But I also applied for a job! Social Media Manager for Hit or Miss Gaming, though I prefer the acronym HOMG.
Aaand that’s it for today’s update. Hope September’s treating you well.
I applied for a single job. Not great, I know, but baby steps.
Most of today was spent doing various little things to prep for the move. Schedule times to meet for housing appointments with potential apartment complexes, touch bases with family friends who live in the area. I’ll be visiting Sydney for three days in the near future, which is nice convenient timing for checking things out.
Also I finished Flora++ and realized I had enough random assorted stories to compile them into one document. The Into the Black Codex is getting pretty large, I can’t decide if I should be proud or ashamed. (edit: Wow, after some number-crunching, I’ve written over half-a-million words total in the complete Into the Black and Darwin’s Soldiers canon. I’m planning on doing Nanowrimo this year, which should add a nice 50k chunk to that total. Maybe one day we’ll hit a million!)
Also made my first Minecraft mod, though it wasn’t really my work, I just merged this nude skin with this clothed skin so you can take the clothes off if you want. That’s a pretty nifty mechanic that the player character comes with toggleable clothing, now I don’t have to swap skins whenever playing with friends. I’ve finally gotten into Minecraft as it’s a really relaxing survival game that isn’t too complicated, and after learning how easy it is to make mods I totally plan to release some (actually done by me) texture mods, probably starting with Emilena the cop.
But, um, yeah, job hunting. It’s going…well?
As fun as it’s been to live rent-free with my parents for the last year, I’m starting to get that itch that says “I really want to go out and explore more of the world” and also “you’re a worthless waste of oxygen accomplishing nothing”. It’s a bittersweet, multi-faceted itch.
I’ve now set my sights on Portland. I’ve visited friends there once or twice, I love the liberal population and the left-of-center culture. Now I just need to have a job lined up so I can pay the rent when I actually show up, which thankfully will be easier done than in SanFran.
So we’re putting all creative projects on hold (except the ones that pay me like VGFAQ and Daily Esports). I can be creative in Portland. Right now, I need steady employment and I need it before December when my potential roommate’s current lease expires.
So, going forward, I’m going to be updating this blog daily with every single job application location I send out. That means with a screencap of the message informing me the application was sent in. If I miss a day, you’ll know I’ve been my usual lazy procrastinating self, and can shake your head sadly as I needlessly delay, thus putting my Oregonian future in jeopardy. It wouldn’t be anything new, any hypothetical longtime readers would have probably sensed a trend by now where I can’t seem to devote my brain to anything except building skills and completing freelance work that somebody plopped into my lap after finding me somehow. But really, I hope for once that doesn’t happen.
Hi! It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. A lot has changed, not all of it for the better.
Apologies for the radio silence, nonexistent readers, and I don’t really have a very good excuse. I’ve fallen into something of a slump these past few months. While I’ve kept my online obligations running (new SPUF of Legend videos, new Daily eSports articles), I’ve let a lot of my creative projects fall to the wayside. I’m not sure if it counts as ‘depression’ per se, but I’m really starting to feel the stress of my inability to land a job.
Feels like I’ve sent thousands of applications, and I hear literally nothing back. I’ve made it through two rounds of interviews at one place, but I haven’t heard anything in over two weeks. I had to borrow money from my parents to pay rent 5 days ago. It really feels like I’m running on a hamster wheel, the same wheel I’ve been on since leaving Ohio to chase a gamedev jobs in Austin 4 years ago.
I have to admit I’ve never felt more worried this was all for naught. Everyone I know from my graduating class has landed gaming jobs except me. It feels like I’ve blown thousands of dollars moving to SF and trying to break into a thriving industry that has room for everyone else. I feel like I bring a lot of skills to the table, but apparently they’re not the right ones for anyone to take notice.
My cumulative internet traffic is the only silver lining to my situation. I’ve broken 2 thousand views on itch.io, 2 hundred thousand views on YouTube, and 2 million views on Gfycat. Too bad I’ve had almost no luck translating those numbers into user activity, or a real community.
