How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience

How to work together as a global team? And why do foreign professionals choose Ukrainian employers?
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Kevuru Games is an international company based in Ukraine that employs specialists from all over the world. United States, China, Canada, Britain, Brazil, France, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Turkey, Egypt, Ecuador — the geography of the team is really wide. 

Most Kevuru Games developers of middle and senior levels work remotely outside of Ukraine. 

  • How to hire foreign specialists and integrate them into a team? 
  • What are the features of communication and effective work in an international team? 
  • And what motivates foreigners to accept an offer from a Ukrainian company? 

Read more in the material.

“We select candidates by their life positions, views, and soft skills. It can help to smooth out different mentalities”

“We are not limited to recruiting only in Ukraine and started hiring people from abroad at the end of 2021,” — says Head of Recruitment Ivan Sheremet. “The full remote working format in the company allows hiring specialists from anywhere. The recruitment process abroad is not very different from what we do with Ukrainians. We always base on the company’s values and look at how candidates (no matter which nationality) match our culture. We select candidates by their life positions, views, and soft skills. It can help to smooth out different mentalities. Therefore, I cannot say we are facing any critical problems in communications. There were questions about the correct registration of an employee and understanding the tax component, but our legal department quickly finds a solution in each case”.

There could be a time difference issue. We always discuss this point during the interview to find a compromise. But for some positions, the coincidence of working hours is not critical. The most important thing is to find at least a couple of hours to cross with a team and a manager for calls, to take feedback and tasks, and then work the rest of the time independently. At Kevuru Games, the work is based on a fully remote, flexible schedule, with no micromanagement, and people feel very comfortable.

The language of communication is English, obviously. This is an excellent opportunity for many Ukrainian colleagues to practice their language skills. And foreigners often show interest in the Ukrainian language. For example, there was a story about the PM that was a little late for a meeting, and when he joined the call, he saw a picture of all foreign colleagues trying to pronounce the word “palyanytsa” in turn.

“Everyone knows that we are at war”, — adds Ivan Sheremet. “I did not notice that someone was afraid to accept an offer from a company whose country hostilities are taking place. Of course, there were some internal experiences, given all foreigners can see when they open the news and see us on the front pages of newspapers. Sometimes employees from outside Ukraine raise questions about the environment. But we always explain that all our specialists are in safe places, allowing them to carry out their tasks without hindrance”.

What Do Employees Think About Ukrainian Game Dev and Working in the Company. World Map

How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

My love for video games started when my parents purchased an NES when I was about five years old! I got into the level design (before I even knew what it was) when I got my hands on the level editor for StarCraft. Eventually, I studied game design in college and was lucky enough to enter the video game industry right after graduation!

I am happy to say that my game dev experience in the United States and now in Ukraine is pretty much the same. Our goal is to make the best possible gaming experience with the best possible team. I think that desire is universally appreciated.

Why I chose the Ukrainian company

I did not set out to work for a Ukrainian studio during my job search. It was important for me to find a place that was willing to hire remotely and share my values. I chose a Ukrainian company because studio culture and team dynamics are critical to me. Having top talent on a team doesn’t mean much (to me at least) if there is no camaraderie. 
From the outside looking in, Kevuru Games appeared to have that passion and culture I was craving. And now that I am part of the team, I’m happy to report that my intuition was correct, and they just so happen to be a Ukrainian studio! 

Difference between game dev in Ukraine and in USA

The biggest difference between recruitment processes in Ukraine and USA was how I was asked to perform a design test almost immediately. My experience in the past was to speak with a recruiter/lead a few times and then perhaps get an opportunity to move forward with a test. I honestly felt this was a refreshing experience where I was able to prove I could “walk the walk and talk the talk” before moving forward!
Barring the obvious language differences, I feel little difference working at Kevuru Games than working at any other company I have been a part of here in the United States. Before starting with the studio, I was worried about being the odd guy out. However, this has been the farthest from the truth. Everyone that I have worked with has been kind and accommodating. It is a pleasure to work with the team!

