Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alas, Andorhal Defeat...

I'm back in the Motel a bit early tonight. I set up shop with my fancy new red sign at 4:30, and planned to be out until the sun went down at 7, but was physically assaulted and thrown off the premises by two large, burly men with stun guns and tasers.

Not really, but I was politely told I was wasting my time.

There were no stun guns or pepper spray, and sadly I never had a chance to ask anyone to "Not Taze Me, Bro" but two guys from PR came out to the sidewalk and told me I was kinda going about this in the wrong way. They said it in the best possible way, though, so maybe the trip down wasn't a total loss. They could obviously see I was passionate about wanting a job, but they pointed out that any submissions by fans (and not employees) for raid dungeon ideas or the like automatically go in the bin without being read, as a rule, and for legal reasons. If they were to read my idea, then make something similar to it, I could go to court or whatever. I get it. God bless the judicial branch, making everyone's lives that much more annoying everyday. BY LAW.

The best route, they said, was to make War3 maps, or NWN modules. I knew these are good for submissions, and actually have the entire NWN set at home eating up like 50 gigs of some hard drive. I sat down one night to make a module, though, and thought "but MOMMM... I want to come up with the WoWZORS, not the NWNzors".

Ok, that's not really how it happened, but a lot (okay, 99.8%) of what's in my booklet is completely WoW specific. Boss fight mechanics dealing with tool sets that assume rogues can vanish and druids can abolish poison. I'm already too close to the forest.

I need to take a step back, and just create a module from scratch for NWN. Hell, maybe I can tie it into my Baron Von Lupus theme, and have it be the questlines that lead up to the dungeon itself. Give the NPCs all kinds of dialog referencing his grip on the townspeople, and just fill everything they say with WoW lore to bring it full circle.


At this point I'm a little discouraged, like when you ask the pretty girl you have a crush on if she wants to go to the winter dance, and she says she's already going with Billy. You want to go home and listen to emo music and OMGIMNEVERGOINGTOANOTHERDANCEAGAINQQ. The fact is that I should have asked earlier, and I should have come better prepared with crap to show Blizz.

The fact remains that some of my booklets made it inside, even if they don't serve their final purpose. Maybe I'll get TOP SECRET FRIENDS AND FAMILY INVITES TO THE DIABLO 3 ALPHA FROM THIS WHOLE ORDEAL (HINT HINT ANYONE AT BLIZZ READING THIS CUZ YOU GOT THE ADDRESS FROM MY BOOK). But yeah. Then, later, when I resubmit, I can be like "and yeah, I was that one guy, you remember me, don't call it a comeback, baby".

Down, but not out.


Anonymous said...

Not going to lie, I'm disappointed for you. I've been following you since NA, and I know the kind of passion you posses. Keep your head up, at least they spoke to you. Better then nothing. Back to the drawing board.

Jederus said...

Man, you tried. Kudos to you for the (Herculean) effort. Most people would have given up after the first form letter response to their resume submission but you took it a step further and made them take notice.

However, you do have to kind of take a look at things from their perspective and, while it is awesome to show that much passion and enthusiasm, you don’t want to end up being ‘that guy’.

At the end of the day, you put forth the effort and shared your passion. You even went a step further and documented this adventure (quite eloquently and humorously I might add) for the world to see. Don’t give up now. Keep trying. At least now you’ve got more than two ‘friend of a friend of a friend’ contacts right?

Don’t give up just yet. You’ve done more, and gotten much farther, than many many others.

Hatch said...

I'm sorry that you didn't get in the door this time. But you did get the book in the hands of some people, and I'm sure you got on their radar. Your presentation was so professional that it would be hard to ignore even if they're supposed to.

You made a really good effort, avoided being creepy, and at least made some slight inroads. And probably learned a lot, all while demonstrating giant cahones.

Good luck on your NWN campaign. I'm sure it's gonna kick ass.

HP said...

Oh no! Well, at least they didn't completely shut the door on you. You can still wiggle in! Good luck =)

Cap'n John said...

You did tell them it wasn't a Free Raid but your resume, right? Sure, fan submissions automatically get trashed, but that was exactly your point: you were there to make the transition from fan to employee.

Okay, so maybe you didn't get in, but at least they come out. That's still a victory for you, and in spite of what they may tell you not all of your Raid booklets will get shredded, and with luck (or just someone on the inside pulling for you), one of them will make it into the right hands.

For a pessimist, I can be surprisingly optimistic ;)

Flex said...

While I'm sure you're not surprised (since, you know, you didn't have to wait behind 11 million other fans out the front waiting for their shot at being where da' money is), you did get to take a photo of the Blizzard sign IRL.

Which is still closer than most of us will get.

Go you.

Larísa said...

Don't you dare give up!!!

