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01/24/2023   •   Written By Thomas Braaksma

Here at Iron Galaxy, our production teams work diligently to make sure the design, development, quality, and timeliness of our projects run smoothly. In this interview series, you will meet a variety of people who help us create awesome games. Today, we’re talking to Archie Easter, who started with us in November 2021. Let’s learn about Archie and his journey in the industry.

Iron Galaxy: Who are you and what would you say you do here at Iron Galaxy?

Archie Easter: My name is Archie Easter and I’m an Associate Producer at Iron Galaxy. As a member of the production team, my job is focused on interfacing with our partners, making sure that our team’s games stay on schedule, and ensuring that my team has the right tools to do the amazing work that they accomplish on a regular basis.

IG: Very nice, keeping the projects on track. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

AE: The most challenging part of being a member of the production team is being extremely flexible and being able to shift gears at a moment’s notice. We often interface with every member of the team directly, so resolving issues as they arise and making sure that the needs of the team are met at all times are our primary focuses.

IG: You got to love the skill to implement a good pivot! Are there any skills you’d say are necessary to help you guide the team and be flexible?

AE: One of the most important skills in production is being an effective communicator. The ability to get information to the right people in the most efficient way possible has been invaluable to my role. I’d say it is THE most crucial part for a Producer to master.

IG: Communication is key. What has been your proudest moment as a member of the Iron Galaxy team?

AE: Shipping my first title as a member of Iron Galaxy! Our team recently wrapped development on the port for Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PC. After months of development, watching the game go out to the public and seeing people enjoying something that our team worked so hard on was an immensely gratifying moment.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PC

IG: Congratulations. That was an exciting moment. The studio and the Internet were abuzz for the first Naughty Dog PC release. How is your specific job unique when compared to the other roles in our company?

AE: Production is unique in that most of our work goes on behind the scenes and typically isn’t seen by the player (unlike more visual mediums Art or Design). However, production is vital in ensuring that our teams have the right tools and support to make the best games that they possibly can.

IG: Definitely, behind the scenes but so important to the finished product. If you could give someone who wanted to follow in your career footsteps one piece of advice, what would it be?

AE: Research the roles of production in game development! There are numerous talks, videos, and articles online about the role of Production in supporting a development team. It’s also beneficial to get an entry-level position in the games industry to gain experience and an understanding of how game development works. Most producers have at least some level of experience working in games, be it in QA, Design, or Art.

IG: You need to start somewhere, and the gaming industry is no exception. What is the best thing about working at a video game development company?

AE: Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been endlessly fascinated with how things work. I would often take toys, and electronics apart and put them back together to see what went on behind the scenes to make them tick. Being a fan of games from a young age, this eventually evolved into wanting to know more about how the games I enjoyed were made. I never get tired of seeing how the separate components of design, art, sound design, and engineering all come together to create these experiences that we enjoy. And to actually have a role in that process? It’s honestly incredible.

IG: It is great, and speaking of the industry, what is your favorite perk associated with working in game dev?

AE: I must admit, my favorite perk by far is meeting all the amazing people in the industry that make games that I love and getting to work alongside so many talented and imaginative people daily. We’re all fans of gaming outside of work hours too, so I love sharing conversations about new games they’re excited about or just getting to know all these awesome people better!

IG: Collaborating with people with similar interests and people that can introduce you to great games is definitely a perk. How many people and teams at Iron Galaxy would you say you collaborate with?

AE: While most of my time is spent making sure the needs of my team are met, I do get a chance to collaborate with other members of production outside of my team as well as other departments. I also try to lend a hand whenever there’s a need for people for large-scale playtests or testing. Although we may be on different projects, we’re all IG family and I love to help where I can!

IG: It takes a village to get things done! What is the most rewarding aspect of creating things that other people experience?

AE: Games have the power to speak in universal languages. One of the most rewarding things for me is to see how people from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures all can come together and share the things that we create. It’s honestly one of my favorite aspects of working in the games industry.

IG: Impacting people all over the world is an amazing feeling. What is the biggest impact you have ever seen a video game have on someone’s life?

AE: For the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the Child’s Play charity. On Game Day, gamers come together every year and play games to raise money to provide games, toys, and books to children’s hospitals around the country. I know from experience that when you’re a kid stuck in the hospital for long stretches of time, any level of entertainment can seem like a small miracle. So, hearing stories of how these gifts can help kids take their minds off their current situations and help them focus on getting better is truly incredible.

Child's Play Charity

IG: That is so true. Making that impact on a child’s life can impact your life in its own way. Switching speeds before I start getting choked up here, let's get into some questions about you. Where is your hometown?

AE: I’ve been living in Chicago for most of my life and it’s absolutely my hometown. That means the following facts are set in stone: Ketchup DOES NOT go on hot dogs under any circumstances, the rivalry between Sox and Cubs fans is very real, and anything less than 3 inches of snow on the ground isn’t a real winter season. You can’t change my mind, don’t even try.

IG: As a Chicagoan myself I’ll second all those statements! Aside from playing video games, what is a favorite hobby of yours?

AE: Aside from playing games (which I do A LOT of) I really enjoy reading. Whether it’s news, non-fiction, or my favorite fiction genres (Fantasy and Sci-fi) I love the power of books to transport us to so many different places simply with words and your imagination.

IG: Reading is fun and fundamental. What is something you feel everyone must do once in their life?

AE: Get out of your hometown and see a different place! Step outside of your comfort zones! It’s far too easy to stay in the same location and fall into routines but to really get some perspective on the world, it’s important to see new places and immerse yourself in new cultures! You never know what you may learn or be inspired by if you don’t get out there!

