September 17, 2008

Wait and See...

Well, here I am having just returned from the Austin Game Developers Conference, with some useful job information I didn't have before, a few of my resumes/portfolios in the some choice hands, but otherwise not a lot of stories to tell. The conference didn't go poorly, in fact, I'd have to say it went better than expected and I'm glad I went as I think I made some progress I otherwise couldn't have. I think that when we (or at least I) go to these things, somewhere at the back of my head there's this fantasy rolling around that someone is going to instantly hire me and I'll have the option to just take off from here. I'm not even sure if it is an option I would exercise, but it's an option I dream about having nonetheless.

Sadly (though not unexpectedly), the conference was more like a lot of brief introductory conversations and a chance for me to hand off my resume and plan to talk more with that company later. Some companies just wanted us to upload our information to their website so they would have an easier time filtering it to their different departments, others wanted to talk to us a bit closer to graduation, while others were waiting to talk to us until they came on site to the Guildhall to have "company days" or do interviews during our job fair. Actually a number of companies told me about plans to visit the GH in the next few months, so I suppose I should take that as a positive sign for the school and our training if they are actually setting aside time to come and see us.

I guess the truth is we are still a ways away from graduation, so the companies want to take that time to see what position they are in two months from now before they start planning interviews, which I can understand. I think my networking at the conference did put me in a much better position with a couple of my dream companies, which in of itself makes the trip worthwhile. All this talk of jobs and the opportunity to actually talk to people working for the companies I want to work for has put me in an interesting mood however. I think it's just made me think about the things I want to be working on when I am done, the things I am working on now, and the things I should be working now (or soon) to get where I want to be.

It's an interesting sort of gamble deciding how we should spend our time for the next few months. I spent some time recently reviewing all the companies I could think of and creating a list of the top 25 companies I would want to work for given the choice. Looking at the list, I can see that there are probably a number of companies each looking for something different from me and my work and so now is when I need to decide what I really want. You don't really want to put all your eggs into one basket, but you also have only so many eggs to go around...three, four at the most. At least one egg has to go to the Guildhall in order to keep up with work and graduate on time, so that leaves three eggs for my 25 companies, each of which wanting a slightly different egg.

Okay, maybe I took the egg metaphor too far...the point is, I can think of a handful of non-Guildhall pieces I want or have to make in order to have a chance with some of the companies I am interested in, and now is the time I need to start deciding what I am going to work on and how I am going to fit it in with school and sleep. It's a hard decision to make as it really is a gamble however you play it. The other sad thing about these "personal" pieces is they make it harder to work on GH stuff for two reasons. One, because they are closer to what I actually want to be doing, so they naturally are more exciting (GH is almost 100% FPS because they are the most stable and widely available editors) and two, because they are the standout pieces that are really going to land me the job I want.

Anyway, I think I've pretty much made my choice so I don't know what I'm going over all this for. I guess, I wasn't really sure before, but as I typed this it made me realize what I wanted to do, what I was really excited about doing. I am going to make a Neverwinter Nights level and use everything I have to try to land a job a Bioware. Out of all the "standout" pieces I think I could make, that's the one I am most excited about. I am also interested to see how much I've grown as a designer since the NW Toolset was the first editor I ever worked with. I'm not saying it's Bioware or bust, there are still a lot of great companies that I am very excited to talked to and would be incredibly happy to work for, but Bioware is getting the spare egg I have lying around, at least when I have it (needed one more egg reference, right?) Well, this post has been plenty long and I need to get ready for the rest of the week. Night, all!


  1. Bioware, ho!

    You're going to have to learn Canadian, eh?

  2. I know you are a busy, busy man. However, Resistance just fell to a price that I considered reasonable and I am curious if you want to play online some time so I can shoot you.

    I think I can get Kenneth and Jeff to play as well.

    Also, I live in North Carolina now.

  3. Probably won't have time to play Resistance anytime soon, but I'll keep you posted, you still have the same phone #?

    Also, I'm actually potentially looking at a job in NC. If I end up working there that would be pretty remarkable.

    More than likely I would be working for Bioware Austin, but I'm not picky...

  4. I still have the same phone number.

    I just picked up a wireless headset today, so not only can you enjoy playing against you may listen to me shouting obscenities at you the whole time.

    I know you miss that :)

    We also could play TF2, but I really doubt PS3 was the platform you bought that on.