James: This Game Dev is on (Gold)fire!

James Simpson joined Stone Soup, all the way from Oklahoma, USA. He is not just a game developer, who studied Entrepreneurship at the University of Oklahoma, but he also has his own company named Goldfire! He explains that he started his company to develop his own ideas, and for the last 10 years he’s been doing just that. His team includes developers, engineers,3D artists and voice actors, and he has employees from many different parts of the world.

James’ company logo

Life as a Digital Nomad: The Journey has just begun

James was ready to explore the world when the Pandemic hit, so he had to postpone his plans a bit, but, maybe finally being out of quarantine gave him an extra push to pursue his dreams:  He and his wife began their journey in Portugal, just a couple of months ago. There, James finally got to meet a colleague he’s been working with for the last 2 years, but had never seen in person! His year-long plan continued with his arrival in Athens, where he plans on staying for 4-6 weeks.

Welcome to the Mediterranean, James

Coming from Oklahoma, the differences between his home and the countries he’s visited so far are hard to miss. Both Greek and Portuguese people seem open, friendly and approachable, and the landscape of the two countries is similar as well. But what made James choose Athens as his second destination? Well, for one thing the history: James even got a permit to take drone pictures of the Parthenon, as drone photography is one of his favorite hobbies. The city’s weather and mediterranean lifestyle sure helped, and James is excited to meet Athens’ culture and people.

Game on!

James’ newest game is titled “Arctic Awakening”, and it’s gonna be set in the snowy landscapes of Alaska. This sci-fi mystery game invites players to explore the frozen scenery. Since this is his first game where he’s building a snowy landscape, James sure faced some challenges, but Goldfire has always been very open to their audience: As you can see in their website, they post news about the process of each project, while making sure their audience can partake in the whole process.

(Co)Work-Life balance

James, who sure has a lot of responsibilities, is definitely a planner when it comes to his work. In his personal life, however, he prefers to go with the flow. He likes his work and home environment to be separate, so, coworking spaces are ideal for him.

Plus, Working with professionals from different backgrounds helps him focus on his own thing, while also giving him the opportunity to get out of his shell and socialize. 

If you wanna learn more about James’ games (we sure are looking forward to playing “Arctic Awakening”), you can find him here.

The life of a copywriter from the UK

Elliott is a freelance copywriter from the UK and one of Stone Soup’s newest members. He will add his copywriting skills as an ingredient to our soup. Originally from London, he studied politics at University of Bristol and has been a freelance copywriter for about a year, mainly working for tech companies and startups. Before that, he was working a full time job for a PR Agency, therefore digital nomadism is quite new to him. Elliott is currently splitting his time between his home base of London and destinations abroad.

After spending a year in California as an exchange student at University of Berkeley, Elliott travelled a lot, including parts of Asia.

Elliott has travelled to Southern Europe and has worked remotely from Porto, where he enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle and slow living. Being already familiar with the Mediterranean climate, Elliott chose Athens as his base for the next few months. It’s his third time in Athens and, as he really liked the vibe of the city, he returned in order to work remotely from our coworking space. He is planning to stay in Athens until Christmas and he isn’t sure about his next destination: ‘I may stay in Athens, might go back to Portugal. I also consider going to Malaysia!’

Combining freelancing and travelling 

Staying for a longer period in places he works gives him the opportunity to have time for everything, without rushing. That’s how he found our coworking space. ‘By spending a few months somewhere, you get to know the people and the place without being chaotic’. 

‘Even though freelancing gives me the flexibility to build things around my schedule and I really like the autonomy, it can sometimes get lonely. Coworking is a good way to meet people and Stone Soup is a supportive place to work.’ On top of that, Elliott mentioned that it’s really motivating to see things getting done around him.

Specifically, he really enjoys working for tech startups and innovative companies, for example, for Beyond Identity, which created a software that allows companies to eliminate passwords and has grown into a really successful company within 2 years.

What makes a successful copywriter? 

‘Obviously, you need to be good with words and able to express your ideas very clearly in written language’ says Elliott. Moreover, it’s equally important to have a good understanding of marketing, as well as knowing how to get into the minds of the customers. Balancing the above mentioned with good writing makes a copywriter stand out.

