November 19, 2008

4,716 Zombies (23 Days)

Wow, 23 days, really? I guess I hadn't really thought about it. Only a few more weeks to freedom, that's so cool...

So the subject for this post really should have been the subject for last night's post if I hadn't been so completely exhausted when I got home. Yesterday, I had finally made the decision to hire a transcription service to do the transcriptions for my thesis which meant I would have plenty of time to complete the actual document. As a sort of celebration, I played through the first movie of Left 4 Dead on Advanced with a few friends at school, a herculean task that last until just shy of the building closing. There's definitely something to be said for such a challenging co-op experience. By the end it felt like our team was really in sync, as we deftly moved around each other while throwing an unfathomable number of bullets into the zombie horde. I also got my grade back on my most recent DFS milestone, which was pretty good, especially considering the average for the class was oppressively low for this milestone.

I also got invited to take a test with perhaps one of the most well known developers in America (some of you already know who this is), which is just outrageously awesome, though I have no idea how I am going to fit it in my schedule, but that consideration will have to wait. We got some bad news on our recent Dissonance milestone, which was upsetting considering how much I think the team really has managed to accomplished a lot in the limited time available. Fortunately, the Producer/Instructor seemed to agree with me today when we walked her through the game, where it is, and what he are trying to do with it before RTM. Apparently the game also went up in her esteem after she actually played it, which is a good sign, right? We managed to fix some really critical bugs today during core hours, which is good, but they took up a lot of people's time, preventing them from actually moving forward, which is unfortunate.

My day also started with a sad note, but has ended on relatively happy one. The transcription service I was working with pretty much fell through this morning. They were trying out one of my interviews, but the "poor quality" of the recording meant the job was going to be more expensive, take longer, and ultimately produce something of a lower quality than I would like. I got this information about five minutes before our core hours for the day. So I spent most of the morning freaking out about it, but unable to find the necessary time to collect my thoughts. After that, I decided to pass with the transcription company, and try to do it using myself and incredible support from friends and family.

You know when you were a kid and you had to sell magazines and stuff to raise money for school? It felt a lot like that. I basically sent an email to all my friends at school, plus my brother and his wife, and I immediately got a cavalcade of responses, with people requesting specific numbers of transcripts to help out (most refusing the pay I had offered). At this point, 14 of the 30 transcripts have already been claimed and are being worked on as we speak, with a number of other volunteers offering to help out during the day tomorrow. It's really heart-warming to see people willing to devote a significant amount of their limited free time to help me out with this, and their sacrifice is greatly appreciated. Anyway, I think that's all the time I have for now, as I too should be trying to complete a couple of my own transcripts so I don't feel like a complete bum. Later!


  1. Sounds like things are going well, keep it up! Almost there!

    Question: What exactly do you mean by transcript? What are they transcripting?

    Thx much!


    P.S. I'm a Cohort 12 LD student, in case you're wondering how the heck I stumbled upon here :P

  2. Hey, thanks for the words of encouragement!

    The transcripts are written copies of interviews I did for my thesis.

    P.S. I'm still curious, what series of links led you here?

  3. Aaah, gotcha! Interviewing has got to be one of the tougher things to get down, especially considering how important it is!

    How would you say other LD students are doing finding jobs? Do you get the impression LD jobs are harder to find today than they were, say, a year ago?

    And as for how I found your website, over the past 6-9 months I have scoured the internet clean (and I mean CLEAN) for any and all information I could find relating to the GH. Since it's so new, there's not much there in terms of the experiences of individual students. I guess you could say I'm thorough when it comes to something I'm passionate about ;) One of the first things I did was look at the websites of current and former students (you may have had yours linked from your GH forum profile).

    So, unfortunately, I didn't randomly stumble upon it hehe.

    Anyway, good luck in your last days, and keep hope; freedom is but a few weeks away!

    If you'd rather, you can drop me a line at my gmail address (dgsaunders), or add me on linkedin or whatever. Regardless, it's never a bad thing to have more contacts in the industry, right?

    David S.

  4. Hmmm...I'm not really sure how the jobs market for designers has changed in the last year. The last time I tried to get a designer job I didn't have any of the training or expertise I've gotten from the GH, so it was unsurprisingly hard. So far my job search has been pretty successful and I know a few other designers who've been getting good feedback at least.

    It used to be that design jobs were the hardest to find, but that seems to be shifting more toward art at this point. Average placement time at the GH is about three months after graduation, and the average LD probably applies to about 20 - 40 companies (though some apply to A LOT more). Hope that gives some perspective!