Working at Akribian:
Meet 3 of our game developers
How is it to work in a smaller team in an upcoming game company? We asked Thomas George, our unity developer, Malin Rosenfrost, our Game Developer, and Omar Khalaf, our level designer, to tell us more about how they started their career paths, the culture at Akribian, and what their daily work with the app Count on me! looks like.
Becoming a game developer
The path towards working with game development started at a young age for all of them, mainly based on their interest and passion of playing games themselves. As they grew up, they saw that there was an opportunity to turn their passion into a potential career path – a chance to incorporate their interest into their future work life. Malin explains, “I have been playing games since I was a child. When I got older, I was surprised to find out that there were schools dedicated to games and I applied shortly after.”
All of them have studied game design at a higher level and after finishing their educations, they all quickly got hired from companies within the game industry.
Working at Akribian
“I started working at Akribian based on the fulfilling opportunity of being able to develop a game that’s not only enjoyable, but also contributes towards the learning of children.”, Omar describes. Thomas agrees and adds that the goal is at Akribian is different compared to other companies he has worked with – to improve math scores all around the world. “If we can teach more efficiently and get people to willingly want to improve their math scores, we pave a path for them in their future educations as well as their current”, he continues.
“I agree”, Malin fills in, “Akribian and the game Count on me! seemed very meaningful compared to many other games. I joined the company when it was a small startup, and it has been fun to see it grow.”
Thomas takes the lead in explaining the workplace at Akribian, “Honestly, the team verity at Akribian as unique. My previous workspaces have consisted of almost exclusively programmers and artists. At Akribian, I get to work with behaviour analysts, CBT psychologists, marketing & product managers, story writers, and more”. Omar continues to fill in, “There is an extremely inclusive culture at Akribian, everyone has a voice and everyone’s opinion matters”.
Adding to the variation of people working at Akribian, Omar also likes the variation in tasks available while working at Akribian. Malin finishes with the statement that “Because of the company’s mission to level up education, I think a lot of us at Akribian are unusually driven and passionate.”
“There is an extremely inclusive culture at Akribian, everyone has a voice and everyone’s opinion matters”
– Omar Khalaf, Level Designer
A day at work
Developers at Akribian work in two-week sprints. Depending on what each sprint’s priorities are, each day at Akribian looks different for both Omar, Malin and Thomas.
When asked to describe his day-to-day work, Omar says: “As the Level Designer, I use multi-layered tile maps in Unity to design the levels, through working iteratively from early sketches and concepts to complete fully polished levels. I also implement quests including dialogue, NPC behavior and events via visual scripting.”
Thomas also works mainly in Unity, as well as in Visual Studio, and describes his daily work as “improving features requested by our learning content team or coordinating with the backend to get login or payment flows working as they should. Generally, I have a sprint planning every other week where we discuss tasks that are requested, their priority, and lay out a 2-week sprint of things to do and to implement. I work on those tasks top to bottom and often have smaller meetings with team members to figure out some details when it comes to working on specific tasks.”
Malin continues with saying, “I am a developer, but I also do a lot of design work. I work in Unity and do the programming in C#. I work on the story part of the game, add and design minigames, and create new features in the game – like a boat crashing into a pipe or a robot that falls apart. Sometimes I add a new type of spell or a maybe a new character. It’s fun and I usually have a diverse set of tasks.”
“As a game developer, you are allowed to try things out until it works – especially in a tolerant workspace as Akribian.”
– Thomas George, Unity Developer
What is needed to become a game developer?
“Being a game developer and working with level design is exactly what I imagined, extremely enjoyable and rewarding,” said Omar. In his opinion, the necessary tools for someone aspiring to work in level design are creativity, and a strong sense of pacing, spacing, and composition – which a passion for gaming hugely benefits. It is also a benefit to have some knowledge of programming so you can contribute towards the implementation of gameplay and have a deeper understanding of the environments you’re working on.
Apart from that, you need to be good at communicating and taking feedback, Malin fills in with. “At Akribian, we collaborate a lot. We discuss issues and solve them without involving personal agendas. Sometimes you might need to go outside of your role or learn something new to solve the issue.”, she finishes
“’Learn by doing – and by failing’ is a quote I remember from The Game Assembly, which I think about a lot. Keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to mess up – because you will! And that’s good because you’ll learn from it,” Thomas adds, continuing with saying that “It is a good thing to remember, as a game developer you are allowed to try things out until it works – especially in a tolerant workspace as Akribian. We all gain from trying new things and improving our knowledge.”
Get to know our game developers
Omar was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Scotland and Egypt, and moved to Sweden two years ago – Currently living in Malmö.
His interests include sports, esports, gaming and music. When his not at work, he hangs out with friends or is found gaming.
Thomas is an American citizen who moved to Sweden when he was 8. He lives in Malmö with his sambo of 10+ years.
Together, they have two cats, and both play video games frequently. On occasion, they also visit cosplay conventions or other similar events.
Malin lives in Lund with her husband and their four cats. In her spare time, she loves to play games, both computer games and board games with friends.
She also enjoys going on hikes in nature and reads a lot of books and watch movies.