I have been using Duolingo in my off time to try and learn a little bit of Ukrainian per session. So far, I have a few basic words: titka/aunt, kit/cat, tato/dad, and tak/yes. Small progress, but progress nonetheless!

The war’s influence

The war in Ukraine has, of course, a definite impact on the mentality of the folks within the studio. The management team here in Kevuru Games has made their support to all their people clear. We have an open-door policy and programs in place to assist people both within and outside of the studio. It is inspiring to see everyone’s passion through their work, despite the terrible circumstances going on in their backyard. The patriotism amongst the studio is strongly felt with every meeting! Yes, Kevuru Games is a Ukrainian studio. Yes, there is a war going on. Yes, we are going to continue to do the work we love anyway because that is just who we are. I am honored to be a part of the studio’s story!

Check out Kevuru Games Vacancies on InGame Job!

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There are excellent processes in a Ukrainian company

I am working as a Unity Game Dev Lead in Kevuru Games, focused on PC games. 

The recruitment process is a lot different in Ukraine. Recruiters approach you with a proper understanding of what to say to the candidate, which is not found in my country at all. All of the processes were defined from the application step to the onboarding process. The company even has monthly calls before you get permanent to hear about your experiences in the company. They ask about hurdles and tell who helps you when you get stuck and provide us with the people and info we need. In Pakistan, only 10% of companies do this, and others only take interviews with no proper feedback from recruiters or people partners. I hope this gets fixed in the future.

I feel phenomenally great working in a Ukrainian company. We discuss things if we get stuck, and there is a friendly attitude. We get time to learn new things. Our opinions are heard and implemented. Sometimes I feel that we aren’t giving the company our all effort, but the company is giving us everything.

It’s a chance for me to work on big projects in a Ukrainian company

My country doesn’t work on PC games because there are not enough sponsors or funds to hire resources. However, this doesn’t stop us; we are growing and making a name for ourselves in the mobile game market. For example, in the hyper-casual industry, we work with publishers from Europe and US and make hit games (but eventually, we sell them to the publishers in need of money).

In Ukraine, people mostly do AAA games. As a programmer, I need to fix even the smallest mistakes and problems visually, as quality is important here, which is often neglectable in the mobile market. The mobile market is developing rapidly, but we have time to fix bugs in PC games to maintain quality.

Talking about stereotypes of Ukrainian game dev, I heard talks like the industry isn’t growing or people are high-tempered. But I didn’t find this at all. I have done company meetings, and everyone felt super friendly and helpful.

There are many different characteristics inside the same company with a diverse team. I have seen different holidays and different activities among my colleagues. For example, there is an embroidery day, where people wore different dresses, we held a competition, and there were different webinars.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

They make me feel included

Why did I choose a Ukrainian company for work? Kevuru’s portfolio was very impressive, and I wanted to make a large step up in my career and I have definitely achieved that at Kevuru. I didn’t notice any difference in the recruitment processes in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The process for testing my skills was the same with a small demo level.

Regarding the language barrier, it can be very difficult but Kevuru makes every attempt to make me feel included and translate their messages in English. Our meetings are multilingual, there is a mandatory translation into English so that foreign employees understand everything. With tools like Google translate I can also keep up with the non-translated portions and slowly I will start to pick up some words. I even can say Hi with Привіт.

My Ukrainian colleagues are very welcoming and we have the same interests and hobbies as game developers.

I assess the team’s effectiveness in times of crisis as very effective. It has been very inspiring to see the team continue to work hard and still have time to keep up to date with the war and find any way they can support the Ukrainian army.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

Being among the best is a huge challenge

I chose a Ukrainian company to work with because I really admire Ukrainian artists, I have great admiration and respect for their strength, and I knew that being among the best in the world would be a huge challenge. 

