Staff interview: Christophe
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Christophe Briant, Senior Project Manager
How does an average day look like for you?
Get coffee. Always.
As a PM, the first thing I do when coming in is to check my emails to see if I received any new request from my clients, then check Teams to see if I received any updates/questions from devs or artists. Then finally I glance at Jira to check the progress of the ongoing tasks.
The rest of the day is usually spent answering questions from devs/artists, checking deliverables quality, making sure what we said we would do is on schedule, discuss and prepare with the client the features/projects we will be working on in the next weeks/months.
How did your career evolve at Wizcorp?
I started as a junior PM at Wizcorp, not knowing much about project management, so it was a very “sink or swim” type of experience. We were a few junior PMs starting around the same time, so we stuck together and learned/improved as many things as we could.
After a few years I was comfortable enough with my skills and experience to better respond to the client expectations and make sure projects were getting done in the best possible conditions.
Eventually, the constant stress of having my hands tied by the schedules and budgets imposed by client got to me and I felt I needed to work in a “saner” industry, so I left Wizcorp and the game industry for a few years. It was a breath of fresh air and it helped to realize how “normal” development is done.
Nevertheless, because I love games and gaming, and I personally need to relate to my work, I decided to come back to Wizcorp. At the same time, Wizcorp has gained more stability by joining the Keywords Studios group, and my seniority would allow me to have more input in the projects I would be assigned to.
What do you like the most at Wizcorp?
Wizcorp is where I made some very good friends, and I think overall the people at Wizcorp are what makes it a great place to work. You can work on some of the toughest projects, but if you have a team of amazing people with you, it makes the whole thing a lot more bearable.
What do you find the most annoying?
The uncertainty. Because we work as a third-party developer, we can sometimes work on amazing projects, but other times on smaller ones that are not so challenging, or even have (short) periods with no work at all.Bouncing around projects is also something you need to get used to, but it’s also part of the fun.
What have you learned?
That it’s pointless to rush a project. You will burn your team, make people leave the company and most likely deliver something not up to the expectations of the client.
Which leads to the second most important thing I learned, sometimes you need to refuse what the client is asking, for their own good. Countless times have I seen clients asking for unreasonable schedules and getting something underwhelming as a result. If you want to keep your client happy, make sure to tell them that they cannot get something amazing without spending the time and effort to make it amazing. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and all that ;)
What are your aspirations?
To help the company grow into a high-end engineering company and get our names into a consumer game (AAA or indie, doesn’t matter). Looks like this is underway, but I can’t wait to be part of this adventure!
What would you want someone interested in Wizcorp to know? (What to expect)
This is the perfect place to learn and grow. Wizcorp will help with the visa application, provide you a decent working environment and will allow you to work on very different projects; while also providing basic Japanese lessons. Wizcorp has been a great jumping board into the Japanese game industry for many!
What do you think Wizcorp is doing right?
After many tries, mistakes, ups and downs; I think Wizcorp has grown and understood that its most important asset was its staff. Providing them decent working conditions, limiting overtime, extra summer/winter holidays and sick leaves are not so common in the Japanese game development industry; and they make working at Wizcorp a whole lot better. If you are looking for sane, human working conditions, then definitely I would recommend working here ;)