Job receipt #1

I applied for a single job. Not great, I know, but baby steps.

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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!)

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Download link here

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?

This is now a job blog

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.

The 2s Have It

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.

RIP my wallet

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.

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Above: my old weatherbeaten wallet. Below: the until-now unused wallet my brother got me last Christmas, with my ID lazily photoshopped over

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.

 

Pixelberry Wants a Writing Assessment!

Just got my first writing job application that wants to move forward! Pixelberry has asked for a writing assessment to see if I can move onto the interview stage. This is super cool, and I’ve taken the day off school so I can fully focus on it.

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I like the artstyle, and I can definitely do this sort of writing, though I hope they assign me to the sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy/not-just-high-school settings. The “every good option is locked behind a premium currency” business model is super frustrating but I bet it makes a fortune

I’ve kinda taken everything else off too, just to send out job applications fulltime. I repurposed my old C++ learning story into an all-purpose story for working on things in the third-person, and it’s got a pretty cute spreadsheet tracking my job applications and their status.

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I’ve kinda let my YouTube channel fall by the wayside as I sort this stuff out, but it’ll be there when I get back. My viewers almost exclusively come from my reddit threads, so this might actually be a chance to test whether a brief hiatus even hurts my numbers. Itch.io’s been sitting barren since February, but I’m pretty happy with the game selection already on there tbh.

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Just broke my 200th download on itch.io, which is genuinely cool. It warms my heart to check every few days and see a handful of people have downloaded stuff. Almost all of the hits are from TV Tropes, since I wrote full pages for Gamer 2, Find the Cure!, and Oedipus in my Inventory. Any of my future creative content will get its own page no questions asked, it’s great for building steady (if minor) traffic. My Clickteam Fusion tutorials and C++ Projects are steady hitmakers too, the latter of which I don’t really understand but I’m not complaining.

I can’t help but be a little worried overall. Literally no other job I’ve applied to has even written me a rejection letter, so if Pixelberry doesn’t work out I may not have a lot of options going forward. One safety net is that I’m in the running for their Senior Writer position, and if they say no, I can ask if there’s any chance I can downgrade to their Junior Writer position. I mean, you never know.

Individual self-assessment

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.

 

They’re gonna buff Symmetra

Date: 11/22/2016

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.