The Valued Cultures Podcast

Dedicated to creating and maintaining vibrant game studio cultures.

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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Today our co-Founder Daryl Ogden speaks with Turtle Rock Studios’ President, Steve Goldstein.  Steve talks about what it was like to transition from serving studios as an attorney to working in-house and ultimately leading one.  He also discusses his experience with leading a studio during an acquisition and the implications of what this means to the studio being acquired.  You’ll hear about Turtle Rock's rising ambitions, and the role Daryl and Valued Cultures has been playing in helping the studio pursue these heightened goals. 
To download our report, "Winning Game Studio Culture in the Post-Pandemic Era":

Wednesday May 01, 2024

On this week’s pod, Rory McGuire, President of Blackbird Interactive (“Hardspace”, “Homeworld”, “Minecraft Legends”) speaks with Valued Cultures Co-Founder, Daryl Ogden.  Rory and Daryl discuss how very concrete initiatives like skunks works and 4-day weeks can be animated by core studio values such as empowerment, autonomy, and respect.  Daryl and Rory also dig into a finding from Valued Cultures’ recent report, “Winning Game Studio Culture in the Post-Pandemic Era”:  Why are studios in Western Canada even more focused on the shift to remote and hybrid work than those in the rest of North America?
Level Up Game: Balatro
To learn more about Valued Cultures’ recent report, “Winning Game Studio Culture in the Post-Pandemic Era”, click here.

Wednesday Apr 17, 2024

“Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” Tattooed on the arm of today’s guest, Mitch Gitelman, most recently of Harebrained Schemes, this personal motto reflects the lessons he learned in his training and apprenticeship in theater and improvisation. Speaking with Valued Cultures Co-Founder Daryl Ogden, Mitch explores the stamp his early work in these disciplines has imprinted on his approach to making games.  
Citing his Harebrained Co-Founder Jordan Weisman, Mitch explains that in both theater and games, “You can tell when they’ve made it with a smile.”  And Mitch explains how his improv training influences everything from how he thinks about scaling a studio to how he hires new talent.
“Level Up Games”:  
Baldur’s Gate 3
Batman: Arkham 
To download our report “Winning Game Studio Culture”:

Wednesday Mar 27, 2024

How do you create a vibrant workplace culture in a “remote only” studio?  Very intentionally says our guest today, Jen Oneal Co-Founder and Head Chef of Magic Soup Games. 
Jen explains to Valued Cultures Co-Founder Daryl Ogden that when Jen and her Co-Founders J. Allen Brack and John Donham set out to found a new studio in 2022, their first step was talking about the types of games they loved, the values that animated them, and the studio that they wanted to build.  And at each step they’ve taken, they’ve drawn upon those intentions, bringing on talent deliberately with an eye always toward those initial inspirational conversations.
As Jen insists, they’re still learning, of course!  But she shares some of the most revealing hard-earned lessons she and her team have faced along the way.
“Level Up” Game:  The Lamplighters’ League

Sunday Mar 17, 2024

Valued Culture’s Senior Advisor Shannon Loftis joins Co-Founder Daryl Ogden to share her first impressions of our forthcoming report, “Winning Game Studio Culture in the Post-Pandemic Era.”  Their focus falls on the “intentionality chasm”:  How the leaders of game studios know that they should bring more attention to studio talent and studio culture, but in the pressure of the moment, find themselves time and time again falling back on solving technical problems instead.  Shannon and Daryl go on to discuss how the pandemic exacerbated this problem, and how a post-pandemic studio landscape dominated by remote and hybrid work presents both a challenge and an opportunity for those looking to build values-driven studio cultures.
For the latest on our report:

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

In our inaugural podcast, Chris Chancey of Manavoid Entertainment and Indie Asylum joins Valued Cultures Daryl Ogden to discuss vibrant studio cultures.  In briefly sketching the history of Manvoid, Chris and Daryl determine how a focus on ensuring market fit led Manavoid to pursue a strategy of hybridizing game genres.  They go on to discuss how Chris and his partners evaluate candidates for Indie Asylum, an Montréal-based incubator/accelerator that supports nascent game studios.  Finally, drawing upon research from the soon-to-be-released "Winning Game Studio Culture in the Post-Pandemic Era," Chris explains some of the differences Valued Cultures found in how Québec studios--in comparison to the broader range of North American studios--find the promise of remote work as well as the relative importance of the global talent pool.
"Level Up" game recommendations:
Baldur's Gate 3


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