Game Geeks and Pandemics: A recipe for working from home
Amidst the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 Virus, the world has been engulfed in a party of chaos, and Malaysia was invited. As of now, with over 2000+ active cases and an accelerating headcount of deaths, we are dancing and even singing, very closely to tragedy. Therefore, the Government had no choice but to enact the Movement Control Order (MCO) in order to regulate the situation from getting any worse. In this MCO, excluding those who work in essential services, citizens are required to stay at home from the 18th of March to the 1st of April which has since been extended to the 14th.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announcing the initiation of the Movement Control Order (MCO)
Image Source: The Star
As such, this crisis has forced Malaysians to adapt to a lifestyle that is limited to the confinements of their homes, alongside their work. Companies far and wide are coming up with different alternatives to get their tasks done, initiating a “work-from-home” concept, and we at Persona Theory Games are no different. We'd like to share how we've been soldering on in this time of crisis.
1) Medium Of Communication
Like with many other things, communication is, if not the most important thing in a workplace setting. One of our major worries during this quarantine period is how we’re going to be able to have the face-to-face interaction that we can often easily have in a physical environment. So with that in mind, we at Persona Theory Games have come up with our own initiative that rectifies this complication for us, at least.
Every morning at 10:AM (our usual opening hour) starts with a conference call. During this call, our managing director hands out our tasks for the day while also checking the progress of our previous or current work. The call usually lasts for a good 15-30 mins before everyone is allowed to go about their tasks. Throughout the remaining work hours, we use Discord to contact each other about any confusion or complications regarding our tasks. Specific channels relating to art, writing, tech and general announcements have been created in order to categorize any issues we need more clarification on. The day usually ends with a progress check, where the managing director and senior workers check on everyone’s work for the day. Once they’ve been signed off, we can either polish our work or end the day and start again tomorrow. It's a very “work-life balance” principle, and we haven’t come across any issues with our method so far. It’s one of the perks of working in an indie company with a bohemian lifestyle.
An average day for us at PTG throughout this entire quarantine schtick
2) Keeping Track
Keeping track is an important process in games development. With so many things going on, it’s easy to miss out on minor details and get sidetracked. Consequently, Google applications like Sheets, Docs and Drive have been good friends to Persona Theory, as we write a lot of our logs in these applications. In our shared company Google Drive, we have created separate folders to segregate specific aspects of development. Eg, game art, game development, game tech, and the list goes on. This is especially helpful right now, as we go about our work through a virtual medium. If, for example, programmers need new art assets to be implemented into the game, they can do so by downloading them from the game art folder with ease, provided that the artist has uploaded the assets needed.
Aside from that, we also made a to-do list for each of our members throughout the duration of the MCO, where they can fill up with their daily tasks. Categorizing and organizing the vast amount of content at our disposal is highly important to us as we work on a timed schedule, making it frightfully easy to rush through and forget a few things along the way. Besides, organizing our files neatly allows us to mediate our work in a way that sparks us joy, like how a certain Miss Kondo does it.
3) Our Work
Games Development requires a team effort, which is why communication and keeping track is key. With the general situation in Malaysia being at an all time low, we keep our morale high by doing the primary thing we all signed up to do -- making games, and we’re excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on. If this tickles your fancy, follow us on our socials on Twitter (@personatheorymy), Instagram (@personatheory) (@firesatmidnightgame), and Facebook (@personatheory) (@firesatmidnight) for more info on us and our upcoming narrative interactive video game, Fires At Midnight -- which centers around a young couple living in late 90's Kuala Lumpur, struggling to make ends meet while being stuck in a toxic relationship.
A short teaser of Fires At Midnight
Unfortunately, a lot has changed these past few weeks in terms of physical meetups and teh-tarik breaks, but we’re still “keeping on, keeping on” by being plastered to our screens and typing away on our keyboards. Check up on your loved ones, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and most importantly,