Employee Spotlight - Steph Marcus
Steph Marcus is one of Sprung Studios’ lead UX/UI designers based in our Brighton office. In her role, she has guided various high-profile projects for some of the biggest developers in the games industry. We recently interviewed Steph to talk about her life before Sprung, her experience working with the studio, and what she gets up to in her downtime.
In 2012, Steph completed a Bachelor in Illustration at Cheltenham University. After finishing her initial studies, she travelled to Canada for several years, spending her time primarily in Victoria. Steph enjoyed some classic Canadian experiences like poutine and trying to snowboard before she decided to further her education back home, where she began her master’s in-game design at Birmingham City University in 2015.
At the end of her master’s, she started looking for a position to utilize her newly acquired skills and passion for the games industry. Through her online searches, Steph came across the Sprung Studios website. Once she read about the company’s culture and identified it as a fast-paced and exciting place to work, she applied in 2017 for a UX/UI designer position and has thrived ever since.
Given the multidisciplinary nature of the role, Steph initially thought that she could be faced with a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situation. However, after beginning work at Sprung, she found the exact opposite. At the studio, insights are gained from every department, as each team member has the chance to have their thoughts heard and respected. Sprung believes this inclusivity results in a productive and open work environment.
Steph also highlights that the well-known industry issue of project fatigue isn’t a problem at Sprung. When there is a new game to work on every few months, it’s hard to get tired of a title, especially when you are frequently working on some of the world’s biggest games with the industry’s most prominent developers.
When Steph isn’t working at Sprung, she is trying to find time to play games. Her passion for the industry is evident as she hosts a bi-weekly podcast with her friend, in which they discuss some of their most enjoyable and memorable gaming experiences. Outside of the industry, Steph has been influenced by her mother and grandmother to take up knitting during the lockdown, with hopes of one day knitting a full piece of clothing.
- What Games would you like to see rebooted?
Final Fantasy 9: ‘Seeing as they have been rebooting some of the others, I’d love to see number nine rebooted as that’s my favourite.’
Monkey Island: ‘Lucasarts was the developer behind this series. They were dissolved when Disney bought Lucasfilms, so, unfortunately, a reboot probably won’t happen, but fingers crossed maybe one day.’
- If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
‘Probably a big trip to Japan and buy all the Studio Ghibli stuff I could find. I’m currently trying to learn Japanese, so being able to immerse myself there would be amazing.’
- What have been your key takeaways from your time at Sprung?
‘Never forget Padding! No, I have learnt so much while being at Sprung; it’s hard to put everything into words. One of the most notable changes I have noticed is how confident I am with clients. It was so intimidating to think about running a meeting with a client initially. However, after watching and learning from Patrick [Creative Director] and Aiden [Lead UX/UI Designer], I feel confident in leading any client brief.’
Steph is currently working from home and is looking forward to returning to the office post-lockdown to catch up with the team. Walking over to the different crews and disciplines is a significant benefit of working in the studio, as it allows Steph to interact personally with each member while gaining new perspectives and insights into a project.
We are lucky to have excellent leads like Steph, who help oversee our projects and ensure the premium quality that the industry expects from Sprung Studios.