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Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here? Business at Klonk Games

Robin's Post header. He has reindeer ears.

My job description at Klonk Games has been Lead Artist for quite some time now. I am stoked with what we were able to achieve with our game visuals, especially with all the new assets and the style. Even more so, because I did not really have to push anyone in any direction. Things just happened as everyone contributed their ideas and imaginative input. The Art team is nice bunch of people that grows with their tasks and more than ever I can rely on them when it comes to making the right decisions. This enabled me to do a lot of other important things.

How is this working you ask? Well I will tell you that story!

Artists on the loose!

I think most of the people can relate to the most common problem with delegating things: You have to make sure it gets done, review it, maybe request a change, review again… In the end, the process itself took longer than to just do it yourself. At least, that’s what it feels like.

But now, for the first time ever, I do not have to worry about this. The Art Team is pretty self sustaining. We have occasional feedback-sessions and review things together on demand. People are communicating among each other, important decisions are made in groups of relevant klonkers. This kind of freedom, paired with feedback and quick communication, is an ideal form of creating the art and assets like the team does at the moment. I love them.

Although I try to coordinate tasks and work with Oliver on the management part, I do not supervise any of the actions directly. People are responsible for themselves and at the moment, this pays off big time.

Seriously, the best feeling ever is to come back to the office after an event and see so many good artworks, assets and concepts came to life during my absence. Although I still really love making 3D-artwork, drawings and being part of the creative process, this is awesome.

Business Jazz

Recently I’ve been involved with a lot of the regular business development. Writing a business plan, providing and assembling various documents and so on… While I really did not like the thought of ending up as a PR front-door business-relations battle guy, the job is fun. Although I never wanted to be the guy who is responsible for acquisition and sales, I enjoy being responsible for this team and bring home some good offers.

This work is far more enjoyable than I first thought. It involves bringing your team to the customer, selling our expertise to the right people and finding projects that are worthwile and fun. It is not about chasing people to give your money, it is about finding somebody in need of your skills and then developing a solution for their problem together with your team and the customer. Being a problemfinder and solver is something I really enjoy to be.

Business Relations have to be done. Somehow. Personally I was afraid of going out, talking to people and actually sign contracts over projects. But from what I have experienced in the last two years I can just tell you: See the fun side of it and give it a go. Most of the people are actually very interested in what you’re doing. And don’t forget: You should be at least as interested in what they’re doing, too. Business communication is very much the understanding what others are doing, what they need and how you can solve their problems.

Something I did not realize in the beginning: The biggest part of that is just listening. Listening to anybody and show some real interest in their problems. You should be genuinely interested in the problem or their work, otherwise your solution will probably be of no use or interest.

tl;dr:

Get a good team. Give them freedom and help if needed. Find problem. Solve problem. Enjoy doing the process. Profit.

Now my job description is more of a Creative Navigator and Business Nerd at Klonk Games. I think that’ll go on my business card.

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