Katrina Wolfe, Producer at Kongregate, has worked on a variety of IPs, team setups, and production methodologies. Katrina was pivotal to the success of Animation Throwdown at Kongregate and is now helping establish Kongregate’s first-party game development teams.
A Diverse Group of People
Katrina decided on a career in the game industry while still in high school. She was attracted to the idea of working with a diverse group of people, including artists, engineers, designers, marketing specialists and musicians, all working with the same goal of making fun games. At college Katrina majored in Classics and minored in Video Game Design and Management. These classes allowed her to meet many good people in the game industry, and Katrina was fortunate to get a job with one of them immediately after finishing college.
This first job was as a game designer working on Facebook and social games. During this time there were plenty of opportunities to take on production work. Although she enjoyed game design, the challenge of getting everyone coordinated so the games were created on time was both fun and interesting, so Katrina moved more and more into production. What she enjoys most about her work today is working with a diverse group of people and helping teams create successful games.
Bringing All Team Members Together
Katrina’s experience leading up to her present position has all been extremely useful. Her experiene in design and analytics, working with various team sizes, and IPs have all contributed to her success in every role.
One challenge Katrina has consistently faced in all her jobs is changing the processes for a team. She describes, “Once a team is settled in a process, it can be hard to change course. It takes a lot of work to get everyone on the same page and invested enough in the change to follow through with it.”
Humor, Fun and New Processes
As Katrina is working to bring all team members together cooperating and working on the same page, she finds it helpful to remind everyone that they are all there to create something fun. When there are issues or disagreements, using humor and fun to cut the tension helps to bring everyone to a better place where they can work together to find a solution.
Another challenge in Katrina’s current position with Kongregate was coordinating multiple companies in different time zones with 5 IPs and an IP holder to create Animation Throwdown.
For managing projects Katrina likes having a good set of tools that can be applied in different ways. As a Scrum Master, she learned Scrum and has used some variation of agile with all her teams. Katrina is constantly trying to keep up with new methodologies and tools so she can apply new processes to help her teams work better.
Your Own Working Style
Katrina offers this advice from what she has learned to help other producers: “Figure out your own style for keeping track of everything. There is no correct answer, it’s about how you want to work. Once I started dealing with multiple games with different teams, deadlines, meetings and priorities I had to step up what I was doing to keep everything sorted in my own mind. I now have a combo of Trello, sticky notes and calendar events that keeps me organized.”
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.