Indie Hiring With Daniel Gamarra, An Interview
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
I like talking to people. I love gaining little nuggets of knowledge from people who have done things I haven't or been places I have yet to see. The interview I got for you today is with my friend Daniela, who is the Studio Director of Indaga Studios. We met earlier this year at GDC 2022 and was kind enough to answer some questions I had about her company and how she finds people to work with. Much like me she wants to see real and lasting change in the world, so let's get into it!
What made you want to start your company?
Daniela: I am a huge fan of media, storytelling is my passion, I went from comic illustration to graphic design to tech development (particularly in the education industry) in my career and little by little by little I found game developing. I realized this could be the opportunity to use all my skills and passions with the goal to improve society in education or fighting for social progress. I believe edutainment has the potential of changing the world.
What positions have you hired for?
D: - Game designer
- Senior dev (unity)
- Junior dev (unity)
- Technical artist
- Animator / artist
- Project manager
Once you knew what your current project required, how did you go about looking for the perfect candidate?
D: First, I look into my own contacts and search for recommendations and post the job description on the IG of the studio, then I talk to the game development career director (a friend) from one big school in Peru and he gives me contacts of current students or graduates.
Did you set aside a budget for hiring someone? (Time, jobs website fees, attending conferences, etc.)
D: I do not set a budget, so far I was able to find workers through contacts.
What criteria did you look for specifically in a candidate?
D: There are a couple of things I look for (besides making sure they know their craft)
Energy: I need people who energize me and the team, passion for the project is key.
Team compatibility: I want everyone in the team to have a good work environment in which they are happy. Making games is a team effort, and not everyone will become best friends for life but having a good team which will support and complement each other is crucial for the success of the project.
We got into entertainment because we want to have fun creating, I never want to lose that.
Resourceness: I don't care if the person is truly an expert or not, game development is creative problem solving so for me if the person can invent ways to get to results or learn on it's own, that is better than a person who "claims to be an expert and tells me that a or b is simply impossible", I believe there is always a different route, we just need to find it.
Is there anything in the current-day resume that you feel is unnecessary?
D: The school where they studied, for me it really does not matter, their portafolio, and soft skills are the most important.
Is there anything you *want* to see in a resume?
D: - How they solved problems in the previous jobs, people problems and crisis during the job.
- What extras they bring with them, do they tend to organize parties, activities, etc? Are they leaders, influencers, mediators?
- How self aware of the personality, strengths and weaknesses they are.
Is there anything you *don't* want to see in a resume?
D: Face photo, more than 1 page, academic studies.
How did you find the candidate you eventually hired for the position you were seeking to fill?
D: Friends of friends.
How long did it take to take the candidate from initial discovery to contract signing to your company?
D: Around a month of searching.
Did you have any intention of training your new employee? If so, what time budget did you set aside to bring them up to speed?
D: Currently, I do not have the budget for training but as soon as the studio grows a bit, I will invest in the team. I am obsessed with learning and growth (also personal growth) so I will be more than happy to buy courses or workshops for the team, for individual skills and for team skills.
Do you have a question you want me to ask in my next interview? Send it here!