Whatever Cap'n John said: I hope they realized it was a sample of your work, not something you expected them to produce. Anyway - once you've healed your wounds, give them what they ask for.

If nothing else I hope you got a visit card with you, somewhere to send your next portfolio.

I wouldn't be suprprised by the way if one of the Blizzard competitors noticed your work and asked you to join their squad which is going to make the next WoW challenger. Good for them.

Buboe said...

that was awesome. That sort of enthusiasm and faith in yourself will get you a long way anywhere.
And if it's just Blizz you want to work for, then next time they are advertising, you'll have a hell of a way to get your resume seen.

Good Luck

Scott said...

Don't they have a release for you can sign giving up all rights to the work... God knows I've had a GM throw up a super-massive-wall-of-text at me when I made a suggestion regarding the in game chat filter (instead of telling me to post on the suggestions forum, as usual).

Also, employees already took your resume, so if they ever did make something similar, you could try and sue them anyways... Seems like they should save themselves the hassle and just hire you if that is the only excuse they have.

< /end two cents >

Stabs said...

Don't give up!

You'll be a huge asset to them once they see the light and hire you.

Anonymous said...

aren't you a little worried that if you turned this into a job it would take the fun out of the game? i think it's a likely outcome to consider.

A for effort though man.

Rich said...

as for taking the fun out of the game, more likely than not it would inject some fun in there... i've been around the block.. a few hndred times at least... I'm looking for more reason to stay in than get out.

For everyone else, this is just a setback. You've followed me this far on the journey, at this point I'm just getting started. ;)

Unknown said...

Damn pity they didn't give you an interview.

And yeah, wiping always hurts... but just repair your durability loss and try the encounter again. Just with a different strategy :3

Eury said...

Bah - I still hope they grabbed your email and you get some good news down the road.

Maybe someone who picked up the book will open up their email and send you some good inside' pointers on how to make that fan-to-employee transition!

You still rock :)

Saylah said...

There is no failure or defeat in the effort and initiative you exhibited to follow this passion and mix it with your talents. Kudos and Amen. The sun never remains in the shadows for people with your sense of urgency and passion.

Anonymous said...

Ok i got sent here by a link from the Pinkpigtailinn blogg, and im liking your determination!!

dont give up m8, yes you might get tazed (lol!) but always look on it as a learning experience!

I, for one, really do hope you get a break!

Cacknoob Stormrage (EU)

P.S. id like to say id help out as im a activision share holder...but i doubt very much that could sway anything your way!

River said...

We all fall down, it's picking yourself up, and dusting yourself off that matters.

Keep plugging.

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in a job there apply through the web page. http://www.blizzard.com has a hiring now section.

oshin said...

Dont get too disheartened. The whole lawsuits thing is a bit of a cover really, when blizzard see a good idea they know when to nick it, just look at all the mods that have been integrated into wow over the past while.Likewise they do the same thing on the suggestions forum, but as far as I know all it really means is that they`ll never respond with "hey wow that a great idea" for fear of getting sued.
Hopefully some people will have a look at your work and remember that name.

Dont underestimate the important of a friend of a friend either, I got my job that way, sometimes all it takes is a "that guys pretty good" to get the required interest.

Now comes the sucky part in any job attempt, the long wait with no feedback, assuming you have banged in your CVs etc.

Kyir said...

I suggest death threats.

I don't see how they could backfire.

Anonymous said...

Its been enjoyable reading ur blog all this years, but unfortunately I think you might be too optimistic this time round.

I once read an interview of a game designer a few months/years ago that focus on advice towards people seeking a career in the gaming industry (the details, like who they actually interviewed is kinda blurry, but it was the lead of a few big games) and the guy basically said that it is almost impossible to get into game design from the start. No matter what good ideas u may have, u need experience and networking to get you hired. Its almost impossible to do what u want to accomplish. He actually mentioned that the best way to get into game design is to start at the very bottom, get into customer service or tech maintaince, then network your way up and interact with the designers. Thats how he did it.

I arent trying to brust ur bubble and i certainly arent lying, I'm just saying as awesome and smart as u are (judging from ur blog ur both), this route is probably not gonna get you anywhere.

Anonymous said...

If this actually worked, can you imagine the number of idiots that would stalk the Blizzard campus?

Tesh said...

Yes, yes, design positions are likely to be filled from internal hires.

That's one problem with the game industry. It's an insular, inbred morass of mediocrity and "More of the Same" design. Challenging that is healthy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.sloperama.com/advice/idea.htm should help.

What ever you do, don't plan on starting at the 'bottom' (i.e. QA playtester) to work your way up, interviewers will catch it and realize you don't plan on staying in the department. No commitment to the role == no hire. While sometimes it works after you've got some experience, don't rely on this being your only path in.

