Three amazing Marmalade employees share their thoughts about International Women’s Day, their careers and more!
International Women’s Day is a global day of celebration. It raises awareness for the role women have played in building our society. It’s also a day when organisations and governments talk about the problems we still face. These include gender equality, reproductive rights, access to education, and violence and abuse against women. It’s a lot to unpack in a single day, and one might argue that we deserve at least a week! We take steps where we can and every conversation is progress.
I caught up with three of our colleagues to get some insight into their experiences in the gaming industry and beyond.
Chloe is a Junior Game Designer fresh out of University and new to the Marmalade team. Joana is one of our 3D artists and a veteran of many releases. Nisha is a Producer who moved from the Marketing team to Production after a year with the company.
So, ladies, why is it important to set aside time to celebrate women?
I think it is important because I want everyone around me to be inspired to work hard and strive for great things. I believe everyone is capable of anything, and seeing women in diverse roles really helps with that. As much as there are many successful men I also look up to and am inspired by, I find it easier to envision myself in another woman’s shoes and see myself being as successful as they are.
I think it is important to set aside time to remember all the achievements women made throughout history. That being the progress made in addressing historical discrimination against women in various aspects of life, such as voting rights, equal pay, access to education, the right over their own bodies, etc. Also to be aware of their contributions to different industries.
This might be a somewhat generic answer but overall it’s important to celebrate women because even to this day there’s ongoing fights for women’s rights, there have been some setbacks happening around the world.
What I think is especially nice about IWD is that it reminds you to take a step back and celebrate your own achievements and how far you’ve actually come. I find it much easier to relate to and aspire to strong, female figures than men as it’s easier to put yourself in their shoes and relate to some of their experiences.
Can you tell us about your roles at Marmalade Game studio?
Yes absolutely! I’m one of the many 3D artists. I’m mostly a generalist 3D Artist, but as time goes on I’ve been specializing more on 3D Characters and 3D Animation.
I’m in the production team and one of the many people that ensures as a company we’re releasing not only the best quality games but making sure they’re released on time. I get to work with many talented people who have some serious knowledge about their area of expertise, from programmers to UI artists to 2D/3D artists. Everyday I learn something new, which helps me to expand my own skillset and gaming knowledge.
I’m a Junior Game Designer at Marmalade. I get to work very closely with lots of people in different roles, such as coders, UX, UI, artists. It’s really exciting to get to collaborate with so many talented people. I’m learning so much from them. I may be new to my role but I’m so pleased with how many areas of the games I get to have an impact on, obviously the design, but also sfx and writing.
Would you say your path into the gaming industry was smooth?
I’ve been so lucky with my career. I’m one of the few people that sort of “fell” into the gaming industry. I used to work for an advertising agency who worked with big gaming clients which sparked my interest in gaming. I always wondered what it would be like to work for a studio and behind the scenes of actually making games, not just advertising them. It was from there I made a (scary) switch from marketing to production and I’m so proud to say I have since managed a release from start to finish! The rest is history.
I think it was pretty smooth actually. I realised I wanted a career in games quite late in my education. I was 19 and didn’t have any A-Levels, so it was hard to get on the right track. But once I had my degree under my belt and lots of work to show for it, I worked hard on getting into the industry as fast as I could. I think that really paid off as I’m here now.
There’s still a long way to go for me, but yeah, I would say so far it has been a smooth path.
What’s your proudest achievement been while working at Marmalade?
Because I’ve only been working here for 3 months, I’m mostly proud of just being here and having an impact on the really cool games we’re making. I had an idea in the first couple of weeks that I’ve now seen come to life. That will be my first design in a real game, which is a dream come true. I’m very excited about that and it will be something that stays with me forever (I don’t think I can say what it is yet, it’s such a silly and tiny thing in the game but I love it!).
I would say my proudest achievement was actually focusing more on learning 3D animation for games. It’s became a valuable asset for me professionally, and it’s been helpful for our latest projects.
It would have to be when I acted as the sole producer on a new game release. It wasn’t the easiest of projects. It was my first, so naturally I wanted it to go as smoothly as possible. To add to the challenge, I also had many new starters in my team who were learning as they went – as was I! That made the project quite special because we quickly learnt to lean on each other and figure out the process of game making together.
Which women inspire you the most, inside or outside of Marmalade?
This is going to seem cliché but my mom would be my answer. Also some of my female friends.
The women in my family also inspire me the most. My eldest sister recently had triplets (she already had a 4 year old!) and throughout her pregnancy and even now, despite the sickness, extremely late nights and countless colds, she’s such a positive spirit to be around. Seeing her look after 3 babies so calmly and juggle the demands of her job (she’s self employed and has never been able to switch off) has empowered me immensely. She is leading by example and whenever I feel like I can’t handle something, I think of her bravery and “get on with it” attitude and apply that to my own life.
Okay I have three and I’m just going to talk about them all!
So I’m really inspired by Cristina Mereuta, one of the CEOs at Marmalade. She’s an insanely successful woman, who has achieved so much at such a young age. Getting to meet her and see how nice she is but how strong she can be… I really look up to her and want to be something like her as I grow in this industry.
Another woman at Marmalade who inspires me is Caroline Henriksen, our Lead UX designer. She’s so strong and so unbelievably talented at her job. I hope I can be as respected as she is as I gain more skills and confidence. She’s also just a really cool, funny person who has a fabulous fashion sense, so I love her even more for that.
This last woman is completely disconnected from the games industry, her name is Lady Hale. She was the first female President of the Supreme Court and came to this position in a time when she was the only female Supreme Court Justice. She worked hard to get there with all the social pressures against her. She should be a massive inspiration to all women entering male dominated professions.
Okay, and finally, what is your favourite game?
It’s got to be Crash Bandicoot because I have so many fun memories attached to it. It was a game I was obsessed with in my childhood. I remember having my friends over and we would all play together, helping each other progress through the levels. Crash’s facial expressions, especially in one of the games before he has to ride a hog and collect apples, makes me chuckle to this day!
This is such a hard question as someone who plays so many different games in different genres… but I’d have to say the game I go back to most and spend the most time in is Final Fantasy XIV. Any game that allows me to play with my friends, I’m happy.
This is a tough one. I’ll have to say Hollow Knight is still my favourite so far. I started playing this during the pandemic and it’s become one of the most fun games I’ve played. It also might be because I felt a sense of nostalgia from games like Castlevania and Megaman.
Well thank you ladies, that was very insightful! It’s great to talk to a cross-section of women in a variety of roles. For the women and girls reading this, it’s important to remember that there are many fields of expertise in the gaming industry, so if you have passion for gaming there could be a place for you!