Monday, March 30, 2009

So Yeah, I've Applied at Blizz

Honest to god email I sent to after the break. I'm doomed.

For anyone curious, the position listing is here. When they 'send for me' in a private jet made of golden diamonds, I won't forget all the little people that got me to where I am today. And where I am today is sitting in the teacher's room of some funky little Japanese elementary school, watching the clock tick down on my final hour (literally) of employment here on this side of the ocean. From here on out, it's the unemployed life for me. Hooray, I can make weekday raids if I wake up early enough in the morning, and jump on the computer in my underwear! Things are already looking up, hearing back from Blizzard will just be icing on the cake, baby!

The honest to god email I just sent, thereby sealing my fate on the Blizzard "spam" filter:


from Richard Ericksen
date Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:33 AM
subject Game Designer

Hello! This is an application for a Game Design position on the World of Warcraft team.

As I sit here staring at the empty email field, agonizing over what to write, I realize I have no idea what I'm supposed to put in this little box. Nothing that could sum up how intimidating it is to try and make "" understand how badly I want to do this. How, no matter what I type here, it will feel like the wrong thing the instant I hit the send button. My only option left is to just be myself, and hope that I can make someone at Blizzard feel like I'm worth adding to the team.

At any rate, I think I've come to appreciate what scientists must feel like asking for continued grant research funding. Trying to hope the person on the other end of the line can appreciate the inarticulate and nebulous... thing... you do. The thing you're basically asking for permission to continue doing, with their support. It's a wholly different feeling than a farmer must feel typing up a bill for 372 potatoes delivered to a supermarket chain.

So I guess there's that.

I've typed up a design document detailing what I feel would be an interesting raid dungeon. Eleven fully realized boss encounters, with trash mob descriptions, architecture layouts, and back story / lore woven in where appropriate. I know that I can do this, or any other task thrown at me, full time. I've taken various jobs in my life as they come along, but this email is the culmination of finally doing what it is I really want to do. I want to work at Blizzard, maintaining World of Warcraft. The design document, as well as my resume, past history, and various other pertinent information has all been compiled on a website at That website is basically my application, and nothing more.

I'm not sure how many people apply this way. For all I know, everyone does, and the person reading this email is groaning and rolling their eyes so far back in their head that it hurts. You really shouldn't do that. One day your face will freeze like that and then people will think you're a zombie. You'll have to learn the Thriller dance, and when you go out to dinner your date will order the brains for you every time whether you actually like brains or not. It will just seem like the polite thing to do. While that might be an awesome prospect, and better than wading through rambling applications for design positions, your mother probably wouldn't approve, and you'd end up being that awkward guy at Thanksgiving dinner smashing your hands around on the table looking for the mashed potatoes, because, you know... you wouldn't really be able to see where they are on the table anymore, eyes rolled back and all.

So knuckle down and check out the site! Your mother will thank you, your dates will thank you, and everyone at Thanksgiving will be happier as a result because gravy belongs on the turkey, not the tablecloth.

Thanks for your time,

Richard Ericksen


Yeah. My only hope is that they get a zillion boring apps, and mine is a unique ray of sunshine into their otherwise grey lives of Word document attachments and salary requirements.

Feel free to take a look at the final link. There are a few extra bosses that I didn't post here, and some of the suggestions made their way in (and some didn't, don't hate me).

I'll keep y'all posted.


Tragedyx said...

I'm hoping you're prepared to apply in person if this doesn't sit well. Although I love your humor, not sure how they'll feel about it. They may want professionalism or some gay shit.

Also, you have the words "Fuck you" in a few boss encounter descriptions. Might want to proof read those.

Krunchy said...

For what it's worth, I actually talked to a Blizz recruiter at Blizzcon a couple of years ago and he told me that there's two things they look for in an applicant. First of all, you need to show you've done some work related to the job you want even if it is just in the mod community. More importantly, they look for people who are passionate about this kind of stuff. I don't know what you put for experience, but I think you got the passion part across pretty well. I'd like to think they're willing to overlook a letter of introduction that's a notch below professional as long as it gets across your drive and dedication. Besides, based on the stories you hear, a lot of Blizz employees seem to be colorful characters anyway, right?

