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Meet a Payloader: Andy Harmon (Senior Designer)

In 2022 we’re going to be showcasing some of our Payloaders in a series of ‘Meet a Payloader’ posts!

Last year we welcomed several new Payloaders, including Andy Harmon who joined us as a Senior Designer. In this month’s post we’ll be talking to Andy about why he joined Payload and what being part of the studio is like.

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Andy Harmon, Senior Designer at Payload Studios

We were thrilled to have you join the Payload team last year, but what brought you to the studio?
I had been working as a consultant for a few years but really missed caring about the project I was working on and having something to pour my passion for games into. A trusted recruiter suggested I speak to Payload and after chatting to Kris [Payload’s Lead Designer] and Russ [Payload’s CEO], I had a positive impression of the studio and the feeling that a move to Payload could work out well.

Not only did the project fit my sensibilities, the aims and goals of the studio outside of just making games fit my own. These include a desire to help lift up people in the industry and, create a community around making good games, balancing life with work and mentoring those just starting out. And it has worked out great – I’ve got the project to make my mark and invest my passion in, a company community that is supportive and interested in my wellbeing, and opportunities to give back and share experiences.

We’re happy to have you on the team! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at the studio?
Design at Payload Studios covers a lot of different opportunities. Shepherding designs from inception into production and brainstorming new goals for the systems and gameplay make up the majority of my time, but there are plenty of opportunities to share my experiences with other disciplines. As a Senior Designer I am also supporting the other designers with feedback and mentorship.

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TerraTech, Payload Studios’ Flagship Game

What does a typical day look like for you?
As a morning person, I’m up early and getting started early. The couple of hours of focus time I get before our standups kick off are some of my most productive. I spend that time getting ready for the rest of the day – making sure that all the documentation and notes are ready for the day’s meetings and feedback. Then I meet with my feature team for us to catch up and go over the sprint progress and catch any tasks that have popped up.

The afternoon is usually split between meetings and implementation tasks. I really enjoy the opportunity to get into the development environment, make changes and see them immediately. It keeps me close to the project and breaks up the day from just talking about things to actually doing them.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your typical daily tasks involve?
I would say that you can separate the work I’m doing into three groups: ideation, implementation and iteration. At any given moment I have something that is being thought up and discussed within the team from a framework of goals, a design that is being implemented and an existing design that is being spruced up with improvements and experimentation based on feedback and playtesting. It can feel like spinning plates but it also keeps me happily working on things in different stages of development.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Payload?
My job is all about communication, whether to the player in the form of design and intention, or to my colleagues in the form of where we are going and what we are doing. One of my favourite aspects of working at Payload is the company culture of feedback and respectful communication which helps to make my job fulfilling and obstacle free.


A big thanks to Andy for answering our questions! If you’d like to hear from more Payloaders then watch this space.

We’re currently hiring for the design team! If you’re interested in finding out more about working at Payload and the current opportunities to join the team, check out our careers page here.

 

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