As Creative­forge grows, so does its re­spon­si­bil­ity. Not just to play­ers, but to staff. While you might ex­pect an in­de­pen­dent stu­dio to be liv­ing the life of Ri­ley, with hardly a care in the world, Kroenke is very se­ri­ous when it comes to the bosses mak­ing sure that things are well-man­aged. “When you hire like 20 peo­ple and they rely on you as a com­pany owner,” he says, “to give them money, to get some food in their stom­achs, you kind of get re­spect­ful of their time and of their money and of ev­ery­thing you get. You try to make the best goals from when you start. And this is some­thing that you can do ev­ery time, and some­times you need to just ex­per­i­ment.” But the stu­dio is able to en­joy lux­u­ries that some in larger stu­dios might not: time to think, to plan, to re­think and re­plan. “Kacper [Szym­czak], the lead de­signer, be­lieves in think­ing things through first,” Kroenke ex­plains. “He be­lieves that de­sign­ers are paid to think, so that’s what they should be fo­cus­ing on. Be­fore we im­ple­ment some fea­tures, we tend to spend a lot of time just think­ing it through, think­ing over, and while it paid off in Hard West, this time it’s been more re­laxed. But this ethos re­mains and I be­lieve that we could ex­ploit this more com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion to de­velop more and bet­ter fea­tures over­all.”

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