Since we published our previous interview, with Tractor, Set, Go! Co-Founder Andreea Christea, a new colleague has joined Hash Rush. His name is Artūrs ‘Archie’ Cāns, and he’ll be taking on the role of Game Producer. Archie actually gave a presentation about Hash Rush in Barcelona a few weeks ago, but now he’s officially part of the team, and so it’s the right time for an interview. In our discussion, I (Jochem) spoke to him about his background, his experiences so far and his hopes and plans to make Hash Rush a success.
Ultimately, my goal is to deliver a great game to gamers around the world / Archie Cāns
Hey Archie, great to have this interview with you. What are you doing at the moment?
Hey, Jochem, I’ve been looking forward to it! I was just finishing up one of many introductory calls I have been making to get to know everyone on the Hash Rush team. This time it was with our Lead Concept Artist Dendy. So I just had a short talk with him about the world and art of Hash Rush, which really makes me even more excited — there are so many new characters and aspects of the game to discover.
I couldn’t agree more! Considering that you’re a new face around here, could you briefly introduce yourself? Who are you, what do you do?
Yeah, of course. So my name is Archie, and I like to characterise my personality as a ‘friendly chameleon’ as I somehow end up in different types of social circles and find myself very comfortable being in each of them; even though I consider myself quite the introvert.
It’s hard for me to settle down in any aspect of life, such as a single genre of music or type of cultural activity. This also reflects in my studies and work experience, as I studied at a business school without a specific specialisation. After my studies, I’ve had two different consulting jobs, both of which required completely different types of work to be done. My last job before Hash Rush was as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO), which, again, required a very different set of skills and was in an entirely different market than my previous two jobs.
Well, this serves to show it’s been an exciting ride for the past years. I’ve gained quite a lot of experience and a wide list of contacts from various industries, which I expect to come in very handy when producing Hash Rush.
That’s sounds great. So how did hear about Hash Rush?
I’ve known the co-founders of Hash Rush, Kris and Nathan, since our early childhood. But recently we got more acquainted and then this August Kris approached me with the idea of coming to work to Hash Rush. That was basically the first time I heard about it. I wasn’t able to join immediately and even didn’t know when I could do it, but as time went by, the idea grew on me and one day I just knew that I had to join the team. So here I am!
Great, so you’re also captivated by the idea of crypto mining and gaming! So could you tell us a bit about your daily routine?
This is my second week at Hash Rush and I have yet to establish a daily routine, as each day has been quite different. But as an example, my Monday began at 9 am, dealing with some Hash Rush-related errands and continued with an introductory call between you and me at 11:30 am. After that, I set up some things for an upcoming video for our YouTube channel, and I worked on getting a good overview of the processes within Hash Rush, based on my talks with various team members.
Then another introductory call at 3 pm, but this time with Andreea and Cristian from TSG [Tractor, Set, Go!]. I had a great conversation with them, and they got me up to speed on the progress from the game development side. Finally, I had some lunch, had a walk, cleared my head, went home, did some daily errands and then set up for the final call of the day at 8:30 pm with our Chief Game Economist Jethro as he was just beginning his Monday in California; we picked up where we left from our previous conversation about the game economy.
Wow, so quite a long day then! So of course you’re talking to team members now, but once you’re more settled in, what will be your main responsibilities?
My main responsibility is to get a good feel of the company, the team and the game, where it’s been, where it is at and where it needs to be. Basically to recognise what obstacles Hash Rush currently faces or could face in the future and deal with them. But ultimately, it’s to deliver a great game to gamers. Or in more formal words, I am responsible for producing the game of Hash Rush.
Alright, that’s quite an undertaking! Where do you start with game production and managing a 15-person team that’s working from all over the world, who are based in different time zones and have different responsibilities?
I start with the team — that’s why my first task was to have one-on-one calls with each team member to get to know them, for them to get to know me and to make sure that I’m not seen as a mysterious overseer coming into the project. It is crucial for me that everyone on the team feels comfortable to approach me at any time to talk about any subject, especially as we cover basically the whole globe and it’s not always possible to have a quick meet-up.
In a 15-person team and working on a very new project, every single individual is playing a very crucial role to get the game up and running. But at the same time, everyone is dealing with their own set of responsibilities, and in some cases they’re even basically a one-man department working alone. So, during the calls with everyone, I try to get a feel for the field they are responsible for and think of the problems they are facing, in order to be able to make sound comments, suggestions and questions, which then hopefully lead to meaningful discussions.
I hope this also creates a sense of collegiality and belongingness to an international team and gives people an idea that there’s always someone to whom you can come to chat to, as you would do in a regular office.
That sounds great, I really do think your efforts are paying off. So that’s what you’re doing now, but what are your plans for the future of Hash Rush?
Currently, our main goal is to have a successful launch of the pre-alpha. We value our early investors highly and hope that the pre-alpha serves as a great starting point of conversations between Hash Rush and its earliest supporters.
In the medium term I, of course, would want to see a successful launch of the game in Q3, 2018 and in the long term perhaps even a mobile application. With regard to the team, I really would like to set up a Hash Rush team meet-up in one place, one day, and one time zone!
Awesome, I fully support your plans, haha. If we talk about your experiences at Hash Rush so far, what are some differences between working here and some of your previous jobs?
This is a completely new ball game for me and it is unlike anything I have done so far. But it seems that all my previous experience has helped me to handle this position and responsibility, since I feel comfortable even at the face of many new personal and professional challenges. Although it’s just the start, it feels like this is where I need to be.
That’s great to hear. And then what do you like most about Hash Rush and working on Hash Rush?
The idea, the team, the excitement, the industry. Hard to pinpoint the thing I like most, but the team and the idea of the game are definitely the top 2.
Are you a gamer yourself, and if so what is your current favourite platform and game?
Oh, yes, I’ve been a gamer since I was 6 years old and I started on the PC with Need for Speed II: Special Edition. I have been hooked to PC gaming since then, but I’ve played games on consoles as well. I’ve spent more hours playing video games than I’d like to admit, haha. Thankfully, there aren’t any concrete statistics out there… I hope.
My favourite platform is the PC as one of my best memories was when I got all my gaming PC parts and put it all together and it turned on without a hitch. Regarding a favourite game, let me name just some of my favourites: Heroes of Might and Magic 3, GTA series, Call of Duty 1–4, Mass Effect trilogy, Dragon Age trilogy, Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed series, Borderlands series, and finally, the current game I play in the evenings is League of Legends.
Ha, awesome. I’ve played quite a lot of GTA and League of Legends as well, so I can attest to that! Unfortunately, we’ve come to the end of our interview. I want to thank you again for taking the time, and before we leave, is there anything else you want to share with the Hash Rush community?
I really enjoy Easter eggs, so I will try my best to get many different Easter eggs hidden in the game. So I suppose for anyone who reads this and has a great idea for an Easter egg, feel free to drop me a line with your suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org
That marked the end of our interview with Hash Rush Game Producer Archie Cāns. If you want to read more about the Hash Rush team and earlier parts of our interview series, take a look at the discussions I had with TSG Co-Founder Andreea Christea, Concept Artists Nic Ng Hanyang or Dendy Dhamier, Marketing Director Craig Ritchieor Chief Game Economist Jethro Naude!
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