In the last few weeks, we’ve given you a glimpse into how NISEI is growing. First, neuropantser, NISEI’s new Recruitment Lead, gave an open invitation for entry-level positions in Organized Play, Web Development, People, and Product. Following that, SwearyPrincess outlined upcoming changes to NISEI’s organizational structure. These, plus the new open leadership positions neuropantser will be posting this week, will help NISEI operate more smoothly, so we can better support the game we all love.
Today, we want to shine the spotlight on five of our newest NISEI members, whose roles will be integral to the team’s sustainable, productive future. Neuropantser, who you’ve already met, has taken on the role of Recruitment Lead. Matt is NISEI’s new Visual Director. And helming the brand-new Production department is our Lead Producer Padraig, aka “anarchomushroom”, aided by Producers Conrad, aka “Banknote”, and Chris, aka “Extrac”.
We interviewed each of these five new hires so you might have a sense of who they are and what they’re bringing to NISEI and the future of Netrunner.
Neuropantser (he/him) – Recruitment Lead
Tell me a little bit about your history and involvement with Netrunner.
I started playing Netrunner when the Mumbad Cycle came out. It took me around a year to start playing competitively, but I was a store champ and regional grinder for a while. I was still in school for the first several years I played Netrunner, so I only traveled occasionally (e.g. Worlds), but that was enough to introduce me to the community and get me hooked. Nowadays, I am part of the Boston meta, but I’ve taken a bit of a step back from playing Netrunner competitively in favor of creating Netrunner content—most people who recognize my name probably do so because of either the Slumscast (the podcast I share with OrbitalTangent) or my commentary at OTG, Worlds, or other various events.
What will you be doing as Recruitment Lead?
In my role, I’m in charge of making the process of getting people into NISEI smooth. I’m obviously not doing everything myself—I need to work closely with teams themselves to define what types of roles we’re recruiting for and figure out which applicants stand out from the rest—but when it comes to creating a pipeline that functions well across all the teams, that comes down to me.
What relevant skills or experience do you bring to the position?
I work pretty extensively with the hiring pipeline for my team in my day job. I’m not a recruiter or an HR professional, so I’ll be the first to tell you there are many things I’m learning on the fly, but I have a sense of what a well-functioning system looks like and ways to try to replicate it.
It’s pretty common for members of the community to ask how they can contribute their efforts and help NISEI. Will there be more opportunities to do so under your lead?
I can use as much help as I can get, frankly, and I mean that in three ways. The lifeblood of NISEI is fan enthusiasm, and that extends to making sure there are enough people working in the organization to achieve the goal of making Netrunner the best it’s ever been. What that means, from my perspective, is:
- If you have an interest in working on the future of Netrunner, apply for a role! You—yes, you!—have the ability to help. Don’t worry about not having the perfect qualifications or not having worked in a field like this before. I’ll let you in on a secret: in any job, for any role, there’s no such thing as a “perfect” applicant. Enthusiasm and having your goals in the right place matter a lot more than you might think.
- Not everyone is going to see this article. Not everyone is going to see the job posts. If you know someone you think would be great for a role at NISEI, encourage them to apply!
- On that note, I fully expect to need help handling the amount of inbound traffic we get. If you have experience with recruitment, or if you’re just curious how it works and want to hone your skills, or if you just want to help out and you’re eager to learn, please join me!
Sounds great! How can people who want to help with recruitment reach you?
If you want to join the team, check our Join NISEI page for the latest postings and details on how to apply. There’s a Recruitment Associate listing in there for anyone who wants to help me bring people onboard!
Matt (he/him) – Visual Director
What’s your your history with Netrunner?
I was introduced to the game by a friend when I was at uni, but it was a mostly peripheral thing for a while. I was very interested in new cards, the lore, and definitely the art, but I didn’t have the space or money for physical cards, so I jammed a bit on very early Jinteki.net. This was where I started saving every bit of card art I could get my hands on.
And, if memory serves, highlighting it for others on a Netrunner art blog on Tumblr. How did that get started?
I’ve always collected full arts when they appear on Reddit and other places, and after a while, I started seeking them out. Before long, I had a ton, and when I randomly searched “Netrunner” on Tumblr, I realized there was basically nothing on that platform, so I started sharing them.
How do you like to play Netrunner?
