We stroll round the office and ask our colleagues to tell us about the interesting items on their desks.
As you wander around the office, you will find many interesting artefacts which can tell you quite a lot about the people who work there. They might be miniatures or toys that are interesting to look at when you go over to a colleague to discuss a task, someone's favourite cup or hackathon trophy that catches your eye. Other items include New Year and birthday cards from work colleagues, war game figures, notebooks, cards and sweets, all of which help us with out work.
You are invited on a virtual trip that will let you get to know the Playkot team and learn a little about the guys and girls behind our top rated games.
The little black book
I always have tons of photos of my friends and colleagues. My current and ex-colleagues make up the majority of my friends, and there are also many gifts and souvenirs, full of warm memories and emotions — even my mousepad is a gift! Some of the souvenirs are for me to look after. For example, Iʼm currently taking care of the toys belonging to Dasha from Supercity while sheʼs on maternity leave with her baby.
I always keep my “little black book” at hand as I need it for interviews and meetings. I try to write everything down in order not to lose any information. My computer is a desktop as I canʼt work with a laptop and for some strange reason I donʼt get work well with the Mac OS (even though I have it at home). Having two screens is really convenient though. Behind the screen to my left lives Fyokla Arturovna — a “female goose” who keeps a stern eye on me and my productivity!
Every once a week or fortnight I try to organise everything on my desk otherwise I get distracted by all the bits and pieces and find it difficult to concentrate.
The Ducky Census
If we start counting every ducky, we'll have a whole duck census on our hands. Let's do it!
I once asked “Secret Santa” for a goth duck but I never did get one. That's why a few years later I bought myself one. I went to a bookshop and there it was! Batman and Dracula I bought in Vienna. I always take my ducks with me on my trips so they can also see the world! I went to Austria and Serbia with two ducks and came back with seven. At the moment Batman and Superman are an excellent symbol of a famous conflict. The ladybug, or “buggy” for short, is one of the most positive characters. She represents tolerance and is here on the table with a flock of ducks behind her. The British ducky is a gift from Craig who found it in Harrods, London and is always a reminder for me to pronounce my words correctly!
The large duckies are gifts as well. Monia is a sweet drake, a gift from our producer, and sits on the top of the most valuable book of knowledge — E. T. A. Hoffmann, E. Schwartz and “Storytelling”. He improves the atmosphere and general mood and portrays light, kindness, happiness and well-being. His neighbour is also his bride — Cleopatra (Capochka to her friends) and is a gift from Sasha from his trip. Capochka sits on the game character sheets. I love playing. Capochka and Monia remind me about the first conference meetings we had about our product.
On the right I keep the old notes archive. It's really nice to reread them and remember ideas from four years ago. There are many more figures that I haven't had time to put together yet and a big glass with some stuff in it. The most useful things you can find in it are vitamins, scissors and hand cream! Oh, and a duck call!
There are always hastily scribbled notes lying around; reminders, tongue twisters in both Russian and English and word stress notes. I have my own pen which is the only one I use. I buy the exact same ones for when the first runs out. This souvenir from Azov protects me from evil spirits and promotes fertility — I think it was more of a hint from my colleagues than a gift.
“Hidden object” game
They call my desk a quest or “the hidden objects game”. It's called that because when someone comes to me and asks “can I get a stapler?” it takes them forever to find it and they're always surprised that it's a frog!
There is actually method to the madness though. On the left side in the shelves, work papers are neatly placed in their correct position. On the right side I maintain a happy chaos! Here I keep most of the small things I've collected from my trips; for example, the little chipmunk on the swing travelled with me from Kuala Lumpur and the cones were brought from my favourite forest where I often spend my holidays in a tent. I also have kinetic sand and soap bubbles — when the guys come to my desk they love playing with the sand!
Oh and there absolutely always have to be some flowers on the desk!
