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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Creating High Performing Teams: Cast an Ensemble

Heini Kaihu  (VP, Games and Head of Studio, Rovio)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Why don't superstars always make a winning team? On the other hand, will one superstar elevate team's performance to new heights? Can you build a winning team out of enthusiastic juniors with little previous experience, but hunger to conquer the world? Should you keep the team intact from one project to another? How do you spot a dysfunctional team?

Casting and building creative teams are the most crucial and difficult activities in the modern game making, where competition for talent is fiercer than ever, and teams need to excel in all areas of game production. In this talk, Heini (Head of Studio at Rovio) will discuss team casting and leadership principles, sharing concrete best practices and recommendations for assembling and leading teams to success, while also covering the most common pitfalls to avoid. Heini will talk about relevant approaches from the other creative fields, and also tell how the lessons from Google's study on high-performing teams can be applied to game development teams.


After the talk you will have a concrete framework and best practices for assembling and leading high performing teams, applicable from small, independent game teams to bigger productions and even studio level team and leadership structures.

Intended Audience

For the people in different leadership positions (Studio/Product/Game/Production Leads, Supervisors/Craft/Team leads and HR) who are making the decisions about the people and their roles in the game projects. For anyone interested in boosting the team performance and happiness.