PSQ-Alumni-friday with Anna Johansson at Toca Boca🎉
Where do you work right now?
-I’m currently working at a Swedish gaming company by the name of Toca Boca as a Quality Assurance Tester in Stockholm. Where we make applications for kids with the “power of play” in mind.
I am working on an application called Toca Life: World which is probably best described as a virtual dollhouse.
I really enjoy working for Toca Boca and their playful nature.
While I haven’t had the pleasure to work in the office just yet due to the pandemic, my colleagues have tried their absolute best to make me feel welcomed.
You’re a PSQ Alumni, did you enjoy your time at
-I had a great time at PSQ! The teachers, my classmates, the atmosphere and of course all the game projects/courses were all an experience in itself.
I kind of wish we’d have some more time together, since it all went by in a flash.
Do you miss PSQ? (We sure miss you❤)
-I sure do for several reasons.
Just the fact that you could get to school and have an interesting discussion right away with little effort.
There was always someone that had something interesting to talk about,
share experiences, or simply show what they had been working on.
It was also a place where you’d be able to act just as you are and get accepted for it.
There were a bunch of people from various backgrounds and with different interests (not just games), which made it all the more refreshing to hear their perspectives.
What was the best thing about PSQ in your opinion?
-That’s a tough question.
I must say that the best thing about PSQ was the interactions between myself and my classmates.
While not all interactions have been pleasant, it still has taught me to appreciate other individuals perspectives and be more open to them.
This has also taught me to be very open about my flaws, such as having a very easy time to be vocal about my opinions (which isn’t necessarily appreciated by everyone).
Did PSQ prepare you well for working in the Game Industry?
-I can neither say yes or no to this question.
While PSQ has taught me many things about the industry itself and been acting as a guideline.
I’d say that the things I got taught at PSQ gave me a lot of everything,
from a game designer, an artist and a programmer's perspective.
All this knowledge has been useful, but it has felt more like a glimpse of what could be, rather than being a full-fledged role prepared for the industry itself.
While I initially started to work within the industry as a junior game designer thanks to my LIA, I quickly shifted focus to QA - which wasn’t really taught at PSQ, other than that you’d have to test the games yourselves for the game projects.
I decided to take this path to continue and get a broader perspective on how games are made and what I could expect from other disciplines,
which aren't taught at PSQ (such as UX and more in depth animation
to give some examples).
Did you learn any go-to tricks during your time at PSQ that you
see yourself using now in your career?
-I wouldn’t necessarily say go-to tricks.
But I often reflect over experiences I had during either a task or a game project and how I/we overcame it.
Would you recommend others to study at PSQ?
-Yes I would!
PSQ gives a lot of small glimpses of what you could be working with in the
future for any of the three roles.
They are teaching you about dependencies of other members of a team and what responsibilities you have towards others - all thanks to the game projects.
While it was quite a while ago I studied there, the location of the school is very cozy and somewhat unique for a gaming school.
Which in my opinion is a huge plus!
Sometimes I kind of miss the student apartments at both Britsen and Kaserngården, which made it super easy for meet-ups with classmates after school.
I used to arrange Super Smash Bros. tournaments, others brought werewolf custom rules to the table.
At times we had a couple of Magic the Gathering and of course board game
nights. Lots and lots of board games. Make sure to make your school time memorable by both learning and having fun!
To everyone thinking of a career within Game Development,
do you have any tips or do’s and don’ts for them?
● Always be open to feedback and don’t necessarily have an explanation of why you did something a certain way.
Take the time to listen and reflect on what they are trying to say.
I’ve yet to encounter a person that’s providing me with feedback out of spite.
But because they wanted me to improve and learn.
● The game industry is very, very small.
You’ll most likely bump into people you’ve worked with previously, or at the very least know someone who is now working with a previous colleague of yours.
Word travels very fast.
● Something I kind of wish I knew before I had decided to go into game development full-time is the location of said jobs.
Most jobs (not all) in Sweden within the games industry are located in Stockholm. Stockholm is an extremely expensive city to live in, regardless if you purchase your own place or rent second hand.
Thank you so much for your time here Anna and we wish you all the best!
Lots of love from us att PSQ💛🖤