Conversations with Benjamin Bok

By Shania Loh and Ling Ying

Benjamin Bok is a Community Developer at Ubisoft Singapore. His personal life mantra of “continually seeking growth, not perfection” has spurred him to focus on outdoing the previous version of himself, instead of continually striving for the ideal of perfection. In this article, Benjamin shares insights into his role and the industry.

At Ubisoft Singapore, I help to shape a global cohesive community strategy and carry out content campaigns to support the overall marketing campaign.

This is achieved by building relationships with the community. I speak to gaming enthusiasts or core fans to find out the additional features they wish to see in the game and how we can best meet their expectations without excessive compromises. 

My day-to-day role consists of planning, benchmarking and collaborating with various stakeholders to ensure that our team comes up with sufficient content leading up to the game launch. I am also in-charge of hosting internal and public livestreams of our game.

I believe the biggest highlight is being able to collaborate with various teams across regional and international offices. It enables me to create an impact on the global gaming community by being a part of something bigger beyond the Singapore (and Asia) market. I also found it interesting to be able to interact with various gamers across the globe, effectively strengthening our community developer-gamer relationship. This adds a personal touch, as compared to other jobs.

I found it difficult to communicate when there was a language barrier. I personally struggled to understand the thicker accents of my international colleagues and French counterparts. However, I overcame this by re-emphasising their points after they had made their statements to ensure what I had clarified was the same as what they had previously mentioned.

Many tasks were also time-sensitive and we had to work within a tight timeline. Keeping in mind the changes to the timeline is important because they could affect the workflow and the scope of everyone’s work. Having good time management helped me to overcome this.

Another challenge is the unforeseen issues that could arise. For instance, the game development progress might be stalled due to bugs or fixes and time is needed for such technicalities to be resolved. Hence, I would need to factor in the time allowance for bug fixes and the redeployment of manpower for testing.

Firstly, it is having the ability to have full autonomy over my time. I am able to strategically prioritise the projects I currently am undertaking and complete them without the fear of being hounded. Also, I am able to comfortably take breaks whenever I encounter a mental block and breaks are essential. You’re an employee, not a slave. 

Secondly, the encouraging colleagues and mentors I have at Ubisoft Singapore who do not hesitate to help me elevate my work standards and impart their knowledge to me motivate me every morning too. There is no barrier to knowledge sharing. This also made me realise that having good mentors is important. They are the ones who will enable you to learn and grow. Eventually, they will also provide you with autonomy as they trust you to put in the hours at work.

Some hard skills include video editing and using Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator. Being familiar with tech equipment and software can help with hosting live streams on platforms such as Shopee and Twitch.

Open communication with both internal and external stakeholders is essential for my role. I am often involved in communicating news and updates to my colleagues and the public. I also practice active listening and translate them into achievable objectives for the team. Having a collaborative spirit is crucial as there is cross-collaboration beyond the Singapore office with various teams. For instance, the Singapore office has collaborated with the Montreal and Paris offices on game projects.

Possessing extensive knowledge of social media platforms, especially gaming platforms such as Twitch, is important. Ideally, they should be gamers or be passionate about gaming so that they can spur themselves to come up with interesting content on a daily basis.

They should keep up with the latest social media news and changes to channels and platforms. Knowing new subtle updates, fixes and functions are crucial in determining how these platforms are being utilised and this helps to shape the overall corporate strategy.

On a more macro level, they should have passion for the job and gain clarity in their goals. In the final interview stages, the higher management is keener on where the interviewee’s passion and interest lies, and how this job can help them to achieve their career goals, instead of finding out their competencies.

I was once in the same situation but my period of unemployment really helped me discover more about myself. My advice to students is to use their time wisely to discover their personal interests and professional aspirations.

You will slowly gravitate towards a particular field you wish to work in. While there is no need to fixate so hard on finding your answer, you need to have some direction in life. Turn every opportunity into something you will not regret and learn how to deal with failures or disappointments faced.