Interview with Beran Peter
The very first person I interviewed at Stainless Steel Studios was Beran Peter, SSSI’s production manager and liasion to Activision. Read on to learn about Stainless Steel’s interaction with their producer, exactly what else he does on the job, plus a couple extra amusing or interesting bits of information!
Socvazius: What kinds of things do you do for your job in dealing with Activision?
Beran: It entails quite a bit; coordinating resources on this end with resources on their end, I would say the major things they’ve contributed are localization of all of our assets. So twelve languages is what Empires is shipped it, so undertaking a project where all languages are shipped at the same time – there are a couple of languages that are shipped later – was a first for Activision, actually. So that was a challenge all the way around. The other is QA; we have a QA team here and they have a QA team there, there were some problems in coordinating those. And then I’m not involved in marketing and PR directly, but I get involved in some of the assets for marketing events or fan events, I’ll coordinate things to get those going.
Socvazius: What kind of marketing and fan events do you work with?
Beran: Well, the marketing team needs artists to make wallpaper screens and things like that; and I have to make sure that these artists are not available for game assets, so I essentially have to juggle schedules.
Socvazius: So you have to do a bit of management within the staff?
Beran: I draw all of the schedules for all of the teams: programming, art, and design. So I need to make sure the design spec for this unit is done before we can start art on it, for example.
“So I was rotating the whole company through for testing; I would post schedules on all the doors so everyone would come in and know what they were doing.”
David: And that was really important too; that when we were coming to a close, we really needed to maximize our time. We needed a schedule that made sure that everybody was doing something.
Beran: In the last couple months, we were doing a lot of testing and everyone in the company was involved in testing, so I had a 7-day-a-week schedule where everybody was rotated in; people would be on basically between 9am and 8pm Monday through Friday and 10-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. So I was rotating the whole company through for testing; I would post schedules on all the doors so everyone would come in and know what they were doing. They might an artist but that day they were testing all the singleplayer campaigns.
Socvazius: So they would have an idea of what the big picture of the game is turning out like.
“…Activision is a great company. The team there is wonderful; I really have liked working with them.”
Socvazius: How do you like this job as the representative to Activision as opposed to your other jobs in the software industry?
Beran: There’s no comparison; I’m a gamer at heart and always have been. I think that being in the gaming industry is awesome, and then working for a company that makes excellent titles is a dream come true. I think that combination, and Activision is a great company. The team there is wonderful; I really have liked working with them. I’m looking forward to a continued relationship with them.
Socvazius: Do you have advice for anyone that’s looking to be in your kind of job in the future?
Beran: Yeah, I’d say if you’re not an artist or a programmer there’s still an opportunity for you to be in a game company. I think that experience in understanding projects and their development life cycle, what takes place. You can still participate, you can still be a part of a game company even though you’re not an artist or a programmer; you can still have a significant impact on a game, from my perspective.
Next: Working With Activision