So…happy 2019 everybody. It’s weird to think I now have 7 years experience as a game developer, and yet I’ve never felt like less of one.
Usually people are speaking in synecdoche when they write that, jokingly referring to some expensive luxury item or Steam Summer sale they can’t resist, but in this case, my literal wallet has finally died.
My wallet is the oldest item I possess by far, even factoring in that I’ve used it every single day of its life. I picked it out after graduating fifth grade, since I was getting library cards and credit cards and other things that required too many slots to fit into my plastic kid’s wallet. It followed me through high school, college, Ohio, Texas, back to California, and now it’s retiring at the very end of my Master’s program. It visited England, Scotland, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Mexico, and countless US states. God only knows how many dollars, notes, cards, keys, and coins that have passed through it.
It’s weird to think I’m moving onto the next phase of my life without it. I’ve got a replacement all ready to go courtesy of Jake, but part of me wants to shell out for a wallet restoration place and keep the legend going (especially since the Velcro works perfectly, it’s just the worn-through fabric back that needs replacing). Something I can think about in September, once I’ve graduated and some of these distractions are resolved. Either way I think it’ll appreciate a short break.
If you want to know about some of these other things, I made an apology video for the YouTube channel since I’ve been letting it stagnate as my graduation looms:
And finally, its a bust at Pixelberry, but I can’t say I didn’t give it my all. I finished and returned the writing sample, and they sent me a form rejection. So I wrote back asking if I could downgrade to their Junior Writing position. Not content to leave my chances up to one email, I took a day off school and Ubered down there with a hard copy of my application.
Pixelberry was in a large multicorporate building, I had to sneak in at the same time someone exited the front entrance. Pixelberry’s office was locked with a fob, and I think everyone was at lunch so I loitered in the courtyard till 12:45. Then I flagged someone down at the front desk and asked to deliver my application to HR. They let me go in where I gave my printed application directly to the guy in HR. Explained I’d been in the running for Senior Writer and didn’t get it, so now I’m applying for junior and wanted to make sure they had a paper copy. He seemed nice, I think I made a good impression on him. either way, my efforts earned me a personalized rejection, which I genuinely consider a win. They ‘appreciated my persistence’ but they didn’t think my assessment ‘demonstrates the qualities they look for in our writers.’ Which is probably true; in all honesty I had a hell of a time writing it since teen romance is somewhat out of my comfortable writing purview.
So that’s the end of that story just kidding they recently opened up for a QA Story Tester position and I’m already printing out my application for another trip down there. I’m sure they can’t wait to hear from me again.
I get melancholy at the end of every quarter.
1) What work did you you contribute to your game/team this quarter (similar to how you’d list it on a resume)?
I designed a website, recorded videos, wrote articles, created social media accounts, posted on said social media accounts, took minutes during sprint reviews, shoutcasted tournaments, and wrote spell descriptions.
2) How do you feel about how your game progressed during the quarter?
Major League Magic progressed extremely well. We’ve made big strides on every level, with the very successful implementation of terrain alteration being the biggest success. We’re getting some decent numbers on social media, but I didn’t do nearly enough marketing. I should have tweeted at least ten times as often, I barely touched the Facebook page, and in general anything I finish should have been done at least a week earlier. We also could have made more success on art, but what we managed to accomplish with the better-looking UI does wonders towards making the game look better.
3) Was there anything that you struggled with?
The sheer volume of content marketers need to release to get anything to happen. I just couldn’t find things to tweet about, and it took me far too long to actually make the social medias to tweet from. My excuse I kept using was “I’m waiting for us to get better art”, but considering we literally just our first few updated art assets yesterday, we’d have been SOL if I’d truly waited that long. Also I never actually started that weekly dev stream I’d been planning due to not being able to come up with stuff to dev stream about. The team never really kept me in the loop as to what they were working on, unlike Medical Necessity and personal projects where I always knew exactly the progress we’d made every week. If this game fails, it will largely be my fault due to shoddy marketing.