If you want to get into design, then design something. And more importantly, TEST IT OUT. That's what the modding War3 or NWN is about, not only can you test out how it plays vs. how it runs in your mind, it also shows your flexibility to adapt to any game editor. Don't get hung up on your one perfect design either, if the engine doesn't do what you want, change your scope. Show them you're not a one-trick pony.

You want to impress them, not show you're crazy with stalking the front gates.

Rich said...

@above: That's great for designing your own game from scratch, something completely different than what I'm trying to do.

I also drove down on the (false, yes) assumption that I would get to a point where I could hand these books out in an organized manner. When that was proven otherwise, I took it upon myself to not give up on the spot, and run home crying. I did what needed to be done, and everyone that took one said that it was impressive.

The main point was to get them in the hands of people physically, as opposed to assuming they were going to click some PDF attached to some email. So, Mission Semi-Accomplished?

there's a special place in my heart for people that tell me what I should do (should have done), but don't even have the patience to register, or even less just GIVE A NAME. Leaving it "Anonymous" is the largest act of laziness you can achieve while still posting. so, thanks on your motivational tips?

Khatib said...

A+ for effort Rich.

If you do actually make an NWN or NWN2 module, lemme know. I'd be more than happy to play/playtest it for you a bit. I still have disks laying around somewhere for those...

Tornik said...

You tried dude, and that's a damn sight more than a whole lot of other people will have done.

No regrets man, no regrets.

Linda said...

Pfft, War3 maps or NWN modules...

I think the sign outside the office will be 100% more effective, good luck and I hope someone who can organize an interview sees those booklets of yours!

But good idea on making the NWN modules according to your raid design, that's something different that might also get you some attention.

Geoffrey said...

Here is an article linked from Slashdot that you may find interesting, if you have not read it yet:


It describes the various departments within Blizzard. The design department has only 37 people, so that gives you an idea of how positions there are.

I do agree that an entry level position is a good idea, as it may lead to good networking and promotion.

I think also you should not limit yourself to Blizzard. You have created for yourself an employer monopoly situation. If you were to get a designing position with another firm, this may serve you much better than a QA position with Blizzard. You would be doing what you actually want to do, and if you get a reputation in the field, you may in the end find Blizzard coming to you. Wouldn't that be much nicer?

Anonymous said...

I just downloaded and looked over your document, and while the raid itself and the artwork look well put together, please work on your resume writing skills.

I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to help.

1. Get it down to a single page.

2. Use bullet points for your work experience. You do not need entire paragraphs and keep the bullets to 4 or less.

3. Think of your goal as an elevator sentence.

You're in an elevator with the HR person and you have exactly 10 seconds to sell yourself before the elevator gets to where you're going. Make it quick, precise, and to the point.

4. Get rid of your previous / current salary. They will automatically judge what to pay you based on that.

5. Education - You only need your degree, your school, and your GPA if it was respectable.

6. Where's your applicable skills? Separate it out.

7. Get rid of the "Misc. Notes" section. Your references are MUCH more important, and most of that you already stated in your Goal paragraph.

I wish you a lot of luck, and hope you have a long, bright career in the gaming industry, since you appear to be uber passionate. I don't know a single HR representative that will read your resume as it stands though.

P.S.: Please don't use Comic Sans in the future. http://bancomicsans.com/home.html

Rich said...

do a google search for Blambot, and hit "I'm feeling lucky".

Don't be a font snob if you have no idea what you're talking about <3

oshin said...

I would probably left my cv off the online version, who knows how many estalkers you have !

Rich said...

meh, i've been tossing around the idea of putting my name on the site for a while, anyway, and have a few articles where i throw my name and address around since people who hide on the internet just seem silly.

Professor Beej said...

Well, in my comment on the first half of this post, I said they might use some of your ideas in the expansion, but I see how they work with not doing that now.

What I suggest: send in a signed affidavit saying you won't sue or respond in any legal way if they cannibalize your packet. Who knows if it'd work, but it might be a tiny loophole around PR's explanation (excuse?).

AnonymousGameDesigner said...

Leaving this anonymous because in the game industry, names actually mean something – and I don’t want to be any fanboy’s link on LinkedIn…

Good for you for not sitting on your hands. However, I could have told you it was beyond pointless before you started. It's more than pointless, it actually hurts your cause.

As a professional game designer (yes, with ties to Blizzard), the phrase "fan to employee transition" sets my teeth on edge. There is no such thing. Period. Get it out of your mind right now.

What there is, is a raving-fanboy to professional transition. Get the stars out of your eyes. Stop thinking about Blizzard completely. What someone said up above about being able to start out in design immediately is correct -- it's next to impossible. Personally I did several years in customer service and then production, and then apprenticed with an experienced designer to get my foot in the door.

