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International Women's Day 2022

Tuesday 8 March is an annual global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s also a day that calls for action to accelerate women’s equality. Did you know that it has been running since 1911? Each year has a different theme, with 2022 focusing on #BreakTheBias.


At Third Kind Games we celebrate the women in our work and home lives all year round, but especially in the games industry we do feel it’s important to mark International Women’s Day.


Latest statistics from the industry show that female representation in the world of game development is still a problem, with GDC’s State of the Games Industry 2022 report shorting that just 20% of respondents identified as women. Plus, a 2015 Gender Balance Workforce done by The Guardian showed that 45% of the women working in the UK gaming industry felt that their gender was a limiting factor in their career progression.


All of us at Third Kind Games want to play our part and keep changing things for the better. We count ourselves lucky to have some incredibly talented women in our studio and we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate everything they bring to Third Kind Games.


Below, we asked a few questions to women in different roles across the studio, about how they got into the industry and what they love about what they do. Check out what they have to say about their experience of working in games.


We also wanted to make a charity donation on behalf of the women of Third Kind Games for International Women’s Day, so we asked them to choose a charity they wanted us to donate to. The unanimous decision was for Women’s Aid, the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.


Kirsty Fraser, Programmer

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I started programming back in high school which led me to start a degree in IT before realising I could work in video games as a career. While my IT course was enjoyable, it definitely wasn’t something I could see myself doing for a career so when I heard about being able to study for video games programming - I took the chance. One degree later and a handful of interviews I managed to secure my first job in the industry in 2016 and haven’t looked back since.


I’ve found working in the games industry to be filled with people who just want to see amazing games being made and help to bring different stories to the media of video games. In games today, I’m really pleased to be able to see more of myself as a queer woman being represented in the games and people advocating for these stories to be told from within their own companies.


What do you love about what you do?

The different challenges that I get to tackle working on a game - whether it’s a new feature or system that needs building or tackling a gnarly bug that’s cropped up. No day is usually the same and that’s what keeps me enjoying my job. Whilst at TKG, I’ve also been able to help support the culture we’re creating by introducing an LGBTQ+ friendly space for those who want support but also to educate themselves at the same time. I think it is super important that even though we’re hired for our talent and skill in our disciplines, our voices are still heard within the company should we wish to introduce positive change.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

I would have to say even with the growth that we’ve had over the past two years to hitting near 70 employees, I don’t think there’s anyone I wouldn’t feel like I could go grab a coffee with and have a chat with outside of work. Everyone’s really friendly and supportive of one another here both in our work achievements and personal achievements as well.


As mentioned earlier, the founders are dedicated to supporting the team in a multitude of ways between active career development, employee benefits and ensuring the company culture that doesn’t discriminate against anyone.

 

Heidi Slee, HR Manager

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I had been looking for an opportunity to be part of a team where I felt I could build HR from a starting point rather than inheriting a legacy. Speaking with Darren – one of the Directors at Third Kind Games – I felt very much at ease and that my role could really make a difference to the team, and that I could be part of building the business from a people perspective.

I get to be part of experiencing people create fantastic games in such an exciting industry, which is great. The enthusiasm is infectious, with everyone being able to contribute to awesome games, this is truly one of the most exciting industries to be part of.


What do you love about what you do?

I love talking to people and seeing the happiness and joy gained from doing what they love the most, the fact that I can play a small part in supporting them to do their role or develop for the future makes me happy.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

It has to be the people, everyone is so open and friendly. I don't feel silly if I ask a question that helps me to understand their roles better.

Although I have worked in many teams, there have been times that my role is treated as an outlying role, without a doubt these are the best group of people I have ever worked with, who always make everyone feel valued and welcome.

 

Vicky Boyce, Lead Designer

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I studied Software Development in College, then went on to do a BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology at LJMU. After many months, countless interviews, and failing to get a job as a junior programmer, I got a job in QA for Sony, and after a year of retraining myself I managed to get my first Designer job for Rebellion.


I enjoy that we can work on many different things, that there's always more to learn and to understand, and that what we develop is meant for players' enjoyment.


What do you love about what you do?

