Re­cruiter Pro­file

Giants Soft­ware, the Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor cre­ator plough­ing a dis­tinc­tive fur­row

EDGE - - SECTIONS - MARTIN RABL Giants Soft­ware mar­ket­ing & PR man­ager mrabl@giants-soft­ Job ap­pli­ca­tions: hr_jobs@giants-soft­

The Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor cre­ator plough­ing a dis­tinc­tive fur­row in game de­vel­op­ment “MANY CON­SIDER FARM­ING SIM­U­LA­TOR A NICHE PROD­UCT, BUT THE SALES TELL US IT’S A PRETTY BIG NICHE”

Founded in 2004, Giants Soft­ware is best known for the Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor se­ries, which has sold over eight mil­lion copies across all plat­forms to date. A small in­de­pen­dent stu­dio with around 40 staff split be­tween its two stu­dios in Zürich and Er­lan­gen, Giants gives most new starters the choice be­tween work­ing in Switzerland or Ger­many. It’s cur­rently look­ing to fill two po­si­tions: a web de­vel­oper and a game­play pro­gram­mer.

What sets Giants Soft­ware apart from other de­vel­op­ers?

Our prod­uct, the Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor se­ries, is unique. Many con­sider it a niche prod­uct, but the sales tell us it’s a pretty big niche. It’s built with our be­spoke Giants En­gine which gives us the free­dom we need to make this spe­cial game. As it’s the only game we’re ac­tively de­vel­op­ing, we can be re­ally fo­cused on it, which is im­por­tant be­cause the com­mu­nity pays close at­ten­tion to even the small­est de­tails. We de­velop Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor for play­ers who want to take a break from com­pet­i­tive pres­sure or games which re­quire quick re­ac­tion times.

Can you tell us a lit­tle about the cul­ture at the stu­dio?

With around 20 peo­ple in each of the two of­fices you get to know all of your col­leagues very well. The hi­er­ar­chy across the whole or­gan­i­sa­tion is very flat: if you have an idea and want to present it, you know where to go, and if it’s a good one it will be im­ple­mented quickly. The at­mos­phere is re­laxed and in­for­mal. Staff treat each other with re­spect, but it’s also OK to make jokes and laugh to­gether. Since most peo­ple speak Ger­man, it’s good to know the lan­guage, but in fact, be­ing able to com­mu­ni­cate in English is manda­tory. We of­fer com­pany-paid lan­guage cour­ses for Ger­man and English. In terms of the work, we plan ahead in or­der to avoid crunch.

What at­tributes are you look­ing for in can­di­dates?

Your CV and ref­er­ences are im­por­tant, of course, and you should know your stuff, but for us it’s equally im­por­tant that you want to work on Farm­ing Sim­u­la­tor and have fun play­ing videogames. We want team play­ers: we spend plenty of time with you dur­ing the week, so it’s good when the chem­istry is right. We’re proud of the team spirit we’ve cre­ated here and want to keep it up.

Do you need a knowl­edge of farm­ing?

It can be an ad­van­tage for cer­tain po­si­tions, but it’s not manda­tory. A third of our em­ploy­ees have some sort of farm­ing back­ground – the rest started here with a fairly av­er­age knowl­edge of farm­ing, though you learn a lot while you’re here.

What’s it like to work with such a pas­sion­ate fan­base? Have events like Far­mCon changed the way you work with your com­mu­nity?

It’s in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing but also a chal­lenge. The more pas­sion­ate peo­ple are about some­thing, the more they will pay at­ten­tion to de­tail. We have a very di­verse fan base from young to old, farm­ers and non-farm­ers, so we have to find the right bal­ance to make the game a great ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one. Events like Far­mCon are per­fect for get­ting to know play­ers even bet­ter. It al­lows us to get the most di­rect feed­back pos­si­ble and strengthen close re­la­tion­ships with key play­ers to im­prove the game.

Though a close fa­mil­iar­ity with farm­ing is by no means manda­tory for Giants staff, Rabl says new em­ploy­ees are likely to be­come keen trac­tor-spot­ters be­fore too long. “Like football fans else­where, you’ll find fan groups of dif­fer­ent farm­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers here,” he says

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