Well I’m not bad at Corp, and I’m a Weyland die hard—blowing up Runners and building big ice is my jam. I’m a terrible runner, though; not wild enough for Anarch or convoluted enough for Shaper, and while I’m not awful at Criminal, overall I’m just not great. What you’d loosely call my “meta” is almost pure jank, so that’s good fun.
What will you be doing as Visual Director?
First thing: I’ll be coordinating with the existing team and writing up art briefs for things that are near the end of the pipeline in every other respect. Then, once I’ve found my feet, I’ll be working with Creative to help bring to visualization the world they’re describing—and shape it myself a bit too.
What relevant skills or experience do you bring to the role?
Other than enthusiasm and collecting a big gallery of Netrunner art to get a good grounding in where to take it—we’re not going to go into cheesecake or ultraviolence—and experience doing reference research, my meatspace job involves being very specific and precise, so I shouldn’t have difficulties writing very exact art briefs as part of the commissioning process.
Do you have a favorite piece of art on a NISEI card?
There’s a few really good ones, but the flip side of Earth Station, with the view down on Cayambe, is really great.
How would you describe the tone you want NISEI art to strive for? Is it different from previous iterations of the game?
Fundamentally I wouldn’t say I want art going forwards to be different in tone, as Netrunner art’s really been in a sweet spot in my opinion. That said, I want to show the depth and multifaceted nature of the Netrunner world: realspace, cyberspace, corps up to no good, runners doing crimes, and so on. Oh, and maybe try and make Jinteki ice a little more distinct—more than most cards, they tend to blur together. Or maybe that’s just their mind games.
Padraig, aka “anarchomushroom” (they/them) – Lead Producer
What’s your Netrunner backstory?
I started playing Netrunner in May 2019. I picked up an original Core Set off someone, then discovered the game was dead, and then discovered it wasn’t! Later that year, I went to Rotterdam for Worlds and I’ve been playing and talking Netrunner ever since. I’ve played almost exclusively during lockdown, and the game and community has been hugely important to me over the past two years. I probably get most enjoyment out of the competitive side of the game, and love playing reg Anarch and decks that have Hard-Hitting News. My local meta is Dublin, Ireland which is very small, and I’d say my “meta” is probably the whole country seeing as there’s only a few of us playing. But hopefully that’ll change in the next few months!
What will you be doing as Lead Producer?
As Lead Producer, I’ll be leading up the production team to manage and oversee the production pipeline and essentially make sure things are moving along smoothly. This will involve a lot of communication with other teams and team leads about where we are with certain projects, and planning and putting timelines in place, as well as coordinating kick-offs for art and translation. I have a lot of big ideas and plans, and my intent is to hit the ground running. I’ve already started putting together a list of things to do and people to talk to! I’m hoping that over the coming months myself and the team can help get some new cards into players’ hands, and also share more of a light into the production process and how we make the best game ever made.
What skills or experience do you bring that will help you as Lead Producer?
In my Day Job, I work as a project manager, so I have lots of experience of managing resources, putting together project timelines, communicating with various different teams and departments, and also communicating with clients. Outside of work, I’ve also organized several LARPs here in Ireland, and have done everything from book venues, to designing rules documents, to writing plot, and much more. I’ve managed teams in the past and I think I bring a passionate, but level-headed and calm attitude when the going gets tough.
Anything else you think people ought to know about you or the role?
I am incredibly excited to really crack into this role, and I have so many ideas and plans that I want to get implemented as soon as possible. My biggest thing is transparency and I want to share more of what we do with the community. Things like public Trello boards, Q&A streams, and status update articles are all things that I want to implement and organize, while also helping NISEI get Borealis (and more!) into your hands. I’ve worked on Borealis as a playtester from the start and I want everyone to be able to play with these amazing cards. That’s why I applied for this role: to get amazing products into the hands of players.
Conrad, aka “Banknote” (he/him) – Producer
How did you get into Netrunner? What’s your relationship with the game?
I started playing Netrunner in 2015, when a friend gave me the original Core Set as a gift for his birthday. I immediately fell down the rabbit hole, looking up cards on my work breaks, and slowly putting together my first wonderfully janky decks. My love for jank and shell games stuck with me, and I most strongly identify with Jinteki and Criminal factions. I lived in NYC for over a decade, and became a big part of that meta, before moving out of the city during the pandemic. (I really miss our weekly B+B meet ups!)