I love designing and coming up with ideas and solutions on many different types of games, and working with such multi-skilled and creative individuals. Each project and challenge we work on is different, and although the work and the journey can be tough and stressful at times, the payoff at the end when it's done and you see players enjoying your work is well worth it.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

Everyone is really friendly and helpful, and also hardworking, skilled, and professional. I like that they also work on a wide range of games too.

I've not been here long, but I'm looking forward to meeting the team in-person and going to some of the social events they've organised in the near future.

 

Jen Marshall, UI / UX Designer

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I've played games since I was very young and studied Computer Science and Maths at Uni. I was lucky enough to get my first job in the industry when Frontier took me on board. What I love most about the games industry is the people.


What do you love about what you do?

I love combining creative and technical work, I love advocating for the user, I love to feel things improve as we iterate on a feature or mechanic together.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

We are so METAL. 🤘 Seriously, people at Third Kind Games really love metal music!

 

Vicky Wilson-Theaker, PR Manager

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I only joined the games industry at the beginning of 2022, but my god it is great to be here. I’ve played games since I was old enough to steal some time on my older brothers’ PCs and got incredibly hooked on Diablo II. I’ve always loved the escapism of games – immersing myself in a new, fantastical world, exploring new stories and fascinating characters. Now I get to bring my corporate communications and PR experience into an industry that I’m really excited about.


Now that I can say I’m part of the industry, it feels like I finally ‘found my people’. Everyone at Third Kind Games has at least some overlapping interests and is happy to enthuse about games, books, music or pets (we have some awesome Slack channels for each) for hours.


What do you love about what you do?

Working in PR and communications is great because I get to say that I tell stories for a living. What I mean by that is that I help bring brands to life, tell their story to the world and shape how people outside of the business views what we’re all about. I also get to spend all day everyday writing, which is always what I’ve gravitated towards and enjoyed.

What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

It’s a really welcoming and supportive place to be, from the people right through to the values. It also feels like a really exciting time to be here, we’re growing quickly and that means lots of exciting opportunities and developments (which is always good for PR!).

 

Edie Straight, Office Assistant

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?

I joined Third Kind Games last year after graduating from university, so this is my first role within the games industry. Growing up I’ve always loved gaming - my first introduction was playing Crash Bandicoot with my older sister after school, and I’ve never looked back! Being able to work every day in such a creative and exciting environment is a dream for me, and getting to work with amazing people who all share a passion for games is the best part.


What do you love about what you do?

As the office assistant at a games company, I love being a part of the team that helps to make our workplace as supportive and welcoming as possible, as well as the fact that I get to interact and work with so many different team members on a daily basis.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

Definitely the people! Everyone here is so friendly and supportive, and being able to witness the pure amount of talent within this company is incredible. I’m very proud to be a Third Kinder!

 

Tash Warmington, Associate Producer

How did you get into the industry and what do you enjoy about working in games?When faced with the question "What do you want to do as a job?" at 14, my response was "games". Shortly after, I ended up with my first work experience in a small games company as a QA tester. One week of work experience turned into several at various other companies, including a longer term summer job at the original studio before I went to university.


University gave me game art and animation courses, and instilled in me a lifelong love of 3D printing. Once university was finished, I returned to QA where I spent several years, before getting a taste of what it was like to work as a Producer. I joined Third Kind Games as a QA Technician, and a year and a bit later joined the production team. I now get to enjoy working in games, bringing my QA mindset to a production role, and getting to work on a variety of different things within games.


What do you love about what you do?

A question that has a few parts! I loved being in QA as it let me problem solve to my heart's content. It allowed me to talk with everyone in all disciplines; and that's continued with my move into production.


What do I love about production? Spreadsheets and gantt charts. But inevitable Google Sheet days aside, I get to work with amazing people who want to make amazing things, and I see my job as making sure they can do those things and clearing a path for them. Great games are made by great people, and I want to do my part to allow that to continue happening without crunch.


What’s the best thing about Third Kind Games?

The people. It's my go-to line in all the intro calls with new people; everyone is hugely approachable to talk to, about work or about any other topic. We've worked hard to keep that "small company" feel as we've grown, to ensure everyone feels comfortable talking to others, and that no one is out of reach.