Arbeta @ Home: Dave at Fabrik Games

Arbeta @ Home is a series of content designed to put a smile on people’s faces and offer some tips and support during the coronavirus outbreak. Last time, we heard from Chelsey, our Operations Manager. Today, it’s the turn of Dave at Fabrik Games, a game developer and publisher and one of our newest tenants at Arbeta.

What do you do?
I’m Dave – I’m a gameplay and platform programmer working for Fabrik Games. My day-to-day tasks revolve around creating gameplay features for upcoming Fabrik Games titles.

How do you get ready for the day ahead at home?
Most days I wake up around an hour before work and try to move around the flat a little. A pint of water and a small wander can do a lot to get the mind going. I also try to stretch a little, so my body is awake too.

How are you finding balancing your work and home life?
I already had a home office set up, but I’ve been spending a lot more time here recently. I try and keep the desk clear of any non-work items where I can. Without commutes and by working in a smaller room instead of a big office, it’s important to rest your eyes! Having a window nearby is good to let your eyes rest on something further away.

I’ve always found it tough to get the work-life balance right. One of the things that helps greatly is to only use your work equipment for work – I don’t sign into any personal websites on my work machine and when I turn it off for the day the work is done. It’s a good way to compartmentalise things.

How is the team staying motivated during this time?
Fabrik are doing multiple things similar to how we were doing them before – every morning there’s a digital stand up, which is more of a sit-down now, where everyone describes the work they are currently undertaking. On Fridays, there’s a show and tell, where everyone demonstrates any new features that are in the game. After this we have a digital ‘happy hour’, where people are encouraged to have a chat and relax at the end of the week. We received a little care package the other week containing some cookies (hence the self-portrait above) and brownies, which was a great little morale boost!

What are you looking forward to most when the lockdown is over?
Doing something big and outdoorsy – my partner and I are currently considering doing the Coast to Coast walk, something that will get us away from our screens for a couple of weeks! Oh, and cafés and takeaways!

What’s helping your wellbeing during a time like this?
Many people are working from home for the first time, which can present new challenges. It’s important to keep communicating, perhaps a little more than you would if you were in an actual office, so that you don’t feel as much like just a little name on slack.

In addition to the challenges faced when working from home, the reality is that we are in the face of a dangerous pandemic. The news can be terrible and everyone is preoccupied with worries over their family, friends and futures. Recently I’ve taken to putting my phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode for a while if I feel myself looking at the news too often or getting distracted by notifications. If I feel myself getting frustrated at a work problem (making games is hard!), I make sure to get up and walk away from my desk for a few minutes. I’ll clean a couple of dishes or put the washing out and let my subconscious take over for a bit. By the time I get back to my desk I often have the answer.

Written by:
Dave at Fabrik Games
Written by:
Dave at Fabrik Games