Associate Producer at Unbroken Studios. She gives us insights into the daily life of a video game producer after a journey through different industries. Read more about Maria in this interview:

Hi Maria! You have gathered broad knowledge of different job positions, is there anything they’ve all had in common?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked in varied roles, with many teams. I started out as a receptionist, where I was responsible for basic operations as well as accounting entry. After I mastered this, I expanded my horizons into supporting customer service + QA for the live game teams.

Eventually, I also was assisting on hiring, which led me to taking over the hiring department when the previous lead left. I held down the hiring fort for over a year in this position, and all that experience led me to my next role at my current company, Unbroken Studios.
When I joined, the company was in an early stage expansion phase, where I was able to bring the team from 15 to over 70 over the course of several years, and supporting the HR and operations needs that were met along the way.

All the while, I could never let go of my passion for games, and I wanted to get closer to the heart of it all. That brought me to my latest role, which is production! I am so happy to now be able to work with all the lovely people I have hired over the years, and am able to make an impact on the course of the game and the day-to-day work of the team. I believe that this experience has made me more resilient, and not shy to roll up my sleeves and get things done.

The variety of work I did in my previous role especially prepared me for the role at Unbroken, where the studio was small and the varied experience was needed when wearing many hats. Also, it afforded me the opportunity to work with a lot of different groups of people, and practice effective communication with all these groups.

How do you manage and foster team creativity?

My goal is to raise my communication levels to the aspects required in any given team, to reduce overhead for them, and in return create an environment where creativity is possible. I also endeavor to not be afraid to ask questions, and support others to ask questions as well. I find that creative solutions arise when we can analyze a process or approach into its constituent parts, and evaluate each element even when things seem mundane or obvious.

Could you share some insights into your day to day work as game producer?

I support teams that support other teams, so while there are a lot of processes in place to keep things standardized, there’s just enough unknown variables to keep things interesting. Most of the time, I have meetings with external partners in the first third of the day; internal meetings, fact finding, and reviews in the second third of the day; with the latter part of the day devoted to heads down focus work, follow-ups, 1on1s, and training.

My team is awesome, and they make every bit of this awesome. I hope everyone has the opportunity to find their groove in a team they enjoy working with.

Thanks for this interview, Maria!

Maria’s Links: LinkedInUnbroken Studios

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann