We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Ollison & Kym Pressley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian & Kym, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Creating a world-class game studio takes more roles than many people realize. The most widely known roles, the artists and the programmers have now broken down into many more specialized roles. There are terrain designers, character designers, UI designers, level designers, animators to name a few types of artists. On the programming side, you can have gameplay programmers, UI programmers, bug/defect programmers, etc.
Beyond those disciplines, this industry also calls for roles related to lighting experts, lawyers, product managers, community managers, publishers, marketers, customer support staff, sound engineers, data analysts, testers, and more.
All this to say, whether you have a background in art, administration, music, programming, law, management, or pretty much anything else, there’s a role you can fill in the lucrative gaming industry which nets billions of dollars and growing. The industry is here to stay and will only continue to create new types of roles to fill.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Brikym, LLC is an Atlanta based Indie game development studio founded by a minority duo. Who we are and our main goals are what make us stand out. We aim not only to deliver fun multiplayer mobile game experiences through diverse characters but, we plan to use our platform and resources to help other minorities to see the potential of careers in tech and represent minorities in gaming.
This hasn’t been an easy journey. Both of us lead full-time jobs in the tech industry. On one hand, it helps fund the game studio and gives us insight into the positives and negatives of how corporate companies are run. On the other hand, working full time and running a game studio is exhausting. We are reinvigorated during moments like when a little girl randomly walked up to our Kingdom of Kuru poster and pointed to Kara (the black female lead of the game) awed and amazed to see someone that looked like her in a video game or when a popular black cosplayer reached out to dress as one of the characters.
It also helps to have helpful and motivating friends in the industry to help, share your struggles, motivate, and laugh with. Kartik Kini of Finite Reflection Studios and Vinh Luu of Studio XV have always been there to answer questions and seeing progress on their games has helped to keep us motivated. We are also part of the Georgia Game Development Association and International Game Development Association which also have a welcoming and helpful community along with tons of free information.
What we want the world to know is that tech has opened many doors to us and embracing it has made development much easier, faster, and lucrative. But not only that, it creates connections with people that you can learn from and make friends with despite differences in backgrounds or experiences. We will use our brand to educate others on how to utilize tech to their advantage and have some fun along the way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would start our fun-filled visit to Ponce City Market. Beyond unique shops, it’s also a great place for the first introduction to Atlanta’s tasty food scene. One of my favorites is Minero. After exploring Ponce City Market, we would check out The Beltline. The beltline is hands down one of the best ways to move around the entire city on foot or bike/scooter with its uninterrupted trail. We would rent a scooter and wiz our way up towards Piedmont Park, about a mile or so north of Ponce City market. As we travel the beltline we will see a variety of cool stops from ice cream shops to breweries.
Another location I would love to showcase would be my neighborhood 10 miles northwest of Atlanta, Smyrna. Depending on the time of the year, we often have fun community things going on within my neighborhood called Montclair. I would love to introduce my friend to some neighbors, many have interesting stories, own businesses, or/and have cool professions around the city. Another noteworthy place is The Battery where our Game Studio normally operates from an incubator workspace called The Farm within Comcast headquarters. Besides the braves stadium, this place also has great places to dine, like Superica, movies on the lawn, and trails.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people we could thank, but one that jumps out for us is Kathryn De Shields-Moon, AKA Kat. Kat is deeply connected to Atlanta’s gaming industry and esports scene, we initially met her during a tour of another game studio. Since meeting Kat, she has been an amazing advocate and mentor for our flagship game Kingdom of Kuru. Marketing is one of our weaker areas, and her experience and wisdom in this area have been priceless. We can’t express how thankful we are to have such a powerful ally that believes in our project. She’s our superhero and her support for the indie gaming community.
Photographer TJ Jones