Firstly, we have to preface this post by admitting how much we love working with games companies. As well as getting the opportunity to let loose with seriously cool office design, we also get the opportunity to get to know some of the developers that make our favourite games. If you’ve decided to set up your own games studio, or have been charged with fixing up the existing studio, then we hope you’ll find our top tips helpful for your project.
Talk to your team
Before you’ve even applied your first lick of paint, take the time to talk to your team and collate their ideas..after all, this space is being designed for them! Factoring them into the conception of the design will not only help them to feel included but also give you the opportunity to collect ideas on how each individual really wants to work. If you’re stuck for ideas, download our free inspiration pack to get the cogs whirring.
Take time to think about your floorplan
We can’t stress enough how valuable a proper floorplan is, and believe us, hashing out your plans on paper is far less expensive than retrospectively trying to fix an office space that’s not working.
For example, let’s say you have a collective of developers that swim in C++ and really need to concentrate. Putting them in the middle of an open-plan office might not be conducive to their productivity or sanity. On the other side of the coin, you might have a bustling marketing department that needs to bounce idea’s off each other, so putting them in separated cubicles won’t cater to the way that they work best.
And yeah, we know you’re not here to read about the red tape, but a proper floor plan will help you to adhere to Health and Safety standards, keeping you safe, comfortable and compliant by making sure that you’ve got enough space for your employees (we made this free space calculator if our last sentence made you quake in your boots).
Designing games studios are always so much fun to design. When deciding on the more creative elements of the studio, think about the longevity of the design. If your game is super bright and bold you might be tempted to use the colour palette in your offices but just be wary that you might get sick of it quite quickly. A well-balanced colour pallette between muted tones and accents can extend the longevity of the design and you can even incorporate your concept art into creative treatments such as wall decals, accessories and even printed onto fabrics!
Why build walls?
Before you begin your renovations, check your contract very carefully to see where you stand on dilapidations. Dilapidations is a clause in (lots of) contracts which might mean that your landlord requires you to undo the changes that you’ve made. This can be problematic if you want to section off parts of your studio with glass partitioning or private meeting spaces.
Fortunately, furniture designers have wised up to this particular problem and there’s a considerable amount of flexible solutions that you can pack up and take with you when you move. Freestanding meeting booths, phone booths and meeting pods are commonplace in a majority of the office and studios that we work with.
A really common problem that we are quizzed about is acoustics. It’s created from a perfect storm of the buildings structure, reverberation, lack of soft furnishings and office chit-chat. When you are planning out your design, factor in absorbent soft furnishings in areas where you expect more noise such as departments that need to bounce ideas off each other, areas with flooring (i.e polished concrete) and ceilings that can’t absorb sound, and social areas. We created these awesome custom acoustic screens for a games studio in Brighton with their favourite characters on.