My desk is full of things after 5 years at Playkot and you can guess all my interests by looking at them. The collection of miniature women started as a joke: my colleagues went a trip to Spain and asked me what to bring back as a gift. I answered ''ispanku'' (in Russian this means both “flu” and “spanish lady”) Of course, they joked about bringing me the flu, but they kindly brought me a figurine instead. From that moment on, other people began bringing me more figurines from their trips. The cat, however, is a gift from Secret Santa at New Year. The model of an Audi is a birthday gift from the company. This cigarette with lipstick on it was a stage prop from my colleagues theatre debut. She gave it to me after the performance and I've kept it ever since. Some of the guys think it's sweet, but others tell me I've got a screw loose.
The SuperCity poster used to be on the wall at the old office but after the move it was moved from desk to desk, so I decided to keep at my place. There's a chess set too — the guys and I play and chat in the evenings.
15 kg Knight
What's that on my desk? Professional paraphernalia! I used to drink coffee from disposable cups but I've decided to save trees so now I collect cups during the day. I never collect more than four.
I use MS Surface for work which explains the snake nest of cables. It needs a ton of adaptors to make it useful and there's always a video camera among all the devices on my desk. This is because I'm the company's irresponsible film editor! There's also a 15kg bronze knight that makes my desk more cosy, made by my friend Iliya Rudnev, who I used to work with at CreatStudios. As a mark of respect to the good old times I also have a pile of disks with master game versions which I made for console devices in the past such as PS2, PSP, Nintendo GC etc. etc.
Agap the Goat
I have all sorts of toys here. This is my favourite baby, Cthulhu. I found it at a specialist trade fair. The doll's name is Floria in honour of Floria Sigizmondi, the famous photographer and video editor. She made a few music videos for David Bowie. I think the goat's called Agap and Agap is supposed to move but doesn't, it only stands still. Stubborn old goat! This pink bird was a gift from a... “lady of the night”! She can dance (the bird, not the lady). I inherited the dwarves from a colleague who got them from another colleague who's on maternity leave now.
In addition, I have a Speedlight which I keep trying to sell, but have had no luck at all! Maybe you need a Pentax Speedlight?
I have always lots of different work papers on my table like stickers and notes. Every paper is useful but some bear philosophic ideas like something from the series “Think about A/B Tests”. I can't bring myself to throw them out because I think about these ideas every now and then. The calendar with the project statuses was given to me by our ex Game Designer.
The guys from QUIMI-QUIMI came here by pure chance. I was just in a toy shop and saw some cool toys I'd never heard of, so I googled them and it turned out they were from a cartoon with characters that were always high! Now, this owl is pretending to be a librarian and though I don't have any special memories with her she's awesome anyway, as is my Moomin, Snork Maiden, who can moonwalk but only walks backwards!
The Carpet, A Symbol of Wealth
We've just moved to this area from our old work corner, which is why everything is temporarily tidy and almost everything's in boxes. I've still got loads of interesting things though. Alexei calls me “Hoardy McKeepall”.
These guys (pointing at the miniatures) I'm very strict with, I printed them on a 3D printer. I still have to file them down a bit. I have a kit of files and a scalpel, so if somebody gets appendicitis, they'll know who to call (laughing). In addition to the other small toys I also have a useful box from “Magic: the Gathering”, which I use as an improvised Dungeon Master Screen for Dungeons and Dragons.
This card was a “thank you” for providing support on The Krita Project. It was a real pleasure to get it. The palm tree I brought from home as it seemed out of place, but it fits in great here. I got the canvas toy from Julia. It was made for Halloween and now it stares disapprovingly at our server programmer. The pile of Kinder toys on my desk are waiting for Daria to come back from maternity leave. The framed photograph was taken by the guys at my birthday last year; they printed it out straight away, which was pretty awesome. The mini skateboards are also a birthday gift from the guys. They have their own skate park but that's on the window sill. The guitar also belongs to me but the others sometimes play it.
The Persian rug mouse pad was a gift from friends. As you may or may not know, rugs are a symbol of prosperity.