Haiku Games has an entirely remote team. We’re not stuck on the idea - if it makes sense, we’re happy to get an office in the future. But in the spirit of celebrating what we have rather than worrying about what comes, here are some of our favorites parts of our remote setup.
No Commute. I live in Silicon Valley, there are a lot of great things about it - great tech companies, startup culture, and interesting people you meet. The disadvantage is the terrible commute times to go a seemingly short distance. It turns out commuting is a major contributor to unhappiness. Since starting Haiku Games, it’s amazing to have that hour or two back each day where I don’t have to commute. It feels great for the environment as well.
Work from Anywhere. Most of us are based in the US, but we work with people around the world. In the early days of the company, I had the chance to live in New Zealand for a few months as my wife had some time off at the end of medical school. We did a combination of working, relaxing, and exploring the new country. It’s very freeing to be able to explore and work at the same time.
Gene Mocsy of Irresponsible Games, the designer for Allied Spies, said "It's freeing just to be able to move abound town. I took my laptop to UC Berkeley's Doe library and designed the deadly library in Chapter 5."
Hobbies. Because our schedule is more flexible, it’s possible to make time for hobbies. For example, Gianluca, our developer in Rome goes to Crossfit almost every day. I have started playing badminton with my dad. And of course as Adventure Escape designers, one of our hobbies is playing real life escape rooms. Hers is a picture of part of the Haiku team escaping a room as a break and inspiration:
Family Friendly. Michelle Woods, the game designer behind Starstruck and Murder Inn says, “As a mom of three, I love the flexibility of working remotely with Haiku Games. I've been able to create a full-time schedule that still allows me to spend time with my family.” From our perspective, we feel lucky to be able to work with talented parents who may not be able to fit their life into a normal 9-5 schedule!
We hope this post gives you a sense of our setup at Haiku Games. If you’re interested to apply, check out our jobs page here. We’re always looking for great people!
Haiku Games is looking for a game designer and a game developer. What type of people would succeed at Haiku?
We believe the best way to make quality games is to empower everyone who touches the game to make changes to it. It's not just the game designer's responsibility. For example, our developers might adjust the timing of animated effects so they feel exciting and satisfying for the player. Our artists might suggest a compelling new perspective for our rooms so they look more beautiful and dynamic. Having everyone think about the player experience increases the quality of our games.
If you've ever found yourself so stressed out that you can't do anything, you know that productivity and stress do not go hand in hand. We believe you are most productive in an environment that is relaxed and lets everyone see the big picture. This is doubly important at a game company where creativity is such an important part of our jobs.
We believe the best games are made when people communicate with each other. We also love working with nice people. At Haiku, we strive to be nice and direct people. It's easy to tell people that things are going great (and we do - frequently!) but we believe it's just as important to let people know when things aren't working out. If you believe in this type of open, trusting communication style, you'll fit right in at Haiku.
If there's one guiding principle at Haiku, it's that if you don't know what to do, it's best to just do something. Preferably quickly. The ability to do work fast with minimal guidance is key because we are a small company. We often don't have the extensive market research or statistics that a larger company might have. Creating something and seeing whether it works is typically easier than agonizing over what might be optimal. At the same time, it's important to know when to slow down and set up a process for something we will be doing multiple times. The ability to function in "optimal chaos" (working quickly, but not so quickly such that everything breaks) is key for working at Haiku Games.