There is no fundamental difference in the recruitment processes in Ukraine and Brazil. The only difference I noticed was the speed of the process and your solid structure. Here in my country, it takes up to sixty days for recruiters to hire employees. And they often lose the world’s skilled workforce.

I feel welcome while working for a Ukrainian company. Everyone was very polite and respectful from the start. And with so many difficulties, they still broke down barriers and were facilitators in everything. I was very surprised and did not believe it was possible to work this way. I felt the need to do more and that I should somehow reciprocate.

I feel the difference in cultures working with Ukrainian colleagues, but I think it is normal. My country’s cultural diversity is vast: different ethnicities and customs, indigenous people, afro-descendants, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Italians, Bolivians, and a little bit of everything in the world. We, Brazilians, are very festive and warm. We have a habit of quickly becoming people’s best friends, inviting them into the house, and serving them something to eat. I heard that Ukrainians were a bit cold, quiet, and self-aware. But in the short time I’ve been here, I haven’t seen it negatively. Maybe that’s why they’re so focused, disciplined, and productive. I feel welcome while working for a Ukrainian company. Everyone was very polite and respectful from the start. 

I have already learned a few Ukrainian words. Слава Україні!

I am impressed by the strength and dedication of each of my colleagues. Some of what I see in the newspapers and the news reminds me of our difficult situations in Brazil. I’m trying to imagine what it’s like to make beautiful things and dedicate myself to all this war and concern for the present and future.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

In Turkey, unfortunately, we do not have much interaction with Ukraine. We didn’t even generate a stereotypical opinion about the country, so my first interactions were like a new page. But through people like me two countries are beginning to interact with each other and spread our culture. 

It was my longest job interview

There was an amazing difference in the recruitment process in Kevuru Games compared to what I knew before. Kevuru Games valued my previous work more than any company. It was one of my longest and nicest interviews.

It’s a bit hard for me to learn Ukrainian words because of the difference in the alphabet. I had to use some external translation apps to keep in touch in the general team chats. But most of the people in Kevuru are proficient in English, so we did not have a hard time communicating.

There are always some differences between companies, but this is not about where we live. It depends on our leaders. Their vision creates that culture in the company. 

I’m happy to learn from my colleagues

Ukraine is a well-developed country in terms of game creation. This means that there are many people that share my vision and many people who have more experience than me. I want to be side by side with them, learn from them, and create amazing things with them.

My country specializes in creating casual and hyper-casual games while outsourcing studios in Ukraine handle small and large projects from global game publishers. The opportunity to work on a well-known game allows you to continuously develop yourself, face new challenges, and overcome interesting obstacles.

Even in war times, people in Kevuru Games do their best. All their work is evidence that speaks for itself.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

How do these guys work from a war zone?

I received an email from Kevuru Games with the opportunity to apply for a level designer position, and I jumped at the chance. I honestly didn’t even check where the company came from, and I was just glad I was given a chance to prove myself. After submitting my task for evaluation, I checked the company, which interested me a lot. “How do these guys run a game development company from a war zone?!” Here is a company determined to grow and prosper in a country under siege, and here I refused to drown in Sri Lanka sinking into itself due to economic collapse. I just felt a kind of kinship, I was 100% in as long as my skills were worthy, and luckily, that was the case. Now I am happy to tell stories and build new worlds in Kevuru Games for the world to enjoy.

I feel some cultural differences when working with Ukrainian colleagues. Generally, here I didn’t meet non-respectful relations from the job hierarchy as in the Sri Lankan work environment (I’ve heard a lot about this from friends who have worked in the IT industry and various other sectors in Sri Lanka). In Ukraine, everything is different. My team has one goal: to create a great game and a friendly and supportive environment for employees.

Working in a Ukrainian company, I feel anxiety and excitement simultaneously as I study culture and hope not to step on toes. I was worried just for the general well-being of the team members working inside Ukraine. Basically, I’m thrilled to be able to work with a renowned game development studio to create great games.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

I chose this Ukrainian company for two reasons. First of all, because they have experience working with Epic Games, and one of my goals is to eventually work directly with Epic. And secondly, I did not know how else to support Ukraine in their efforts to fight off Russia’s advances, this seemed like a solid way to show my support.

