There are so many opportunities to work in gaming all over the world.
Go behind-the-scenes with the Firemonkeys Analytics team based in Melbourne, Australia.
What is the role of the Firemonkeys Analytics team?
Michael Bane – Analytics Manager: At a high level, the role of the analytics team is to manage the vast quantities of telemetry being sent from our games, derive insight from the data and communicate it out to the game teams.
The full Firemonkeys Analytics team in Melbourne
What projects is the team currently working on?
Bane: I am currently working on an automatic recommendation engine for in-game items. I really enjoy this because we are using data to listen to player’s individual needs and desires, tailoring their experience accordingly. Eventually, I would like to see games take what we learn from custom building an in-game pack and expand to the entire game experience.
To me, the most rewarding part of the role is that moment when you’ve found a solution to the problem you’re investigating.
Spectacular view of the cityscape from the 13th floor of the office
Which other teams do you work with regularly?
Nick Couture – Game Analyst: Primarily we work with each of the game teams within the studio. The main points of contact are the Product Managers, but we still interact with Designers, Engineers, and other roles depending on the task at hand.
We have exposure to the entirety of the studio and this occasionally results in some ad-hoc requests. Since coming under the GAI (Global Analytics and Insights) team, we are increasingly reaching out and engaging with external teams such as UXR (User Experience Research) or Central Analytics to work collaboratively on projects.
Prash Raju, Firemonkeys Game Analyst
How do the Firemonkeys game teams benefit from the data you provide them?
Prash Raju – Analytics Director: Analytics assist in providing data and insights to influence the direction of our games by inspiring teams with evidence to improve experiences for our players. For example, we assist designers in developing more immersive quest experiences in The Sims FreePlay and also improve a new player’s first time experience in Need For Speed No Limits.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Couture: To me, the most rewarding part of the role is that moment when you’ve found an answer or solution to the question or problem you’re investigating. Whether it was presented to you by someone else or something you set out to find yourself, nothing beats the satisfaction in realizing that you’ve figured it out.
And it’s not just simply that end result but the summation of all the steps leading there. Identifying the core concept of what you want, figuring out what data sources to look at and deciding on the tools to use are all important steps, as are how to extract the data you want, and how you present your results. This is important because you not only have the pride in knowing you did it but also in that your answer/solution may have a major impact on the business.
The team’s open workspace allows for quick communication and collaboration.
How do you keep your skills up to date?
Couture: I keep my skills up to date by taking on new projects, whether internally or externally. In doing so I’m generally introduced to a new system or presented with a novel question. There’s documentation to read or some research that needs to be done on how to address the question. Sometimes that leads to a new system and the cycle continues. I also use explicit learning resources such as Datacamp or Coursera to target specific topics and blogs such as R-bloggers to keep my finger on the pulse of the landscape.
What is your favorite thing about the working environment at Firemonkeys?
Erwin Lim - Senior Data Engineer: We have an amazing office which has a fully stocked kitchen which includes fresh fruit, snacks and sandwiches, and because we are based in Melbourne we have two different four-spout expresso machines! Melbourne takes our coffee very seriously.
Nick Couture, Firemonkeys Game Analyst
What advice can you give to someone who aspires to work in gaming?
Paul Wintrip – Game Analyst: Engulf yourself in all things gaming. The more you can gain an understanding of different gaming mechanics for a variety of genres, the better you'll be equipped to contribute to the success of future games. This includes playing games you wouldn't normally play to see how they do things differently to achieve their goals.
Carefully consider all the different roles that are available in a gaming company. There may be more available than you think.
Lastly, never give up, keep chasing your dream to work in a gaming company as it's worth it!
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