How to Adapt to a Game Dev Leadership Role | Nathan Tiras | Funsmith Fireside Chats #12

Funsmith Fireside Chats Episode #12

Guest: Nathan Tiras

We had the honor of speaking with Nathan Tiras, a unique and thoughtful game tester and manager with one fantastic career! His lessons from past work and insights on being the best manager are priceless for anyone trying to succeed in the video game industry. 

Starting at Riot and working as the Director of Game Testing at Singularity 6, Nathan speaks to us about how he learned valuable lessons from his managers and teammates at both companies.

We also go in-depth about the best managerial styles for game development, new forms of revenue for gaming companies, trust between developers and players, and even his favorite games to play with his kids.

Additionally, Nathan offers a rousing review of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

This episode is an excellent conversation for listeners in the gaming industry and anyone trying to lead their team to better success.

After befriending Brandon Beck, CEO of Riot Games, Nathan Tiras landed a position as a game tester for League of Legends. His years of experience helped him build a reputation as a committed and passionate manager, eventually helping him become the Director of Game Testing at Singularity 6. 

Hosted by Alexander Brazie and Ariana Isbell

Watch or Listen to the Full Episode


Podcast Platforms:

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Referenced Links & Resources

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Free Game Design Learning Resource:

What is Video Game Mechanics (Beginner’s Guide)

How to Become a Video Game Designer

Functional Game Design Document Examples, Templates, and Instructions

Game Design Portfolio, with Examples (Guide)

Episode Chapters (with Timestamps)

00:00 Episode Preview
0:51 Meeting Nathan Tiras, Lead Game Tester for Riot and Singularity 6
2:15 Welcome and Introductions
8:23 How to Find Opportunities in the Video Game Industry
10:42 The Dangers of Being a Game Developer
12:00 Why Trust is Essential When Being Hired in the Gaming Industry
12:24 How Being a Good Player Helped Nathan Get Hired as a Game Dev
13:07 What is the Ice-g Team Do at Riot? The Problems and Solutions.
15:23 Lessons From Riot Game Testing Manager Ben Sypher
18:49 What Happens When Game Developers Make Mistakes?
20:24 Nathan’s Transformational Lesson From the Book Mindset
22:01 What is the Infamous Hecarim Patch From League of Legends?
25:08 Importance of Trust Between Game Designers and Players
26:51 Is There a Better Revenue Strategy for the Gaming Industry?
27:37 How Skins Affect Gaming Studios’ Revenue
29:51 Nathan’s Mental Growth Milestones in the Gaming Industry
36:11 How to Cultivate a Safe Space to Build the Best Game Development Team
37:15 What is Singularity 6 and the Game Palia?
39:55 The Different Types of Players in World of Warcraft
43:29 How Social Dynamics Change Perspectives in the Gaming Industry
44:49 Games Nathan Looks Forward to Playing With His Kids
50:12 What’s at the Heart of Success in Life?
52:22 How to Navigate Between Game Designers and Tester Teams
1:00:49 Game Design Principle to Satisfy Player Satisfaction
1:01:42 Signing Off with Nathan Tiras