While 99% of the time we’re making games—every now and again an opportunity presents itself to use our games art skills for something extraordinary. In February 2018 an ensemble cast of our artists partnered with Momentum Children’s Charity and took on the challenge of renovating a hospital room at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey.
Between January and March we’ve welcomed eight (missing mystery Tonic to be featured next month) new Tonics aboard! Welcome to the team Stephen (Senior 3D Artist), Haley (Marketing & Communications Manager), Tom (Game Designer), Krisztina (Senior QA Lead), Chris (Junior VFX Artist), Michelle (UI Artist) and Paul (Technical Artist)!
The MCV 30 Under 30 list went live today and we’re extremely excited to see our Build Engineer Liz Wright has made the list, as well as our UI Artist, Michelle Vinall, who’s also received an honourable mention.
In under three years, Liz has pioneered and built tech innovations that have accelerated development across the entire business so effectively that projects now run much more efficiently and predictably.
We couldn’t praise her work or her attitude enough. Liz is fun to work with, wonderfully self-deprecating (which melds well with the Mediatonic sense of humour) and takes everything in her stride. She always remains calm and level-headed, acting as a reassuring voice of reason during the tense moments of firefighting that inevitably occur in game development. Her success and prowess in her role meant we’ve even had to invent an entirely new role within the studio (hence her title: Build Master!), and has shaped the way our leads build new teams.
This year’s GamesIndustry.biz 100 was focused on the 100 Most Influential Women in the UK Games Industry and we’re incredibly proud that our Commercial Director Helen Burnill made the cut!
Helen continues to be an inspiration to us within Mediatonic and we’re thrilled to see her contributions to the UK games industry recognised on a wider stage. Plus, after receiving an incredible amount of submissions, GamesIndustry.biz and Amiqus found a way to invite all 450 nominees—including a few more Tonics like Gina Nelson and Haley Uyrus.
When asked about what she’d tell women interested in joining the industry, Helen explained: "Don't think twice, just do it. Every day is fun -- even the stressful ones are an adventure... Ultra-smart, hardworking people who give a damn about what they do and each other, working together in the happiness industry. What's to think about?” Read more at the official GamesIndustry.biz winner announcement article.
Congratulations to all 100 winners and 450 nominees!
Named among 2018’s top 50 UK leaders, this year our own Dave and Paul mark definite graduation from the ‘uni students done good’ story, taking the company from a band of two kids in school pretending to be serious businessmen, to heads of an award-winning international games business, marking one of the most exciting years in MT’s history. LDC named Dave & Paul among this year’s ‘Rulebreakers’.
Dave: We want to make a substantial number of people feel happier, either through entertaining them with our [games] or through making a difference to our team’s lives
Paul: I [just] love making things and seeing people interact with the things I’ve made. I would do that even if I didn’t have a business.
We love a good rainbow here at Mediatonic. Seriously. Visit our London studio and you'll be assaulted by multi-coloured joy before you've even taken your coat off. Mixed amongst the cute rainbow creatures and bold rainbow pillars, you'll also find a number of Pride flags. The LGBT society at Mediatonic is one of our longest running internal groups, and provides a space where self-identified LGBT staff can chat with others across our whole family of studios.
In addition to a private Discord server where members can discuss all sorts of things - sometimes serious, but mostly not - we also hold a wide array of activities, the vast majority of which we open up to the studio as a whole for everyone to enjoy.
There's our yearly Pride party in our London studio, for example, where we join the rest of the city in celebrating the diversity of our culture. There's regular LGBT movie nights, where we watch films that tend to have cult status in the LGBT community - recent showings include camp classic Death Becomes Her and legendary musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And we try to sometimes get together and watch RuPaul's Drag Race, but usually everyone's too impatient and we've all already watched it before the anointed day.
In addition to the Pride party, we also try to use Pride as our chance to do a little more than just celebrate, but also educate. This year, two members of our group held a lunchtime talk session on gender representation in games, where they shared characters that presented non-traditional approaches to gender. These were attended by many in the studio - especially outside the LGBT group - although the free Rainbow cake probably had something to do with that.
But it's not just excuses to hang out that we're aiming for. One of our key goals as a group is to help each other feel more comfortable about speaking up about LGBT issues when they arise in the games we're making. Every studio wants to show off the diversity of their workforce, and yet unless those staff have a voice, it means nothing. But here's the thing: speaking up can be scary, especially when it's to say something that may cause knock-on effects. That's why we try to create an environment where we can discuss these things and support each other in our efforts to create games that can appeal to a wide range of players, not just the ones our industry has typically served.
Our motto when setting up the group was 'you do you', and we continue to try to hold to it. That means that if you want to join you can - but there's no pressure. If you want to just hang out in the chat room and lurk, that's fine. If you want to champion something in your game, then that's awesome - but it's by no means expected. Hold events, or just go to them - whatever works.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got a Halloween screening of Hocus Pocus to arrange...
In preparation for Inktober this year, many of the wonderful peeps in our office brought in their sketchbooks for our first ever sketchbook sharing day.
It was absolutely amazing to flick through the pages of everyone’s books and I couldn't believe just how many there were! It was wonderful seeing the thought process behind pieces - so often we only see final images and forget just how much work goes into making them. How many hours of practice it takes, and how many ideas we go through before finding that one idea that really works. Sketchbooks are such a personal thing and we're really privileged to have been allowed to look through these.
I think everyone walked away feeling more inspired and excited about Inktober - or TonicTober as we're calling it - and I can't wait to see what we can do!