An Interview With 302 Interactive
This week I got to chat with game development company 302 Interactive. Their new game, The Commission 1920, is set to be released this year. Head over to their Steam page for more details!
Aaron Iara: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me this week! Please tell the readers about yourself and the work you do.
Bobby Torres, Head of Marketing & Business Development: 302 Interactive is a games first studio specializing in “games for everything”. We often work with clients to take emerging tech, game design principles, and technologies to create a meaningful experience and valuable solutions.
Aaron Iara: How did you get into game development?
Joe Hazera, Assistant Producer: We all wanted to get into game development for multiple reasons, but expression and fun have been a common theme for us. We’ve had multiple projects that were traditional games, health-related games, and marketing-related projects. Each of those projects had expressive creativity thrown into them or helped others’ creativity be realized. They made what they did fun.
Aaron Iara: What is your creative process when it comes to making games?
Zachary Goodless, Developer: It’s not so much that we have a singular creative process. Rather, because we are a small team, we often have everyone sitting at the same table for design discussions. Everyone has a different role and background, and yet we’re able to each contribute based on our own unique perspectives.
For example, our marketing team is always giving us feedback on how we can widen our appeal, which can be useful when the programmers and designers are getting lost in the minutia that average players wouldn’t notice. There’s a stereotype that the designers are often having to fend off “evil” ideas from their producers and marketing team, but everyone here loves games and shares the goal of making something we can be proud of.
Aaron Iara: Game development is most often a collaborative process. How do you foster relationships and approach collaborative work?
Joe Hazera, Associate Producer: We throw our own spin on conventional game design and software development production methodology and make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of the project and input on the scope of work. Something calming is having a clear idea of what the project has in store for us as we enter and continue development. Design discussions and adding our own flavor to the project fuels the fun of making games as well.
Aaron Iara: What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to making games? How do you overcome them?
Joe Hazera, Associate Producer: Our obstacles tend to be the typical work stress one would get when working with software development, whether it be deadlines, urgent tasks, and whatnot. A good chunk of that is overcome with us being conscious of our pacing; each of us take walks outside, lighten the mood with random humor, or use another way to drum up ideas or control any mental blockers. That, along with fluid production practices and clear communication, can make things much easier to deal with. Having a tight-knit team helps especially here.
Aaron Iara: Game development takes a lot of time and energy. What do you do to stay productive?
Zachary Goodless, Developer: For me, I think it helps to get in tune with what you enjoy about the process. Nobody here is in game development because it’s easy and relaxing. In fact, I think the reason most of us make and play games is that we’re seeking something effortful, but rewarding. That sense of satisfaction is what recharges you after a long day.
The only difference between work and play is that work is satisfying when it’s done, whereas play is satisfying even when it leads you through twists and turns. If you give yourself the time to turn work into play, you’ll be able to get more done, and stay in touch with why you’re making the game in the first place.
Aaron Iara: Do you ever get performance or release anxiety? If so, how do you overcome it?
Joe Hazera, Associate Producer: Yes, as we’re sure others do. Whether it’s noticed early on or soon before release, our Producers are a good help in managing that, so that when we enter Gold on some projects, we have more confidence in them.
Aaron Iara: What advice can you give to those who want to start making their own games?
Joe Hazera, Associate Producer: It’s going to seem like a bummer at first, but take the time to really understand the project you are making, the work that has to be done, the time, the work/life balance, and remember that you are human, not a machine. A clear plan and intermittent adjustments keeps the head clear and the project progressing.
Aaron Iara: Do you have any upcoming releases, events, or projects you would like to discuss?
Deana Galbraith, Marketing: Yes! We’re planning on doing an Open Alpha Testing event later this month for The Commission 1920. We’ll be announcing details soon on our steam page and social media. It’s going to be a 2 week testing period where we’ll actively work with the community to get feedback and adjust the game.
Aaron Iara: Thank you for taking the time to do this! Where can the readers find your work?
Check Out 302 Interactive!
A huge thank you to 302 Interactive for taking the time to chat with me this week. Make sure to check out 302 Interactive at the following locations: