This month, we’re working with Pretty Simple Games (@prttysmpl) to help them highlight some of their job openings. They are a casual games developer behind titles like Criminal Case, and they are looking to expand at their Paris-based studio. We wanted to give our readers a bit more insight into what life at Pretty Simple (and in Paris) might be like, so we put the following questions to Serge Versillé, their Head of Marketing and Communication.
1. What is the game development community like in Paris? Is there much interaction with other developers or studios?
“There’s a number of game dev events in Paris, Game Jams, conferences, and the like. We meet regularly with other game developers, especially people doing online, social, and mobile games. Paris counts a lot of young game companies, some bigger, more established ones as well, and a lot of tech startups as well, so there are plenty of meetups and events. Then there are also big conferences beyond Paris and France, for example this summer we’re going to Casual Connect in San Francisco, and also to GDC Europe in Köln (Germany).”
2. Tell me a little bit about life at Pretty Simple. What makes it unique?
- “We create original games, that stand out from the crowd, and that millions play. For each of our games, we look for fun new mechanics, stories, and art. Our standard of quality means our games come out only when they are truly ready, and it isn’t always easy to stick to this principle.
- We have talent, passion, and fun. We work on games we love, with teammates we can rely on and learn from. This makes working at Pretty Simple stimulating and fun. Playing on our arcade cabinets at lunch is also pretty cool.
- We know success. Success means that the office is a very exciting and happy place. Working in such a great atmosphere is pure pleasure. Success also gives us many opportunities to learn and become better at what we do.
- We value work-life balance. We seek fulfillment in our work, but we recognize our many other needs in order to be happy: family, friends, time to do nothing and anything. As it happens, the French workweek is 35h, with 5 weeks paid vacation, so this balance is easy to reach.
- We’re in Paris. As a major world capital, Paris has it all, from food to culture, and from history to party. Whether you have a family or prefer to go out all night, you will find something that makes you happy in Paris. Plus, if you like travelling, Paris is 1h flight from London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, or Rome.”
3. Is the studio focused entirely on social games?
“We focus on casual games actually, so that means both social and mobile games.”
4. What can a new hire expect to be involved with during the first few months on the job?
“A new hire can expect to feel at home very quickly, and to actually start doing real stuff for production within the first week or two. Whether on the dev, art, or writing team, a new hire will find people around happy to help and answer questions.”
5. Do you have experience hiring Americans or Canadians? How complicated is that hiring process?
“Different procedures exist, but for what is defined as “highly qualified workers” in the EU, a European Blue Card can be obtained fairly easily. If instead a regular work visa is required, that’s a bit more paperwork for us and a bit more latency waiting for administrative authorizations, but nothing that can’t be done.”
6. Do you conduct business using French or English in the studio?
“We conduct business mostly in English, and for example all our work on Criminal Case is done in English. We have people in the office who are native English speakers, or native speakers of other languages, and there are over 10 languages spoken in the team. So we’re quite multicultural, and we’re used to using English as the common language. That being said, if a meeting has only three native French speakers in it, chances are French will be spoken, and if you beat a native French speaker on the arcade cabinets during the lunch break, the curses that may be muttered will be in French.”
Thanks to Serge for taking the time to answer our questions!