How do you envision your role as Producer?
I view my role as a Producer as mainly making things easier for other people. I hope to facilitate communication between departments, identify hurdles before they cause problems, and empower and support individual team members to do their best work. I put a high value on communication and treating people like people, so I’m excited to get to collaborate with an organization like NISEI that shares that core value.
What skills and experience have prepared you for this position?
My background is a little different from many Producers/Project Managers. I’ve spent over a decade working in the theater industry, in a variety of roles; Director, Producer, Production Manager, Technical Director, Stage Manager… and many more! Regardless of my position, I’ve always worked with teams of artists and technicians, usually with limited resources and tight timeline limits. I personally pride myself in my ability to facilitate communication between creatives/artists and technicians or administrators, which is something I hope to bring to my work with NISEI as well.
Anything else you want to share with the community?
There are two major reasons Netrunner hooked me the way it did. First was the community. Being able to show up to casual meet-ups, Regionals, even Worlds, and to feel overwhelmingly welcomed is something unique to a lot of hobbies. I have never experienced a community that is so genuinely excited to welcome newcomers, and NISEI has only made this even more the case.
Second, I love the melding of mechanics and story. Storytelling is what got me into theater (and tabletop RPGs, another one of my hobbies-turned-passion), and the exciting narrative that unfolds with each game of Netrunner satisfies both the gamer and storyteller in me.
Lastly, I will always add Snare! to my decks if possible.
The new Production team is still very much figuring out how we plan to work together. We come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, which I know will strengthen our team, as we all have our own strengths and focuses. The one thing we’ve already agreed upon however is transparency, both within the organization, and with the larger community. Exactly how that will guide our process is still taking shape, but there are some really promising ideas we’re already floating to each other.
Chris, aka “Extrac” (he/him) – Producer
How did you get into Netrunner?
I started playing Netrunner in 2015. I’d watched a load of Yu-Gi-Oh (yes, really) and thought, “This competitive card game thing seems fun, maybe I should get into Magic.” I said as much to my friend who was “into board games in general”.
He gave me a sly wink and said “Nah, Chris, I’ve got a thing you would like.” Cue an entire weekend drinking beer and him teaching me with a Butchershop Near-Earth Hub deck and Leela Patel (after the canonical training on TheBigBoy’s teaching decks, of course). I fell in love and ended up bulk-buying everything up to Chrome City in one fell swoop and going to my first GNK less than a month later—with “Bishop–Noise” and “Tori Hanzō-Jinteki” decks, no less!
I like to think my decks have improved marginally since then.
How do you play the game now?
I’m part of the UK-based Readox meta and play semi-frequently with the Aldershot crowd. I haven’t quite developed to Aldershot’s penchant for off-the-wall “what the heck is this card” decks, preferring more traditional rushy decks myself, but hold them very fondly in my heart regardless.
What will you be doing as Producer?
Enabling communication, both internally, between NISEI teams, and outside, to the wider community. There’s so many capable people within NISEI; if I can facilitate them to perform their roles more easily and more visibly that’s an absolute win for me, and if we can do so whilst keeping the wider playerbase engaged (and, hopefully, excited), even better.
I think it fair to say that there have been some barriers over the last few months in some areas and one of my other targets is to tease those out and get them well understood. Once they’re outlined I’m looking forward to breaking them down with the teams so that we can press forward with vigor. Should be exciting times ahead.
What useful background do you bring to the role?
My professional experience is in finding problems and breaking them down into manageable chunks, then working with smart people to solve those problems with tech, well-designed processes, or new ways of working. I’m very much the person that likes to take things apart to see how they work, so combined with my habit of asking far too many questions, I’m hoping I can be useful here.
Is there anything else you want to share with the community?
There’s still lots of exploratory work to do here in order to map out what’s possible, but one of the things the Production team is looking into is deeper insights into how the various aspects of NISEI sets are coming along. I can’t promise anything this early, but among the Production team, we’re bouncing around ideas like publicly sharing screenshots of various teams’ production-management boards. We want to open up the curtain a little bit, and one way we might do that is by making information “direct from the labs” more available.
We’re excited to welcome our new NISEI members—the team already feels more energized and driven with them on board. If you’d like to bring your enthusiasm to the NISEI team, be sure to check out the Join NISEI page for the latest open positions!