Welcome to an interview for the series Game Credits Who’s Who (#GameCreditsWW). Ever read the credits page of a game you enjoy and wonder about the various positions listed? Would you like to work in the game industry someday but are not sure how some of the positions work? This Monday series will take a personal look into those positions and introduce you to real people doing those very jobs in the game industry. This week, let me introduce you to Molly Wardlaw, Managing Director of Pandasaurus Games.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do as a managing director.
I am a former music journalist and marketing maven turned board game publisher who grew up in a chaotic family of 8. Despite having cut my teeth on “Agricola,” I am relatively new to the wider world of board gaming and loving every minute of it. As the managing director of a small company (fun fact: Pandasaurus is just my husband, Nathan, and I!), I dabble in almost every aspect of publishing from the top down.
Probably the most important part of my job is identifying titles which stick out to me as highly marketable and fun across the entire spectrum of gamers. When Nathan and I decide on a title, it’s my job to delineate what part of the gaming market we are hitting; heavy strategy games are dealt with completely differently from gateway as far as art, theme, PR and marketing go.
From here I am involved in finding and vetting artists, creating and managing basecamps and setting up and executing a targeted marketing strategy for the life of the game. I also manage our social media accounts and interact with fans on a daily basis, which is such an incredible and fulfilling part of my job.
How did you become a managing director?
When I met my now husband, Nathan McNair, he was heavily immersed in the world of gaming, and I started attending a local game night in Austin. By the time we were engaged, we both discussed the idea of running a Kickstarter for fun to reprint one of Nathan’s favorite games, “Tammany Hall.” This is kind of cheesy, but Pandasaurus Games came from the merging of our two nicknames for each other: Panda and Dinosaur. So we formed an LLC on Legalzoom and jumped in the deep end!
Needless to say, we were completely floored when the project did better than we possibly ever could have imagined. And at that point, we figured we must be doing something right! So we both kept with it.
I originally primarily did marketing for the company. Over time, I got more involved in every aspect of Pandasaurus and made the transition from Marketing Director to Managing Director. I quit my job in music journalism about two years into Pandasaurus’ existence and went full-time with the company. Nathan followed suit a year later.
Share with us some of your recent projects.
We have some super awesome fantastic projects in the hopper right now, which I can’t comment on just yet—keep an ear out come Gen Con! But the most recent, already announced project is “Wasteland Express Delivery Service.” Wasteland is the post-apocalyptic lovechild of John Gilmour (Dead of Winter) and Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback (Fleet) where players take on dangerous and deranged gangs and radiation among other pitfalls to deliver food, water, and guns between various settlements. The art is just insane and the product of the madcap comic genius, Riccardo Burchielli (DMZ, Batman Black & White).
What is your greatest frustration or pet peeve as a managing director?
Definitely when I make the wrong call. I like to pride myself on the soothsaying abilities of my gut after playing a game that has that it quality about it. But I have passed on games that resonated deeply with gamers and have sworn by titles that never catch on. Being wrong about something you are very passionate about is pretty painful.
How can readers learn more about you or contact you?
Website – http://pandasaurusgames.com/
Blog – Nathan and I both blog at various times on our website. Right now we are doing “Wasteland Wednesdays,” in which we detail the process of making “Wasteland” and other games a reality.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Pandasaurusgame
Public Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pandasaurusgames/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pandasaurus_games/ This one is my baby! I love taking fun pics of us and our games’ world as well as share fun things fans post.