Elliott has met clients through a variety of channels, like a Facebook group for content writers, but LinkedIn is the main professional network. Networking can, of course, happen in a coworking space: as he said, he has met clients through coworking spaces.

As a freelance copywriter, the creative process isn’t always the same: ‘I have to talk with my clients about their marketing goals and what they want to communicate. It’s more like a collaborative process: we discuss ideas and find what fits in with how clients want to build their brand.’

In conclusion, a freelance copywriter needs to be autonomous: ‘It’s not like working in an office where you can consult your colleagues. You have to work things out on your own’.

Elliott is a freelance copywriter

Meet Sergio, a freelance dev who fell in love with Athens!

Sergio is a freelancer specialising in informatics who first visited Athens six years ago while travelling. He came back to the city as a digital nomad and spend some of his time co-working with us.

Life in Athens

Having a Spanish origin, he feels very much at home in Athens and enjoys the Mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle of the locals. He has already toured a few of the islands as well as mainland Greece. What excites him the most is how easy it is to get away from the city into the countryside and ‘zone out’ as he put is. 

‘I love nature. It makes me feel recharged and gives me fresh energy which I can then put into my freelance work. As a remote worker I am fortunate to get the chance to do that!.’

Working in informatics

After completing his studies in Media, Sergio moved to Germany in order to to pursue a career in informatics. He is currently working as a web developer for a German finance company. During the pandemic he had to work from home most of the time, but accommodating himself into co-working spaces changed his mindset for the better. 

‘I feel so much more concentrated when in an office due to the fact that I get to work without distractions. I especially like Stone Soup as a space because of the warm and welcoming feeling this place has. The atmosphere is quite the opposite from the stiff corporate environment I was used to be around and I really embrace that.’ 

Video games & more

Sergio’s hobby is prototyping video game ideas and developing graphics for them. He finds it way more exciting than anything else and he hopes to be able to make a living out of it in the future. 

‘Having a project of your own is really fun and rewarding at the same time. For me it has been great working in an office space because I manage to split my time effectively in between my job and my hobby as well!’ 

Sergio’s GitHub profile link : https://github.com/colado

Creating your own private office the way you want it to be!

What happens when four friends decide to share a private office in a coworking space? To start with, they let their creativity flow when it comes to naming their group. Jojo, Kourou, OBA, and Vagos are the Cobra Kai team! Thanks to the flexibility a coworking space provides, these four friends who work remotely decided to get a private office at Stone Soup and focus on their projects together. When all you need is workspace and everything else is serviced, professionals can decide to join a coworking community instead of staying at home or returning to their fixed office.

The team in their private office

Bringing diversity in a private office

Remote work and freelancing are two great ingredients in any recipe for flexibility and diversity. In this view, a shared private office is like a mini coworking space on its own! All you need is to gather your group of friends from school, university, or RPG games and get together in a workspace as Cobra Kai did! This way socialization is guaranteed as you can see a friendly face every time you focus on your projects. 

Although they decided to enter a private office because they are long-time friends and not due to their professions, they have formed a truly interdisciplinary group. Apart from bringing some retro martial vibes to Stone Soup, the Cobra Kai dojo works in very innovative fields. Kourou is a front-end developer and works in data visualization while Vagos is an EU official specializing in cybersecurity. Jojo is a linguist and editor and OBA is a mathematician and works as an R&D consultant in machine learning.

In their own words: “Self-employed and working remotely. Some coding, some editing, tons of online meetings.”

Shared private office at Stone Soup

Benefits of a sharing your own space

For them, getting a private office and sharing it “seemed like a good idea to avoid the everyday loneliness of home office”. This way it is much easier to catch up and stay in touch with your close friendly network. Moreover, having some cool company nearby is definitely helpful. This way you can share your personal and professional troubles with people you trust and listen to. Creativity and problem-solving get a boost as well since good brainstorming is just a couple of words away! And a tricky conversation piece does not have to do only with personal matters! For the Cobra Kai group, “illusions of deep political discussions“ is what brings them together as well!

Sharing a private office has been quite a positive experience for this group of friends so far, and they believe there are even better days to come. And if you are still wondering what is up with the name they gave to themselves, all we know is that “Yannis is a ninja. The rest of us have Netflix and just hate the Larussos!”

The Cobra Kai logo