4) What you are working to improve next quarter?
I need to apply to more jobs. I need to finish my self-assigned jobs faster (I was more than able to finish things on Ahmet’s or the college’s pace, but the assignments were too slow and I should have finished things long before anyone asked for them.) I need to be more involved with the team and less of a free agent doing his own thing in the corner of the lab. This master’s ends in two months and I have nothing lined up. Again. After five years of not being able to break into the games industry, I’m about ready to give up if this college program ends and even that wasn’t able to turn me into somebody companies would want to hire.
What you did: Contacted CoveredCalifornia to see my options regarding healthcare, contacted Adobe to learn about Black Friday sale, i can now pay $39/month for the whole of 2017 instead of $49. Debating going for that, to be honest. Teachers and Students get it for $15/month, the lucky dogs
Contacted my county to see my healthcare options. I’ve got to wait up to 30 days for them to call me and get the ball rolling, apparently. Sucks that I lose my healthcare on December 8th, which is less than 30 days away.
Update: I called them and now I’ve got an in-person appointment tomorrow at 1pm! 😀
Located the deadlines for the Degree Programs I’m interested in exploring. I’m gonna post my breakdown in another, more scripted blog post.
Special thanks to my phone’s auto fill suggestions for providing the title of this post. Lord knows I had no better ideas.
In 48 hours I’ll be on a plane to California. I’ve spent 1 year plugging away at Austin, Texas, and while I’ve learned loads of new skills and earned certifications from online classes, I just can’t seem to make it stick, and I’m switching pastures. And in particular, I have my sights on Overwatch. The Blizzard team designing that game lives in Irvine, so if I want to become a part of Overwatch from the inside my living options are quite short. In order to earn enough to afford an apartment in Irvine, I’m swallowing my pride and moving in with my parents so I can build up an income without losing rent and food money.
But I cannot make this decision without admitting that it terrifies me. One of the few things I had was my forward movement, and this move isn’t nearly as cut-n-dried as the one that brought me to Austin. I cannot deny the obvious elements of convenience and shirking of responsibility that come with living with my parents. We all know that guy who coasts through life, never advancing and coattailing on family and friends indefinitely. I need to be absolutely sure I don’t fall into that rut.
But it honestly might be too late. I don’t have nearly enough of a plan to justify this move. I’m leaving hundreds of dollars of furniture and electronics that I couldn’t fit into my duffel and carry through the airport. My friends in Austin are going to miss me, and I’m pretty sure I killed a serious opportunity with one who’s more romantically compatible with me than anyone I’ve ever met. Am I giving up too soon? What exactly is my plan to attract Blizzard once I’m in California? Why aren’t I applying for them right now, here in Austin, so I could maybe get the job and move then?
I dunno. But the tickets bought and time moves steadily onward. My guts telling me this is the right call. I’d grown complacent in Austin, scraping by via nude modeling and an underpaid customer service job, and with Lyft and uber departing the city I don’t have the transportation options I need to travel throughout this city. The extremely sensitive line between forwarding myself and becoming a stagnant NEET might be the mental trepidation I need, and my parents house will keep that thought constantly on the forefront of my mind. On July 1st I unpack, and July 2nd I start jobhunting. I will continue my classes, I’ll continue shoutcasting Overwatch scrims daily, and I’ll apply to Blizzard every opportunity I can.
In other news, the Steam Summer Sale finally gave me the chance to buy the Clickteam Fusion HTML5 exporter. I’m excited to finally upload some of my games to Itch.io. I finished my most controversial Flora story yet and got great reactions from my readers, it’s called “5 Stages of Flora” and you can read it in the codex I linked last article.
I’ll miss Austin. I’ll miss my exercycle. I’ll miss this period of my life. But I never expected it to be permanent, and while friends can hypothetically lead to career advancement opportunities, it’s pretty clear these arent. Onward and outward.
We’re doing a shift in focus. Namely, from a blog that doesn’t get posts, to one that does.