Beyond that, getting your first game industry job at Blizzard is also next to impossible. Unless you speak an in-demand foreign language, entry level jobs at Blizzard are extremely hard to come by. What professionals do is get actual work experience – not fanboy experience, not the dungeon equivalent of writing fanfiction – at another game company. Any other game company. Work there for five years, and then, as a professional with a resume full of game industry experience, then apply to work for Blizzard. It’s much easier when you’re a professional with contacts and an actual resume, than as a fanboy with a sign on the sidewalk.

If what you want to do is make games professionally, then do that. There are many many avenues into the game industry, if you’re willing to treat it as an actual profession. If you’re not interested in making games, but rather interested in having your name in the credits of your current fangasm fantasy, then by all means stick with the dayglo signs.

It appears that you have passion, creativity, guts, and the ability to finish what you start. Don’t let that all go to waste by approaching this as a fan rather than as a professional.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousGameDesigner is right (I'm Anonymous for the same reasons). That's solid advice but it may be hard to take. Take all that passion and determination and make something. In NWN or whatever. It doesn't have to be WOW-specific. it just has to show that you can do game design. Without this all your passion is worthless. A design on paper is useless to get you into game development. Make something. Nothing else matters, and nothing else will help you if you don't have that.

Rich said...

... as long as everyone realizes this wasn't my ONLY avenue, then feel free to keep similar comments coming.

I apllied in the normal fashion, and figured coming down to hand out full color PDFs of what I emailed in would been seen as having drive (HAVING DROVE all the way to irvine...) and showing a willingness to stand out from the crowd.

I understand how to make boring bullet lists, but thought a creative position requires being oh-i-dunno CREATIVE to get noticed.

hundreds of people just send one page CVs attached to one page resumes, and then sit at home watching TV with their fingers crossed. I wrote something, printed it, and tried to physically hand it to people.

and people are all ZOMGSHOCKIXOWTFBBQ!

MLW said...

Industry insiders always think they're hot shit, and the more ambiguous the job description ("game designer" lol), the more it shows.

Reality, which I'm sure you know, is that you get in by any means necessary. Acknowledging the odds is a guaranteed way to reduce them.

I would forget Blizzard though. Find a company willing to take big risks, one that deserves you, not one that has too many old IPs to support and stockholders to answer to.

game dev said...

The advice on your resume and from the game developers (they sure sound like game devs to me) is good stuff. I hope you listen.

Driving hundreds of miles to Irvine doesn't show drive. It shows obsession. Why do you think there are security guards here? It's not even all that creative.

If you want to show *professional* drive and real creativity, then make something of your own, like the guy said before. Of course it's hard work and that stops most people. But that's absolutely the best thing you can do.

Many people find jobs in game development every year by making a game of their own to show that they can. Many more try some stunt or whine about it, and end up keeping the same crappy job they had before. That's blunt, but that's what separates the pros from the wannabes.

good luck.

Hatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buboe said...

Screw NaySayers Ixo.
Anonymous "Game Designers" (yeah, sure you are) acting all bitter can't take away from you the sheer audacity and flair of what you did.
You were the one to drive down there.
You were the one to put your money and dignity on the line.
Don't let anyone tell you that you are less than awesome for doing it.
Good Luck

Aussie Game Dev Wannabie said...

I've pretty much only just stumbled across this during an attempt to scour the internets for tips on becoming a game designer and examples of game documents, etc but given what's being said here and what I've found out so far I felt I should add my 0.02c

I'd listen to what the 'anonymous game devs' are saying rather than the cheerleaders here. Yes you have passion, etc but guess what? so do many other thousands of people out there. What you need are skills, professionalism and perhaps something that you think sets you apart from all the others competing for the dream job.

Fans believe that working for a big company like Blizzard is somethign akin to becoming an apprentice to Willy Wonker in his chocolate factory, professionals understand that a design job is just like any other, and just like any other job normally has specific requirements and responsiblities. This is why a company will usually only accept applicants in a specific way, because said way has likely been setup to both identify and attract a specific group of people.

Professionals also understand that stuff like those 'boring bullet lists' can be very important to the process (even if they are boring) and that neglecting said processes can cause immensive harm to whatever is being worked on.

I'd suggest if you really want to work with Blizzard you do what they ask since they are the ones making the choice on whether to employ you or not. If you are not sure what said requirements are, ask questions, etc and you will get responses.

But for gods sake whatever you do don't act like you are the top shit and they would be foolish not to have you, etc, etc - that kind of attitude is juvenile and doesn't reflect well on your person character.

You're trying to get into a long term position - treat it like one.

Hope this helps - it's how I'm going to approach things in the future.