Game Industry Quest, Part 21

Wow, it has been awhile. I guess the the idea of blogging is related to genes, it’s definitely not in my blood. Oh well, let’s see if I can improve on this for 2014.

Regarding full-time employment in the game industry focused on entry-level production, I have now officially been looking for 1 year, 8 months. I have a part-time job on a Kickstarted project, and that’s about it.

A part of me finds this frustrating, while another part finds this fascinating. Having been looking for so long, I can say with confidence of all the various production openings I see, many are for high-level or mid-level positions. This leads me to the question, where are the entry-level production jobs?

A third part of me wants to submit to pitch to Gamasutra, where with some suggestions / feedback, I work on an article not necessarily talking about my experiences job hunting, but more in line with where production / producers stand in the game industry. Basically, I’ve been led to believe the following:

  1. There are companies that do not use producers. Off the top of my head, Naughty Dog (Uncharted series), and Valve are on this list.
  2. There are companies where producers emerge from quality assurance testers. But who are they?
  3. There are companies where it is preferred that QA testers stay in their field. But who are they? I believe Bungie is one of them, as they are one of the few companies I have seen entry-level positions.

The idea needs some work, and to be clear, I have zero interest in trying to get into gaming journalism, as I’m probably not a talented enough writer to pull that off. By the end of the day, I would want this to be informative, not a bitch-and-moan session.

While I continue to look, onto more fun writings, I game store recently opened in my area. When I say game store, I don’t mean Gamestop. I mean a brick-and-mortar store that sells board games, collectible card games, and tabletop role-playing games. So last week, I participated in Dungeons & Dragons Encounters. Since it’s tough to routinely blog about stuff, since his adventures are weekly, I can at least blog about that.

We are using the latest D&D Next / 5th Edition rules, and I guess 40% through Legacy of the Crystal Shard. At the time, the party consisted of a Dwarven Cleric who routinely saves our bacon with his healing, a tank-like Human Fighter, and an incredibly unique Dragonborn Druid. Thinking we needed either some magic or the skills of a rogue, I ended up creating an Elf Mage named Gavan. Why Gavan? I’m not the greatest fan, but earlier that day, I had heard the opening song to “Space Sheriff Gavan“, an 80’s (I think 80’s; may have been 70’s) Japanese tokusatsu (live-action) show. If nothing else, it’s a catchy song, so Gavan it was.

So the adventure began with us aiding the Elk Barbarian tribe rescue hostages from the Bear Barbarian tribe. Apparently lots of Barbarian tribes in Icewind Dale. So we opened up with storming up a treacherous hill; 3 dexterity checks of moderate difficulty to make it up this hill unscathed. Naturally, Gavan failed all three checks; at the bottom of the hill, he began with 14 hit points; by the time he limped to the top, covered in cuts, bruises, blood, broken ribs, probably a broken arm, a fractured leg, and busted eye socket, he had 2 hit points.

Remember the secret of comedy?

What’s sad is that Gavan actually get’s a bonus to Dexterity checks! (Negative bonus on Strength though.) I felt like Jerry Holkins or Wil Wheaton rolling my D20. Still, Gavan managed to redeem himself later in the fighting, taking out an an enemy spellcaster with two Magic Missile spells, and helping contribute to take down an Ice Queen that may-or-may-not have been the real Ice Queen causing the problems in the area with areas. Oh yeah, an Ice Queen has been terrorizing the lands with monsters, and elves in D&D Next are proficient with longbows and shortbows.

Hopefully, Gavan will be less clumsy this week.

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