I’m starting a “once a day” blog post requirement. Literally doesn’t matter if I did nothing of value, if I was a lazy lagomorph with nothing of value to report for the last 24 hours, than that’s what I’m going to report.
That being said, I did damn good yesterday. Applied to 6 jobs, all of which are writing and so actually in my field of study. Perhaps it wasn’t the wisest choice to focus for so long on video game jobs due to my Literature degree, but I was hoping to roguish good looks and charm would carry me through. They did repeatedly get me to the second-stage of interviews, so I can’t fault them.
Today’s big job is to write this quest for Legends of Equestria. I haven’t worked for them for months, but they need someone to write a big tutorial quest and I guess my starship was the only one in the quadrant. Plowing through updated literature so I know what I’m actually doing, and holy god do their modern writers have it easy. Back when I wrote the two dozen quests I did, my only available mechanics were “speak to stationary NPCs” and “add or remove items from inventory”, and now they can spawn mobs, walk NPCs around, initiate combat with unique NPCs, spawn items in the world…basically the shit a real MMO gets. This tutorial is going to break the fucking bank, I hope their gigabytes are prepared.
For some reason I feel more like using this blog as an actual blog, where I discuss things I’m thinking about. God knows why, maybe its the fact that my nonexistent audience can’t actually lose interest and unfollow. I can’t believe I’ve been regularly referencing and acknowledging you nonexistent readers since 2012.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty dejected by Blizzard saying no. I thought I had that one in the bag, it’s a customer service position to work for Overwatch, which would be a fucking dream come true for a cartoony FPS fan like me. I also thought the interview went great. I’ve been debating focusing exclusively on Blizzard because I know a workable if niche job-getting strategy is to just hound one company until it hires you simply out of name recognition. But with Lyft abandoning Austin, it has suddenly become difficult for me to even reach Blizzard. My roommate is working the current gig so had I landed it I’d have carpooled with him.
I’m so unbelievably jealous of my roommate. He has zero game development projects under his belt, he has never worked in the industry, and this was his first time applying for a gaming job. So of course he gets it (Overwatch! He gets Overwatch!!!), and my four years of experience gets me the door. It’s pretty clear I was considered overqualified, and its far from the first time. I appear to be in that sweet spot where I’m not qualified enough to hire for a decent game dev position, but I’m too qualified to hire for a shit gave dev position.
What to do, then? The obvious answer is to keep plugging away at volunteer/indie projects and find one that’s worth the time and will pay dividends. After all, with the internet and endless tutorials/training at my disposal I (and everyone else, to be fair) have no good excuse not to. It would just be so much easier to drive to work, do a thing from 9 to 5 and then come home and get paid. And then get a nice sizeable refund on tax day instead of kicked in the nuts by Schedule Cs. It’s so stress-free. I’ve been doing it entry-level for under $10 at dead-end customer service jobs for months now. I guess I just hubristically feel like I’m ready to advance to something better. Consider this blog post my Disney princess song.
Luckily I’ve worked out a completely separate source of stress, that of my lifelong singlehood. I guess its around 25 that my biological clock finally started whining about how it was sick of being lonely and to start looking for charming gals and gents to spend nights with. And I may have wasted a few nights in bars wondering why the fuck I wasn’t at home writing or playing video games, and then ultimately going home eventually and doing just that. But me and my eros had some long conversations and eventually convinced it that I’m just not ready to spend time on another person right now. I want a steady job and a satisfactory level of content-creation skills under my belt before I can afford to try and balance my life along with someone else’s.
I have to remember that I’m incredibly lucky with where I already am. Not only am I a white decently-thin male in a first-world country who lacks any physical deformities, I’m doing something most people can only dream of. I’m risking everything and toiling in a self-chosen city following my dream. When I look at someone and feel jealous, I remind myself “Would you trade lives with them?” And the answer is always hell no. I’ve got my priorities straighter than anyone I know my age. And I’m going to succeed.