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New World Interactive on Its Work Processes & Strategies for Avoiding Burnout

New World Interactive's Communications Director Astrid Rosemarin spoke about the studio's working organization, explained how they welcome beginners to the team, and shared some tips for avoiding burnout.


Hello! I'm Astrid, the Communications Director at New World Interactive. I joined NWI in September 2021, which also happened to be the launch month for the console release of Insurgency: Sandstorm (Xbox One and PlayStation 4). It was definitely an exciting way to kick things off!

The communications team at NWI is primarily responsible for community and player support for our main live title Insurgency: Sandstorm, in addition to our two legacy titles, Insurgency and Day of Infamy. We are also working to more strongly support our staff recruiter through our studio social media channels, primarily LinkedIn and Twitter.

New World HQ is in Calgary, Canada, but because we are a remote-first studio, we are fortunate to have teammates all over the place!

Work Organization at NWI

The majority of the team at NWI is working on our upcoming unannounced title. For now, we are keeping the details under wraps, but we can confirm that it is a hardcore multiplayer tactical shooter.

We have all the usual departments one might find in a mid-sized studio like ours, including Art, Code, Design, Production, and QA, all working together as integrated teams. Ensuring our various groups are not siloed is very important to us, so we have structured our fireteams as well as our social groups to encourage interactions with many people across all areas of the studio.

Because we are remote, covering a range of time zones, we have core hours established for common meeting times based on Mountain Time. Tools like Confluence, Jira, Miro, and Slack all help to enable communication and collaboration, while more social initiatives like our studio-wide book club, gaming groups, and show & tell foster a sense of community amongst the staff. Many of our social groups gather online, but we also have local get-togethers and activities like going to a board game cafe or glow-in-the-dark mini putt!

I am proud of many projects we are working on here at New World, but one that speaks to me personally is the work we have been putting into the development of career matrices. Each one consists of defined proficiencies and deliverables for any given role at the studio, in addition to the pathway for progression in that craft. I believe that this will help our employees with their careers and perhaps even help to establish norms and best practices within the industry at large.

For every role that we hire, we evaluate both hard and soft skills with candidates. Soft skills are incredibly important to us at NWI since making games is a collaborative effort! Communication, knowledge sharing, leadership, and teamwork are all highly encouraged right across the studio.

Jack-o-lanterns carved by team members for Halloween. We celebrated each other's creativity together!

Creating a Positive Atmosphere for New Team Members

We believe that a well-structured onboarding process can really set someone up on a positive note as they begin working with us at New World. This includes daily check-ins with their manager, regular check-ins with our People & Experience team, meet ‘n’ greets with each studio Director and our CEO, time and space to get up to speed on our systems, processes, benefits, and lots of encouragement to dive into whichever online and/or in-person social groups that may speak to their interests. 

Ultimately, because we are structured as a remote studio, we have learned to put a lot of conscious effort into building and tweaking our onboarding so that every new person who joins NWI - from the junior fresh out of school to the most seasoned veteran – feels welcomed and included with their departments, their working teams, and the studio as a whole.

Avoiding Burnouts

Work-life balance is a priority for us here at New World. We have developed our policies to emphasize this by making health and wellness benefits available to employees starting day one, unlimited days off in addition to regular vacation time, and flexibility via our office hours structure. 

All managers are responsible for holding one-on-ones, and we have various feedbacking processes like employee reviews, leadership Q&As, and pulse surveys, all with the purpose of identifying any potential issues before they become critical. 

At the end of the day, personal attention in the most basic of ways – replying to people in Slack, having clear answers in regular Q&A sessions, and encouraging engagement and participation amongst everyone at the studio is still often the best thing we can do to support the team. We are all humans, after all!

Jack-o-lanterns carved by team members for Halloween. We celebrated each other's creativity together!

Thoughts on Artistic Freedoms

New World began as a group of modders over a dozen years ago. At that time, just about everyone had the feeling of being able to contribute to most decisions being made. Over the years, as the studio has grown, we have built more structure, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and established consistent policies and processes. These have worked to create more sustainable ways for us to balance the ability to hear every voice at the studio with the forward momentum of developing our next game.

Approach to Education

Education is really important! Working in games means being a lifelong learner. We have a few different ways to encourage learning and training across the studio so that people are able to use whichever methods work best for them.

We have personal and professional development funds for staff that can help with access to courses, activities, events, and more. We also have channels to share more ad hoc initiatives like webinars, public speaking, and mentorship opportunities. Finally, our career matrices provide everyone at the studio with a clear roadmap for progression in their field.

Jack-o-lanterns carved by team members for Halloween. We celebrated each other's creativity together!

The Pandemic's Impact

COVID had a lasting impact on our studio. Before the pandemic, NWI was a smaller studio located physically in Calgary, Canada. Over the past few years, as we have grown and transitioned to remote, we have really found our stride: building better communication and collaboration structures, hiring based on fit for the role rather than location, and establishing a number of initiatives to help strengthen a sense of togetherness.


Good news - we have several openings at the studio! Each posting has a fairly detailed breakdown of responsibilities, expectations, and the tools they should have experience with. Ultimately, a strong portfolio and showing your excitement for working with us can really go a long way!

Astrid Rosemarin, Communications Director at New World Interactive

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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