I feel interested and happy to work with a nation I know nothing about. It makes each day fresh and exciting! Besides the difference in languages and timezones, our differences are so miniscule that I cannot find any. I find it difficult to understand Ukrainian fluency. I have managed to hear some words I recognize but not enough to remember and speak fluently.

I didn’t find the difference between game dev in the USA and Ukraine. Both countries are well-organized and happy to engage everyone on the team.

Regarding the team’s effectiveness in wartime, assessing from a 1 out of 10, I give the entire team a 10. When words are exchanged about war and survival, I get the feeling there is hope, tenacity, and a never-give-up attitude. Working inside of this team it is very hard to tell there is a crisis in your country since everyone is very positive despite the current crisis.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

Speaking about the choice of a Ukrainian company for work, it was more about choosing Kevuru from other companies than about choosing a company from a specific country.

I think there is some difference in the recruitment processes in Ukrainian companies and Polish ones. The test task for Kevuru was very broad and fair. Polish companies often assign tasks related to their current project, so it is possible for candidates to do free work for them.

I feel very good working for a Ukrainian company. It was nice when I had a separate meeting of game designers for English speakers. By the way, I have a new experience at my current job: I worked directly under the CEO in Poland, and now it’s pretty refreshing to work in a larger company.
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

When I saw the open position for a Technical Artist at Kevuru Games, I was happy to see if it was fitting. I always research a company before applying, so I did it that time. I was a bit concerned because of the wartime situation, but I knew other local studios were going strong, and I read really nice things about the studio, so I thought it would be worth it.

My personal preference was the opportunity to learn and hone my skills, and Kevuru, being an outsourced studio, felt like the right place for that. I can face many new challenges and different art styles, which can be a thriving environment for a Technical Artist.

I don’t feel anything special in a good way

I didn’t feel much difference during the interview, it had a similar structure, so there were no surprises. The people’s partners were friendly and helpful, and the technical part was quick and easy.

As for my work in a Ukrainian company, I don’t feel anything special in a good way because I believe that we are people first of all. I really like that the company is actively trying to build its internal community so that we are not just colleagues but part of something bigger.

Sometimes there is a language barrier during meetings, but I felt that everyone is trying their best in English, so this is definitely a positive thing. I already learned the Ukrainian word Tak 🙂 That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll try to learn some basics.

My image of Ukrainian game developers was that they are hard workers and passionate. My experience in that scene is still short, but it looks correct!
How To Work Together As a Global Team? Kevuru Games Experience - Boost InGame Job

I’ve been playing PC games since I was a kid, modding games and creating 3D art. Before joining Kevuru, I was a level designer and technical artist for the Mirror’s Edge Initiation mod.
Gamedev in my country is very young and not that advanced, while in Ukraine, there were heavy hitters like GSC Game World, 4A, etc.

I did not specifically choose a Ukrainian company for work. One of the Kevuru employees contacted me about this company, so choosing a Ukrainian company was not necessarily my decision.

Talking about the difference in the recruitment processes in Ukraine and Georgia, I felt that my experience with Kevuru was more relaxed. I do not feel the difference in cultures, mentalities, or working with Ukrainian colleagues — nothing special besides the language barrier.

I feel pretty good working here because our countries have good relations and the people are also very good. They are very efficient in their work and very talented.

One comment

  1. Kevuru looks like an amazing company to work for!

    It is very cool to see how many talented people from different cultures are working together at the same pace around the world.

    I know Douglas for a lot of time, and we have worked together on a company in Brazil. I can say without a lie, that he is one of the most focused, dedicated people I’ve crossed in my entire life.

    You guys are very lucky of having him on your team!
    I can wait to see what you all are cooking and play your games!

    Good luck with your projects!!!

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