Capcom Vancouver Developer Profile: Joe Nickolls
At Capcom Vancouver we’re proud of the games that we make and even more proud about the people we get to make them with. Today we’re taking a look at one of those people behind the games as we sit down with Studio Director Joe Nickolls.
What does a Studio Director do?
I’m responsible for the day-to-day operations of the studio, of the products we make, who’s making them and how much they cost, the culture, vision of the studio and that kind of stuff. I’m kind of the Braveheart of the studio I just don’t paint my face blue.
What’s your typical work week look like?
Working with our development teams and checking in with the status of products that we’re making here at Capcom. Dealing with our publishing partners, Microsoft and Sony that kind of thing, every couple of days. Working on the budgeting and overall operations and finance with my finance partner, working on staff initiatives and performance planning with the HR department. And really kind of plotting out the next five or six years here at Capcom. We do that every month we look at how we’re doing against our five year goal. And work with Japan and Capcom USA to make sure we’re all aligned on the products we’re making and where the studio is going.
How did you get into the gaming industry?
It was kind of a fluke. I started out in radio and then I went to work for a record company in promotions and marketing and I did that for about four years. One night I went to a pub with some friends, and they brought some friends and one of their next-door neighbors came and he was an executive producer at Radical Entertainment and we hit it off. Radical interviewed me for a marketing job and halfway through the interview they said ‘You should be a producer’ and I said ‘Okay I can do that’. I had no idea what I was doing and I’ve been doing it for the past 18 years now.
W hat part of your job gets you most excited?
I really like building things and building teams and to an extent building the company here. I get my greatest satisfaction from finding great people to do work at the studio and when I see that come together I love it, I really do. I love people who are passionate about what they do, that have a great personality that can add to the environment of the studio that’s what I love doing the most. I love finding people who can do amazing work and just letting them get in here and do it letting me get out of the way.
What about Capcom Vancouver gets you most excited?
The thing that gets me most excited about the studio is where we’ve come from and how far we’ve come. We’ve gone from being an unknown entity in this city for a long time to being a studio that people pay attention to what we do and who we are. Looking at how far all the staff have come and the amazing things they’ve done for the studio that’s my favourite thing about the studio. The studio that came out of nowhere and is starting to make a splash.
What’s your favourite place in Vancouver?
It’s probably the beach. Whether it’s Stanley Park on the ocean or down in Jericho. If I need to clear my head and think about stuff I like to take my dog out and head down to the beach and hangout there and just kind of chill.
What is your favourite video game?
SSX Tricky . It was the first time I played a game that I went ‘Oh My God I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life’. I think the thing I liked about it is it wasn’t really a snowboarding game it was a racing game with crazy music and tricks.
What do you do outside of games?
I’ve got two daughters that keep me pretty busy. I’m somewhat of a foodie, so I like the restaurants. I have a French bulldog that I take out all the time, and he keeps us busy. I love being out in the city. I’m a city guy and I’ve always been a city guy. I love finding new restaurants to check-out. I’ve been collecting art for a little while too, and so we like to go to art galleries and see if we can find something else to add to our crowded walls.
What would be your foodie resturant recommendation for Vancouver?
My favourite resturant in the city is actually two, but they’re sort of the same restaurant because they’re joined. La Quercia and L’ufficio . It’s an Italian resturant on 4th and Alma. I probably go there once a week, we’ve become locals who are always there. It’s hands down the best Italian resturant I’ve ever eaten at and probably one of the best restaurants that I’ve eaten at period.