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Girl Power Month!
Welcome back to our celebration of girl power in videogames! Last week we posted up an interview with Kaisy and Kuni, two of the members of our Bejing Operations team. You can read it here. This week we’re talking to the women of our product team! Now these women you may already know, so we’ll keep the introductions quick.
First up, from our EU department, we have Enelimm. Enelimm has been with us for a few years now working as our freelance Community Specialist for EU.
Next up, you know her very well if you guys are playing Swordsman, she supports PWI in planning and execution as its Assistant Project Manager. In fact, she sits directly across from me in the office, SheepClouds.
Last, but most certainly not least, is a woman who I’m sure needs no introduction. She is our illustrious Project Manager for PWI, Minty “Always yell at Domino" Summer!
We’ve asked them to answer the questions that you had about the game, the industry, and how they were able to make it. Without further ado…
Laiwaisan: What kind of schooling do I have to go through to get a job as a developer or in Operations?
Mintsummer: I think the passion to work on games is way more important than a diploma. German language was my major in university.
Laiwaisan: How did you get your start?
Mintsummer: That was back in 2006, PWRD just started its first steps towards being international. I was hired because of I can speak both English and German.
Laiwaisan: Are you guys allowed to listen to music while you work? What music do you listen to?
Mintsummer: Yeah, we can listen to music during work. I prefer the soundtracks in my favorite games and movies.
ayejay101: How did you all manage to become an all-female team and not a single male?
Mintsummer: It happened before we realized it. LOL
schnubbelpuh: Why can’t you sleep in the bed you place inside your Homestead? It’s your bed, you should be able to sleep in it.
Mintsummer: Yeah, why can’t we!? This is Domino’s fault, I’m blaming him >:)
asterelle: By what criteria do you judge the state of class balance? There are a lot of factors that can be judged: 1v1 ability, mass PVP ability, PVE damage output, class popularity, player feedback. What factors do you actually consider when deciding which classes should get strong buffs while others are allowed to fall behind?
Mintsummer: Well, class balance has been something that we continually working on. All factors you mentioned are considered plus there’s a lot of math behind it. From a developer’s perspective, it is hard to create a perfect or absolute balance between classes since we have very creative players. And players will explore many brilliant (or awful) ways to use or abuse each skill. That is why we continually adjust skills.
jenna3d: Why are all the female char's clothes so sexy compared to male characters?
Mintsummer: Yeah, why! *Yells at Domino*
jenna3d: Will we ever be able to purchase fashion weapon skins that are permanent?
Mintsummer: It is under discussion and testing here at PWE-US
keeperofkeys: What do you do during the 3 hour maintenance window every week?
Mintsummer: Be on standby in case anything bad happens suddenly and make the call to the proper people. If nothing happens, watch Game of Thrones.
sylenthunder: When are they going to update the client engine to Angelica III like they stated they brought Archosaur Group dev's back in November of 2013 to do? Are the classes going to get skill graphic upgrades? This is something that was promised over two years ago when the original dev's were brought back in.
Mintsummer: A lot of things happened during those 2 years. We still want to update the game engine and graphics. And we are looking at something else besides Angelica. ;)
sylenthunder: When are the older classes going to get the ability to cast while moving?
Mintsummer: Good ones! I would like to see that happens on Venomancer or Cleric! It would be a huge project for developers. They are going to hate us… LOL
khurshed: Was it hard to get to where You are today?
Enelimm: Well I had to work hard to kick my career off, and there have been tough times and a lot of uncertainty at the beginning. But I think that this is typical of competitive industries and today’s job market in general, so I really don’t think I had it any harder than others. I am however very grateful that I was given the opportunities to prove myself, as I realize that not everyone has this chance.
khurshed: Does the work you do make you feel happy and satisfied at all times?
SheepClouds: It is normally a lot of fun. The only hard part is that the heart of the game is the player community and it can be very difficult to keep everyone happy. Usually the most vocal players are those that are unhappy and you don’t get very much feedback from players that enjoy things.
khurshed: As a female do you ever feel a sense of discrimination at times?
Enelimm: I did feel some uncanniness in other gaming companies at times, but never had this issue in PWE as I deal with female colleagues and managers daily. I suppose that not everyone is free of sexist biases either, but I attribute this to individual and societal issues and not at all to the company culture.
SheepClouds: I have faced some pretty extreme discrimination in jobs outside the game industry before, but never in the game industry. If you do your job well and you are valuable to the team, no one cares if you are male or female.
khurshed: Do you feel Happy with how PWI portrays Women and the Fashions that PWI has with them?
Enelimm: PWI has the same issues as maaaany games in this matter, as in that female armors tend to be much more revealing than realistic, and that artworks usually picture sexy girls rather than powerful women. However, I also realize that PWI was created years ago, in a faraway country where both devs and players have a very different culture. In general I don’t think that PWI was created to objectify women and I don’t get the feeling that the community is inherently sexist, so I’m happy with it!
SheepClouds: This is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with female fashion in PWI. The great thing about online games is that they are fantasy worlds, where you can wear whatever you want, even if it is impractical.
khurshed: Lastly , What do you think of the Current state of the Game?
Enelimm: Objectively, I am aware that PWI has its share of flaws and old-school looks. But then, when I remember that it was among the first F2P MMOs to be released to French and German-speaking markets and that it is still up and running to this day, it makes me glad and proud that it is still being improved by our devs and played by so many almost 10 years later!
kiiyukaa: What is your daily routine in the company? What is the first thing you think about when you go through the door?
Enelimm: I work from Spain as a freelancer, so the first thing I think in the morning is that the sun is shining again, and that I should hurry to check my emails :p
kiiyukaa: If you could, what would you change in games that you work on?
Enelimm: Do you mean anything, no matter how unrealistic? :D Then I would upgrade them all to Angelica III (Swordsman’s engine, take a look if you haven’t!), localize them to more languages so we could have even more diversity among our players, and get all PWE teams in the same offices (in sunny Spain obviously) so I could talk to all my colleagues face-to-face on a daily basis!
heero200: If you could make any clothing for PWI what would it be and Why?
Enelimm: If you mean in-game, I’d make it possible for female characters to wear flat sneakers and for males to wear high heels :D Because why not? I’d also like to see more western-style outfits for guys, looking more like Mad Men or comics characters (and less like K-Pop bands). If you mean in real life, an EU moderator once suggested we should make Barbarian hoodies with Tiger, Lion, Wolf and Panda-shaped hoods, which sounds awesome!
heero200: If you could make any clothing for PWI what would it be and Why?
Enelimm: I am a big fan of fashion and customization in general, so I would add more features like the Homesteads and add further possibilities to have your style match your personality. I would also love graphics to be improved, but I realize that it would requires an enormous amount of work while making a lot of players unable to run the game on their computers.
heero200: What is your Favourite thing to work on when you are working?
SheepClouds: I really enjoy seeing new content for the game. We usually get just as excited as the players when new things come in and we get to try them out.
heero200: Do you ever sit at home on your days off and go BINGO thats how we could do it?
SheepClouds: All the time, sometimes the best ideas come to you when you aren’t focused on thinking about the problem.
heero200: Do you ever do any team building?
SheepClouds: The Company holds team building events every month. We go see new movies, go-carting, to see baseball games etc. (the company has a softball team as well). We also have lunch catered in every day, so we can hang out together over lunch.
testxvi: Do you girls actually play the game in your free time?
SheepClouds: Yes, we all play the game, but it is more fun to play if no one knows you work for the company. :)
We hope you enjoyed this quick look behind the scenes of one of your most beloved games! Join us next time as we ask you the players a few questions!