Hope this works out for you. I'm rooting for you from the sidelines.

Kyir said...

Good luck Ixo! You better get us some better encounters then the single gimmick stuff we have now.

Fastinyoh said...


HP said...

Good luck! If it wasn't easy to get the job, victory wouldn't taste so sweet =)

Anonymous said...

Good luck!

Larísa said...

Amazing application. I hope they have some brains at Blizzard. If they add you to the team it will give hope of interesting future patches....

And from a selfish point of view: how cool wouldn't it be if one from the Blogosphere actually got a position at Blizzard???!!!

I have no doubt that they read the several-thousand-subscriber blogs somehow. But realistically they've never ever heard of the remotest and smallest islands such as PPI. But that will change if you manage to stealth into the building.

Good luck!
And I'm sure that if they for some reason miss your talent, someone else will recognize it and snatch you.

Klepsacovic said...

Good luck. But I must admit, I'm tempted to spend the relatively (in the grand scheme of life) small bit of time to apply, now that I see there's space. If by chance it comes down to a 1v1 fight to the death to decide who gets the job... I preemptively forfeit.

@Krunchy Have you ever heard Kaplan talk? Go read his interview about quests.

Khatib said...

If you get this job and they don't have actual death penalties in World of Starcraft, I'm fucking hunting you down.

Vads said...

My, thats one gutsy job app you wrote. :)

Score for being the first job application I've read featuring thriller dancing zombies.

Hope you get the position!

Rich said...

Yeah, regarding the tone... I figure they get a ton of boring cover letters with salary summaries, etc. They'll either get it or they won't, and that'll kinda be what makes or breaks someone bothering to dig deeper (and actually check out the link). I think if I can get them to honestly give the site a look over my chances can only go up with each additional page they read. If it was just a bullet list of my previous employment, that wouldn't get me very far, since I don't have game experience.

I did edit some pages a bit, and tone them down, but I left a few FUCK YOUs in here and there because I honestly just felt like I was going through and taking everything that made the pages interesting out. Not that the only interesting things I ever say are Fuck or Shit, but I certainly don't censor myself here, and figured that should reflect in what I submit.

It just sucks that so much hinges on who happens to be the person going through that inbox today, and whether or not they 'get' what I'm trying to get across. Humor is like that, I guess, though...

Last point I wanna throw out, somewhat related: I have a friend in the industry (kevin, on my references page, NA regulars knew him as Gaston). He's doing UI design for the Lego MMO at NetDevil. He said he knew of two people that work at Blizz: One got a job by dressing up as a paladin in a cardboard suit of armor, and stomping around their reception area handing out his resume. The other wanted a job in their art department, abnd submitted his portfolio with a note along the lines of "there's no way I'm good enough to work in Blizz's art department, but I'll do anything to get a job there."

they appreciate the passion, and a desire to prove yourself. Hopefully the person in charge of those hires is still hiring ;)

Ysharros said...

Fingers crossed. Which makes it hard to type, so get the job already!

Bonedead said...

Man that paladin idea is brilliant.

Tragedyx said...

I'm rooting for you 110%, but i'm sure you already know that. If, and when, you get the job, be sure to let us all know.

Also, suggest Vanilla WoW servers. If that ever happens, i'll send you a cake with hearts all over it.

Hades said...

You finally did it! Congrats on taking the step towards a Blizzard future.

The best of luck!

And for your sake, let's hope it'll be a gamer with some sense of humor reading the resumes.

Ulfblud said...

You ready for our knife fight to the death, Ixo?

Best of luck! If anyone has a chance, it's you!

Rich said...

ugh, that baby picture gives me the creeps... i've like almost changed it 3 times today, but feel like it's a part of the story now.

it's fucking creeping me out, though.

Pierre said...

not to sound like a jerk, I wish you good luck for sure, but this is like the ultimate stage of blog delusion. A semi-professional blog opinionator trying to score a job in the real world, basing his experience on opinion pieces.

