Lise Hagen Lie

Company name:
Megapop (previously Studio Gauntlet)

Your role in the company?
Project Manager (previously CEO of Studio Gauntlet).

Could you tell us about your day to day life and responsibilities at your company?
When I was CEO I used to say my title was “Chief Everything that needs doing Officer”, and in many ways I don’t feel like that’s changed in my new role.

My approach to project management is to facilitate the team so they can do their best work. That means: setting up structures (for instance for meetings (make sure there are not too many meetings)), coordinating, talking through the project, communicate with externals, documentation, facilitating workshops, try to create a good studio environment and so on and so on. Additionally, I feedback and test what is produced, and try to encourage the team to further develop their skills and interests (in a healthy way). It’s a fine balance and an exciting job, I learn every day!

What was your role in the game project?
I luckily have ‘two horses in the race’ this year since I changed jobs in 2021. At SG I was the CEO/Producer for the couch coop Bonkies, while for Rob Riches and Megapop I am the project manager for something that is not announced yet (officially).

What was your favourite part of the process?
My favourite part of the process for Bonkies was probably seeing the visuals develop into what it became in the end. When I joined the process, the game was 2D and through development it moved to 2.5D with fully 3D characters and environment. I am still stunned at how talented the founders/devs of Studio Gauntlet are. As for Rob Riches I was not there for the development of the game itself, but in as far as what we’re doing on the project now (and our new projects), I am really enjoying the teams will to learn new things and curiosity. It’s great to work with a team with so much experience and yet willingness to improve. They are also extremely talented and continue to deliver above my (by now very high) expectations.

What was your motivation behind seeking a career in the games industry?
I didn’t! Initially. I had no idea it was possible to work in games in Norway. I randomly went to a ‘join a startup night’ at my uni and saw the founders of SG present Bonkies. In the beginning I think I saw it as an opportunity to gain some skills and experience, but it didn’t take long before I felt like a part of a family. I get to use a wide variety of skills every day – from traditional project management to discussing game design ideas – it’s really fun!

What advice would you give to people who consider joining the games industry?
Try it out! Tools are free, and it’s great to try them out to see if this is actually fun for you before committing to a job. Also, it’s great for those hiring to see what you can do. Jobs in the industry tend to be very competitive, so portfolio means a lot. This also counts for production/management types, while in uni I was project manager for lots of volunteering projects.

Studio Gauntlet is nominated to Spillprisen 2021 for their game “Bonkies”.

Megapop is nominated to Spillprisen 2021 for their game “Rob Riches”.