Lowtotem.com >> I Like WARHAMMER

September 20, 2008

Quick post of my intial thoughts on Warhammer up over at the new site.

Post Preview:  WARHAMMER is pretty fun.


Lowtotem.com>> The Siren Call of the Game Industry

September 6, 2008
(Cross post from Lowtotem.com Please check out the new site!)

Even though I’m happy with my current job (for now), I check game industry job sites everyday. I’m also never far from my contacts still working on mainstream titles.

In spite of the fact that where I’m at now, career wise, everything is awesome, a part of me feels like going back. Going back to the long nights, the stress, the tension, and also the fun.

Its no secret that the game industry has some deep rooted quality of life issues. Making games is very demanding of you life. But I think about the good times I’ve had, and its almost worth it. If someone was to offer me an AP position at a mainstream game studio, I’d be a tough decision.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m a glutton for suffering, but when I think back to the days and nights I’ve spent working on games, those were probably some of the best times in my life. I think of the people I’ve met, suffered with, and bonded with during those hours, and I know I’ve made friends for life. And even when morale was at its lowest, someone would always be there to lighten the mood.

Mostly though, I just miss working on games—the kind of games I play. There is just something about knowing I’m working on a title that guys like me are gonna play . . . it makes me proud to have contributed (even if it was just a little bit) to the project.

The current casual game project I’m working on—its an interesting concept. But so far, in execution, it has a lot to be desired. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but every project I’ve worked on in the game industry has been driven by a desire to produce something awesome. Sure, in every project you have to make sacrifices, but at the end of the day, everyone just wants to make something that is cool.

We make games to draw people to our site to make money. Everyone wants to make money. I want to make money. But, if you’ve ever been in the game industry, at the core of making money is a passion to make fun games.

I miss that.

Lowtotem.com >> Risk vs. Reward and the Game Industry

August 30, 2008

(This is a pretty serious post from me, and since LowTotem.com isn’t being indexed yet, I’m cross-posting it here as well.)

I’ve got a couple of posts planned for the future, but I’ve all of a sudden gotten real busy at work.  For the first time, I really feel like I’m doing what I want to be doing, and that’s a good feeling.

Some pretty big changes have gone down the last few days at work.  Its unavoidable, I guess, especially in the world of startup companies.  That’s the real trade-off.  Risk vs. reward and all that.  I spent 2 and a half years working for 3 of the biggest names in the game industry.  Things were stable (in theory, when you are a temp, you never have job security).  But I knew my chances at moving up were limited.

I took a real risk when I left my last company to move into production for an unknown, untested, casual game startup.  As someone who’s taken a non-traditional career path, I knew the only way I was going to advance is by taking a huge risk.  I jumped right into it.

It seems crass to say this when people you’ve known and worked with have just been let go, but frankly, I’m not worried.  I don’t want to lose my job.  But if I do, I’m in a lot better place to deal with the situation than I was 2 and a half years ago.  Everything I do, I’m learning.  Every new day, I’m learning.  Success or failure, I’m learning.

Our CEO said something today that affected me deeply.  He said, “Be your own CEO.”  Think like a CEO.  Solve problems like a CEO.  And that’s exactly what I intend to do.  I’m not worried about failure, or making a bad decision.  Its all about risk vs. reward.  As a young person, you have to be willing to take risks, even at the expense of losing everything.

And that’s the advice I give to my friends still toiling away in the QA dungeons of the Game Industry.  You have to be willing to give it up at a moments notice.  Take risks.  Think like a CEO.

I know too many bright, intelligent people who are wasting away in QA.  They grow bitter, wondering why they can’t advance in an industry they love.  They grow complacent, willing to accept mediocrity because they aren’t willing to take a chance.  At some point, you have to be willing to risk it all.

So, I’m sitting here, still trying to process today’s events.  I wish everyone good luck and hope they quickly land on their feet.  But its time for me to start taking advantage of the opportunities each new day brings.