Honestly, I think you can do it now that Activision is involved. But I remember when Blizzard came to my university every year recruiting. They'd send a couple of devs who were acting so snobbish and above everyone i wanted to puke.

"We only take the best of the best, if you're not the best programmer, or the best 3d artist, fuck off, get out of my face. my face cries every second the best is not in front of it."

Plus you'd have all these freshmen kids drooling up to them like they were gods incarnate paying their lowly subjects a visit.

Anyway, good luck.

Pierre said...

Also, you should probably squeeze in "i think that if people are paying $15 a month, they should be entitled to everything in the game" somewhere, i think that will push your resume over the top.

Tobold said...

Good luck, but you might want to read this before your next application.

Hatch said...

Good luck. I love the letter, but then, I'm not the person looking through their resumes. I'm betting you get past the first layer of the thousand of crappy apps they get from WoW playing kids that they have to sift through, and even cut through the boredom if these are actually being read.

Tigole is in charge of shit over there, and he got his job by swearing up a storm in angry forum/website posts about Everquest raiding. He's basically a total douche.

So if that's any indication, you're a shoe-in! :D

Hatch said...

Also, some guy who had a DK blog during beta got a job at blizz for...having a very good and thorough DK blog during beta, talking about the class design and balance.

He even got an NPC named after his beta DK. Ever done the quest in southern Icecrown where you have to kill elites in the scourge town, and you get a horn that calls a DK NPC to help you? One of them is a female blood elf named Jayde or some shit. That's his character.

oshin said...

Good luck, job hunting isnt much fun, especially if you have your eye on that dream job that looks like a tough one to get.

Dont forget to come up with a plan incase your application fails, theres a million and one obsticles to getting a job these days, not enough experience, not enough education, too much experience too much education, the HR guy was really drunk last night so hes going look at applications that have names that begin with A.

Odds are your case its going to be the zomg blizzard factor, Im sure alot of people would be applying for that job. I think the "i really want this job" point somebody made earlier is valid too, everybody says that, sometimes its true, sometimes its based on what they think the job will be like and some times its I really want any job.

Making a "different" kind of application can be a good idea, I know of one guy who got an automation job at a huge company that do it by writing his CV in the block diagram programming language that company's software used.Professionalism is a big part of any application though, its a double edge sword having casual language in your portfolio, if you have a proper hr person he might feel it unprofessional.

kangax said...

good luck ... i think u really deserve a place in that company and especially in the seat of a game designer ... i have been following ur writings from a very long time and i think u are THE MAN. The one image of a game-designer i keep in my head.

good luck

Brian W. Smith said...

I wish you the best of luck Ixo, I had people from my guild check out your application blog with all your encounters, and they all agree you need to be at Blizzard making this happen, especially Baron.

Anonymous said...

Fuck your "after the break" bullshit. I thought you went over this a long time ago? Fuck.

Anonymous said...

I read a little bit of your final encounter write ups. Interesting ideas, but since this is basically an application to Blizzard, don't you think you should maybe get rid of all the instances of "fuck"?

Rich said...

the ENTIRE site (11 raid encounters, and various architecture notes, lore, backstory, and sidequests) contains TWO instances of the word fuck.


Tesh said...

By the way, "passion" in the gaming industry is shorthand for "willing to be used and abused for 60+ hour/week unpaid overtime". Just so you know going in, and can stand up to it.

Stabs said...

I wouldn't worry about the swearing. Tigole had a history of blistering forum abuse in EQ and was banned from many sites and they head-hunted him.

I think it's an excellent app and I hope they appoint you.

By the way my level 40 alt was in a group when Dazzling Blade dropped and a mage ninjaed it. Please credit it to me when you start work ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow. You have come a long way, iso. Good luck. I hope you get it.

Unknown said...

I learned about NA after a realm member on E'T got a forum suspension for linking it in their sig.

Blizz knows who you are, and I think they would be well served to hire someone like you who can cut through the BS and find that nugget of fun (while complaining loudly if that nugget of fun has mold on it.)

Sidenote: I hate moldy nuggets.

Anonymous said...

So, what happened with your application?

Anonymous said...

So after all I think you should bere quite happy that your application only received lukewarm reception at best.