What We Do at GTG

Paul's picture

I haven't posted here in years, but I was suddently inspired to do so!

A while back, Christopher and Adam were asked in The Letters Page about their schedule, why they always say they are busy, and what they spend their time doing at work. They answered this a bit for themselves, but the question made me realize that some other people might be curious, and also that going into a bit more detail might clarify what we mean when we talk about the production process for games. As they mentioned on the podcast, our jobs are a bit weird sometimes, and what we spend our days doing is probably not obvious to most people.

To start out, Greater Than Games currently has 10 full time employees, and 1+ additional full time equivalent split between some major contractors. Here's what we all do*!

*Three quick notes:

  1. This is thorough, but not comprehensive.
  2. This covers the "day to day". There are other things we do periodically in terms of attending conventions, various meetings, planning out the direction of the company, etc.
  3. For people who have “Answering emails” on their list, emails represent a surprising amount of time; some of us get tons of these!

Christopher
Christopher's official title is Editor In Chief. He is primarily responsible for all of the written word that come out of Greater Than Games, especially Sentinels Comics lore. He spends at least 1 day per week prepping for and recording The Letters Page with Adam, which includes the creation, expansion, and curation of overall Sentinel Comics lore. He spends the rest of his time:

  • Writing text for Sentinel Comics games.
  • Playtesting games and creating and updating playtesting files
  • Managing writing contractors, especially for the RPG
  • Answering rules questions and writing lore and special challenge modes for the SotM videogame
  • Editing most written documents we publish, including game and rulebook text
  • Editing / having opinions about all graphic design and layout related to Sentinels Comics properties
  • Writing updates for and keeping up to date with the OblivAeon Kickstarter
  • Answering emails

Adam
Adam’s official title is Lord of Illustration. He is the only illustrator on staff at GTG, and is so far solely responsible for all Sentinel Comics art. In addition to spending at least one day per week collaborating with Christopher on The Letters Page and Sentinel Comics lore, he spends his time:

  • Drawing the enormous volume of art necessary for all of our Sentinel Comics properties
  • Designing the looks of all of the characters and locations in Sentinel Comics
  • Collaborating with Jenn on the look and art direction of non-SC games
  • Vetting prospective art contractors

Chris
Chris Kirkman is the only GTG employee not located in St. Louis. He is primarily responsible for vetting game submissions and identifying games to publish that we have not developed internally. He also spends a lot of time:
Project managing various game development projects.

  • Managing contractor game designers
  • Doing layout and editing on the games he manages.
  • Collaborating with Mara on marketing outreach to industry media
  • Answering emails

Jennifer
Jennifer is the Creative Director for Greater Than Games, which means that she is ultimately responsible for all of the layout and graphic design of the products we published after Sentinel Tactics and Bottom of the 9th. She spends all of her time:

  • Working directly on graphic design and layout.
  • Managing all of our contract artists.
  • Searching for and vetting artists.
  • Project managing the production portion of most projects.
  • Managing SaRae and any contractor graphic designers
  • Managing Trevor and our videography
  • Collaborating with Mara on the look and feel of our branding and marketing

Mara
Mara is our Sales & Marketing Director, which means that she is ultimately responsible for both our consumer-facing marketing efforts, and for our relationships with wholesalers. She spends her time:

  • Talking on the phone to purchasers at our B2B customers.
  • Maintaining our database of distributor/retailer marketing assets.
  • Crafting various newsletters for distributors, retailers, and consumers.
  • Researching new marketing trends/platforms.
  • Monitoring all of our social media.
  • Arranging for and vetting various marketing campaigns, reviews, etc.
  • Attending B2B conferences with our wholesale customers.
  • Answering TONS of emails.

Jodie
Jodie is our Shipping Manager. She is the only person in the St. Louis metro area who actually understands how all of the various pieces of FedEx software we use work (and that includes employees of FedEx). She also:

  • Understands how USPS shipping works and makes labels for that service.
  • Is way pro at forklifts.
  • Manages customs and export/import forms.
  • Packs various distributor/wholesale orders.
  • Fulfills the “bad cop” role when interacting with uncooperative shipping vendors.
  • Drives a truck.

Matthew
Matthew is our Inventory Manager. He works full time in the warehouse with Jodie making sure that we know what we have and where it is. He spends his time:

  • Cleaning up and counting things
  • Organizing, setting up, and breaking down convention booth furniture and inventory.
  • Packing various distributor/wholesale orders.
  • Fulfilling the “good cop” role when interacting with uncooperative shipping vendors.
  • Drives a forklift.
  • Maintaining our Inventory Management System.

Craig
Craig is our Community Overlord, and works on a variety of vaguely related tasks. These include:

  • Triaging customer service emails.
  • Dealing with BackerKit/Kickstarter pledge adjustments.
  • Shipping out replacements for damaged game components.
  • Shipping out web store orders.
  • Organizing Citizens for gaming conventions.
  • Answering THE MOST emails!

SaRae
SaRae is our graphic designer. She spends all of her time working with Jenn and Mara on various graphic design projects. She spends all of her time:

  • Working directly on graphic design and layout.
  • Creating marketing assets for Mara.
  • Editing all of the product images that Trevor creates.
  • Leading various complex design projects (e.g. Spirit Island)

Paul
I’m the CEO, which means I have to do all of the misc boring things that no one else has time for. I spend my time:

  • Being the HR department (benefits, payroll, etc).
  • Answering purchasing questions from our distributors.
  • Doing collections work.
  • Managing our relationship with other publishers whose games we fulfill.
  • Making Kickstarter fulfillment spreadsheets.
  • Making monthly GTG Operations sales spreadsheets.
  • Making quarterly designer royalty spreadsheets.
  • Making quarterly distributor sales spreadsheets.
  • Making financial projections.
  • Maintaining our accounting software.
  • Researching/planning our upcoming product strategy.
  • Project management for certain complex projects.
  • Answering emails.

Contractors
We also have a bunch of contractors, including artists, game designers, and others! The contractors we work with most frequently include:

  • Trevor, who does all of our videography, audio, and most of our photography work.
  • Darrell, who does a lot of pre-press and design work on a bunch of our games.

Anyhow! That is an overview of what we all do! I hope that is at least somewhat interesting/informative!

Comments

jffdougan's picture

You've mentioned looking to hire somebody for a new position. What might this position be?

arenson9's picture

Awesome! Thank you.

Chaosmancer's picture

This was really informative, and kind of fascinating.

 

I can't even begin to imagine the sheer volume of e-mails the company deals with as a whole. At least those providers are making use of the space.

Rabit's picture

This is great -- thanks for sharing it! smiley

This will be useful to point to when folks are griping... wink

phantaskippy's picture

Christopher:
Plays with swords in the warehouse.
Drinks Whiskey.
Uses Game design worksheets to make airplanes to throw at GtG employees.

Adam:
Doodles.
Takes Kickstarter money and buys more comics.
Stares at wall until Paul walks in, them pretends to be researching comics stuff.

Jodie & Matt:
Forklift races.

Craig:
Prints out emails for use in lighting the daily "GtG Customer appreciation bonfire."

Paul:
Recruits more souls to trade to Gloomweaver for money to pay bills.

 

 

I'm glad for the business blog, it really clears up misconceptions of how GtG works.

Powerhound_2000's picture

Always glad to see posts from you Paul.   If you ever have time you should do more.