IG: Is there any place you have traveled to that has been a favorite of yours?

AE: Hands down, my favorite place was Japan. For years it was the country I wanted to visit the most and I can unequivocally say that the trip lived up to what I expected and more. Seeing Japanese culture up close, meeting so many amazing people, and eating so much delicious food! I liked it so much that I went back a second time! (I’m probably going to go back again.)

Archie Easter at the Hachiko Statue in Shibuya

IG: I can only imagine how good the food was! Great way to segway into my next question. If there was only one food you could eat for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

AE: If I could only eat one food it would have to be crab. I’ve loved it for more years than I can remember and no matter how it’s prepared, I’m onboard for it. It’s so versatile! Crab legs? Yes. Crab patties? Yes. Crab boil? A THOUSAND times yes! I haven’t gotten tired of it yet, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

IG: Call the Krusty Krab we have found their number one customer! Crab is not underrated in your book but is there one genre of games that you think is?

AE: I don’t think puzzle games get nearly enough credit! While challenging, I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from cracking puzzles and revealing the solutions. There have been a few recent series that have gained mainstream success like Portal, (A personal favorite) but you’ll often have to keep your eyes on the Indy game scene to satisfy that puzzle gaming itch.

IG: The puzzles in Portal and Portal 2 were backed by such delightful stories. Are there any stories you love in a favorite book or series?

In addition to Sci-Fi, I’ve always liked the fantasy genre and one of my favorites is the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I’ll admit that I’m quite a few books behind at this point but it’s the one I always go back to. I stumbled into the series on book 3 and the characters and story were so well written I blew through the next 5 in the series before I realized it!

IG: Will definitely need to check that series out. Past books are there any games that take up a lot of your time?

AE: Rocket League probably has the most hours racked up across my various gaming systems. It’s something about that combination of Cars, soccer, and pool that keeps me playing when I should be finishing my ever-growing back catalog! I’ll readily admit that it’s a borderline obsession at this point.

IG: It is a game that is so easily accessible. Any other forms of entertainment you indulge in as much?

AE: I’ve seen the movie Tombstone more times than I can count and I’m still not tired of it. I don’t even like westerns! But that movie is the exception to the rule. I still use the quotes on a weekly basis. Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday is one of the most badass characters committed to film.

IG: I’m your Huckleberry, for sure. What about television, any series you binge?

AE: My favorite series binge is Star Trek the Next Generation. I’ve always been a huge Sci-fi fan and when the series originally aired, I watched it religiously. I’m confident I’ve seen pretty much every episode, but It’s one of the few shows that I can throw on and enjoy as much as I did back then.

IG: Picard and crew are a true treat and beloved by so many. On the other side of the spectrum, do you have a favorite that is not beloved by many, maybe a movie that bombed?

AE: Scott Pilgrim vs The World is one of my favorite box office bombs. I was a huge fan of the original comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley, so I didn’t need much convincing to be in the theater opening night. It’s such a great mix of comedy, gaming subculture, and over-the-top effects that there was no way that I wouldn’t have loved it. It’s still one of my favorite movies to this day and if I start it, I have to watch it all the way through.

IG: That was one of the best gaming movies that wasn’t even a gaming movie. Scott was a superhero in his own way both in the comics and movie. Is there a superpower that you would like to have?

AE: As cliché as it probably sounds, I’m going to go with the Superman approach and say I’d want the power of flight. Being able to just take off to the sky and go anywhere you want in an instant would seriously never get old. Who needs frequent flier points? I’ve got my own wings!

IG: Save money on flights and lives at the same time! Let’s finish off with some questions along the same line. If you had one wish, and of course, you can’t wish for more wishes, what do you wish for?

AE: A universal cure for all diseases and sicknesses. While modern medicine has come a long way and we’re making advancements and breakthroughs all the time, we still have a long way to go. If I could use my wish to instantly better humanity, I’m doing it in a heartbeat.

IG: Very honorable choice. You are kind of doing that already delivering joy and bettering the world through gaming! Given a time machine, which historical period would you like to experience first-hand?

AE: Prehistoric times! I LOVED dinosaurs as a kid, (still do) so those are the first coordinates I’m punching into the DeLorean. As long as I can see the (preferably plant-eating) dinosaurs from a safe distance, that is. Let me assure you that the cautionary tales of the Jurassic Park novels and films have NOT been lost on me. We’re keeping that hover mode engaged for the duration of the trip.

IG: Please keep your hands and feet in the time machine at all times. What fictional universe would you choose over our own, and the twist is that this new universe would be one you could not come back to.

AE: The Mass Effect universe would be great to visit, but I’m not sure I’d want to stay. “Tour the galaxy! See and meet interesting alien species! Visit exotic new worlds!” All those things sound wonderful! It’s when you get to the part about “trying to stop an advanced machine race of synthetic living starships from destroying the galaxy” that makes one think twice about putting down roots.

IG: Yeah, you need to exercise caution when laying down roots in that galaxy. What about historical figures? Any you would want to show the modern world? What do you think they’d say?

AE: As a Sci-Fi fan, I’d love to show one of the pioneers of Sci-Fi like H.G Wells the modern world. It would likely be very shocking since so much actual science ends up drawing its inspiration from great sci-fi authors. I can only imagine that he’d be extremely excited to see how many ideas of pure science fiction have become science fact since the 1930s.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us Archie, and to quote Tombstone we’ve been dealt a “peach of a hand” having you as part of Iron Galaxy’s Production team. Thanks for sharing and it was great learning more about you and hearing your insight into the industry.

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