Build fast, then test. That’s the mindset at Hyper Hippo when it comes to its video-game creation. The process is called Rapid Game Development and it is spurring rapid job development for the Kelowna company.
Hyper Hippo creates virtual worlds and video games that are played by millions of fans around the world. Founded in 2012 by the creator of Club Penguin, Hyper Hippo builds games that are available on mobile, Facebook, Steam and on major consoles.
As soon as a game is ready to play it’s made available to players through those game platforms. The players then give feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Hyper Hippo then improves the games based on that information. It all happens fast.
“Specialized training and a broad level of understanding are really important traits to have for our employees,” says Sam Fisher, president of Hyper Hippo. “When you’re making games as fast as we are, you have to wear a bunch of different hats. One day you can be doing player support for one game, the next you can be doing the musical score for another.”
This structure makes the dynamics at the office one of equality. Everyone’s voice counts. Hyper Hippo’s office also provides a fun environment with pool tables, ping pong and other games for staff to use.
“Creativity doesn’t happen when you’re sitting down all day,” Fisher says. “We’re making great art and entertainment. My job is to get out of the way of people building the games and help nurture the creativity.”
Hyper Hippo has been creating jobs almost as fast as it’s developing games. In the past year the number of employees has doubled to 30 and more growth is expected in the future.
“If our projects turn into what we hope they will, we could be doubling our workers in less than a year,” Fisher says.
“We’re planning for world domination,” he jokes. “Seriously though, we’ve built the company to grow it. The jobs we’re creating are great jobs and people love coming to work because these are their dream jobs.”
Fisher also credits Hyper Hippo’s success with being located in B.C. Because of its location, the company has opportunities to easily work with the U.S., Japan and other international companies.
“It’s a high-risk business, but it has great rewards,” Fisher says. “This is an important part of B.C.’s future economy, and B.C. is the best place to start up.”