Last week our team came together for the first time in over a year to celebrate a fantastic milestone and period of success for our studio. With distributed development and remote working becoming the norm during the past 12+ months, our 15th anniversary was a great excuse to get the band back together and meet colleagues face-to-face that we’d only ever spoken to through a webcam.
From humble beginnings, launched in a small one-person office by our CEO and founder back in September of 2006, we’re now a team of over 100 people, working on a multi-project development schedule at the cutting edge of virtual reality (and having recently expanded to a second studio).
“The 15 years since we founded nDreams have been the most exhilarating, tiring, exciting, stressful, and hilarious periods of my life. I can’t tell you just how proud I am of the team that we have managed to build (with a huge amount of help from *so* many great people). Not to mention the many incredible games that we have released – from Xi in PlayStation Home, right through to Fracked. Whilst it took a long time to find VR (and for VR to find us), we’re really starting to shift up the gears now, and I’m more excited about the future than I have ever been.” – Patrick O'Luanaigh, CEO.
The nDreams Festival itself covered two event packed days, featuring guest speakers from across the industry, a racing simulator, breakout spaces, multiplayer gaming, an evening party, catering, a live band, karaoke, musical bingo, and an exciting scavenger hunt which saw nine teams compete across the local Farnborough area.
Our amazing guest speakers included:
- Ben Board – Business Development Manager at Epic Games – He talked about the exciting changes coming from Epic in the form of Unreal Engine 5, and other projects currently in the pipeline.
- Haley Uyrus – Brand Comms Director at Mediatonic - Shared insight into the growth and success of the studio post Fall Guys, and what it was like launching a hit during the pandemic.
- Brian Cooley and Andy Barker – Mental Wellness Coaches from Mind Fitness – They covered mental wellness and daily coping techniques, as well as the value of openness and being genuine when it comes to support in the workplace.
- Rhianna Pratchett – Published Author and Game Writer - In conversation with our very own Steve Tagger, she discussed her career, working on titles such as Mirror's Edge and Tomb Raider, as well as how writing for games differs from other mediums.
“As we started to move out of COVID restrictions, we wanted our team to enjoy our new office space in the way we had intended - as a collaborative, dynamic environment to get to know your colleagues and share ideas. The ability to gain insight from our wonderful guest speakers was a perfect fit for that. At the same time, we wanted our team to have the opportunity to have some fun and celebrate the three game launches we have released since the start of the pandemic – Phantom: Covert Ops, Far Cry VR, and Fracked. I’m delighted with how the event turned out and we’re determined to go bigger next year!” – Tamsin O'Luanaigh, Chief People Officer.
The festival drew to a close, after the Publishing team successfully navigated a win in the location-based scavenger hunt around Hampshire, with a talk from Patrick as he contemplated the future of VR and AR, and how nDreams fits into the evolution of the medium as companies rush to build the metaverse and the next generation of immersive virtual experiences.
It was a fantastic two days of team-building that came at the perfect time as we set our eyes on the future as a two studio developer/publisher. Want to join our team? We’ve got several roles available right now across a variety of different departments. You can find our latest vacancies here.
The event was of course COVID-conscious. Attendees were encouraged to obtain a negative lateral flow test prior to attending and be double vaccinated. Masks and red wristbands (for those that were not comfortable with close contact) were provided during entry registration and this was observed by all on-site. Sanitising stations were placed regularly throughout the event, with contact surfaces cleaned on a tight schedule.
- Jimmy Bowers [Community Manager]