Teamwork and collaboration are principles that we hold in very high regard at 31st Union. Hot on the heels of moving into our new state-of-the-art office space, we launched directly into another big studio milestone: "Togetherness Week 2023."
Designed to bring together our incredible crew of local and remote employees, this joy-packed week was nothing short of amazing. It was rich with opportunities for genuine team building and connection, impactful community service, and serious fun. Let’s dive into some of the highlights:
Monday: A Vibrant Kick-Off
Togetherness Week started with a bang as the whole team gathered to kick off the festivities. The room buzzed with laughter and lively conversations, setting the tone for the week ahead.
At the end of the workday, everyone gathered again to unwind and socialize at “The Happiest Hour.” A unique version of Togetherness Bingo got everyone to mingle while enjoying great food and drinks, with the winner receiving a new PS5 signed by the entire development team!
Tuesday: All-Access Q&A and Bowling Bonanza
On Tuesday morning, 31U’s directors took center stage at an informal Q&A session with the team. The casual atmosphere was a great opportunity for everyone to ask questions about the game. No question was off limits, and all received an answer. This open dialog was a great illustration of our commitment to trust and candidness.
Later in the afternoon, we set out for Pinstripes—a high-end local venue offering bowling, bocce courts, and gourmet bistro delights. It was the perfect place for a team hangout and to learn who would ultimately become the ruler of the lanes!
Wednesday: Celebrating Community and Creativity
Togetherness Week wasn't just about us; it was also about giving back to the local community. We hosted a Backpack Drive for the San Mateo County Health Foundation to provide school supplies to local area youth. Naturally, our team of game developers transformed the event into a challenge, working with enthusiasm and efficiency to stuff 500 backpacks with all the supplies children need for a new school year.
Our LGBTQ+ affinity group spearheaded a Food Pantry Drive to support the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center in Oakland, CA. This organization provides programs and services to the local LGBTQ community in the Bay Area. Our neighbors at Zynga also contributed to the food drive, helping to increase the impact.
On Wednesday, we also had the honor of hosting Dave Carson, the renowned visual effects director and digital artist who has worked on iconic movies including The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Jurassic Park, Titanic and many more. Dave wowed us with a fascinating talk and then a Q&A session with the team. He also graciously signed posters and other memorabilia. He’s a great person and we loved having him at the studio.
Thursday: Clubs and Competition
Thursday afternoon was all about fostering connections among our clubs and Employee Resource Groups. Several groups united to host a movie watch party of Tokyo Godfathers. We also had a spirited tabletop games event that served as a prelude to the day’s main attraction: The Gauntlet of Togetherness. This gripping studio-wide gaming tournament brought out the fun and fierce competitor in all of us, as we competed to see who is best at the game we’ve been making. The victors walked away with Air Pods – and even more importantly, ultimate bragging rights!
Friday: A Grand Finale Under the Sun
The week concluded with a summer picnic at Coyote Point, a scenic recreation area near our office in San Mateo County. We ate incredible food and played favorite outdoor games like Tug of War, cornhole, kickball, volleyball, and frisbee golf, making everyone feel like kids again. A surprise ice cream truck made the day even sweeter.
In closing, Togetherness Week 2023 was an extraordinary and unforgettable experience – a testament to our unparalleled team spirit, commitment to growth, and a shared belief in community service. The week fortified old friendships and sparked new ones, leaving a lasting impact on our team. We’ll look back on Togetherness Week as not just a series of events, but as an experience that defined what it means to be a part of 31U. We are grateful to everyone who participated and made it possible. We can't wait for the next one!
Are you passionate about gaming and ready to be part of a studio that values collaboration, innovation, and community impact? Explore our job openings today and consider joining our phenomenal team.