Monday, September 21, 2009

Greetings from Irvine!

Weather is great, wish you were here, blah blah blah blah blah.

I'm down in Los Angeles, trying to storm the front gates at Blizzard, and have a few updates for you guys.

1) that rumor about the friend of a friend of that one guy that dressed up like a Paladin and stomped around the reception area handing out his resume are a complete FABRICATION. You read it here first, best get on the horn with the Mythbusters or Penn and Teller or whatever. Apparently ---and like, DUH--- no one gets in the front gate without an appointment or someone on the inside expecting them.

2) that isn't really stopping me.

I grow weary of numbered lists, so let's switch into Narrative mode for a bit, and follow the path of our lonesome hero.

I jumped in the car around 11am on Sunday, bound for Irvine. I had a dozen 40 page (20 page, double sided) booklets I had made with full color illustrations in them outlining The Castle of Baron Von Lupus. This was my raid dungeon from before, that I've been working on over the past.... well, however long I've been working on it. All of the fights have gone through revisions, and I've added a bunch of stuff like trash mob packs and overall layout of the place, plus dungeon pacing and flow. I wrote a monologue for almost every boss, and included meetings with Cenarion Druids and Chromie of the Bronze Flight for flavor, and to move the story of the zone along.

Altogether, holding one of these things in your hand, and flipping through it... they look pretty fucking bad ass. I believe it was Redman who once grasped a microphone in his hand, and stated for the record: "I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I'm the shit" (and if you hearin' this it's clear you paid that 12 cent).

My basic plan was to somehow get these things inside the front door, and hand them out to people. The visual (and tactile) impact of having a 20 page full color book in your HAND, versus having to open some random 14MB PDF from some schlep... it's like Night and Day, baby. All I needed to do was get them into the building, and have SOMEONE take one with them to the crapper.

ANYWAY.

All of that is wonderful, but I still didn't have anyone waiting here for me with open arms. Screw it, right? I jumped in the car, and zoned out down I-5 for a good 400 miles, and arrived in Irvine around 6-ish (Sunday). Just to make sure I knew where I'd be going bright and early Monday morning, I swung by the Blizzard campus, and generally made a lap or two around the block while squealing and making little 'ooh' and 'ahh' noises. Then I got all serious, cleared my throat, and pulled up to the guard kiosk next to the BIG GATE™. There are two entrances; the employees' one, off to the side, and the one for visitors to check in at. The guard was a friendly guy, but basically told me getting inside wasn't going to happen without an appointment or interview set up beforehand.

Hrm. The Paladin farce is exposed for the lies it is, once and for all.

So I found my Motel 6 on Dyer, and started thinking of options. At first, there weren't many. I had all of two Blizzard email addresses at my disposal:

A) "friend of a friend of a friend of some chick in HR" that got my friend an alpha invite for WotLK

B) the GM ticket that was escalated from when I accidentally awarded my RAF Zehvra to the account I intended to let die off, when I wanted it on my main acct.

Yeah.

I emailed them both.

Something along of the lines of "gee, hi, you don't know me but I'm in Irvine right now and..."

Yeah. I haven't heard back from either of them. (Yet? lol)

Anyway. I leveled up my internet attack skills, and booted up LinkedIn (a.k.a. The Facebook of People With Real Jobs). It's a social networking site, but there's no 'throwing of gummi bears' or 'assault with zombies to save the Belgian Rain Forests'. No one wants to write on my Super Wall or whatever. It's actually kinda nice. Bonus points for me ALSO being LinkedIn with Jon Radoff, the guy behind GamerDNA. One day he took it upon himself to invite me to his network (god bless him), through my blog, and now I suddenly realized I'm one degree from Rob Pardo, and a handful of other Blizzard people. I know Jon, they know Jon, they now know me.

So, I begin to send random emails to a few other people in recruitment at Blizz. The recruiters are especially prominent on LinkedIn (duh), and I came to realize that the "friend of a friend of a friend of some chick in HR" above is actually a Lead Recruiter. I curse gently under my breath, and go reread the mail I sent her. Well, it's not so bad, but awesome of awesome, I actually put a typo in my cell phone number at the bottom of the email. Wow, way to go, jackass. So I email her again, a quick HAHHA OOPS LOLOL (not really, but yeah), and give her my correct cell number.

At this point, I know I'm batting .000, but that's what I came down here batting. I'm still trying to cover every base I can think of, and am still trying to keep a positive outlook.

I go to sleep, and have horrible dreams of sending bad emails. Seriously. At one point I went to Sent box, and realized I had accidentally sent some article about Michael Jackson to someone at Blizzard instead of my résumé or something. I hate dreams like that. Ugh.

I wake up the next day, and check my mail. Nothing. I didn't expect much, but it's still pretty disheartening to find an empty inbox. Then again, some of these were sent a bit late, and maybe they'll get back to me today. I spend the day in the Motel (no point in going to the gate), and the box of my booklets mocks me from inside the Kinkos box. Each of these books cost around 27 dollars to print, per booklet. The money is worth it if I can get it in front of anyone, and it gets my foot in the door. That alone is worth its weight in gold, so I don't mind having spent that. The drive down is just time, but it would suck for it to be a big waste of time.

Fuck it. I decide I'll go stand in the street if that's what it takes. I begin to drive back over there, to see what kind of layout I have to work with, and whether this is even a feasible option. Again, at this point, I'm trying to salvage the trip down. Anything is better than nothing, and what do I have to lose? The worst that can happen is security tell me to leave, right? Well I'm typing this from jail to let you all know that --just kidding. No, I drive over there, and stop at a Rite Aid on the way, and see a little laptop table thing for $49. That's a bit more than I was hoping, but I'm already in the hole as it is, so I buy it, along with some day-glo poster sheets and a big black marker. It turns out the 50 dollar desk thing is on sale for 12 bucks! Bonus! Something is going my way finally.

I get over there, and camp out across the street from the employee entrance/exit. I don't know which way they'll be turning primarily, so I set up shop across the street. I make a sign.

(Hatch had an alternate suggestion for the text: "/2 WTT Oral Sechs 4 job interview, PST")

A woman pulls over and tells me that although she doesn't work at Blizzard, she thinks it is perhaps the most awesome sign she's seen, and takes my picture. She drives away. I sit at my desk and wave to Blizzard employees as they begin to leave for the day, and offer them my book, but none stop.

I realize that for every one that comes my way, seven or so go the other way, and while I notice a few slowing down to read my sign, none are stopping. I decide that there's too much on my sign, and simplify:


(I actually just wrote on the back of my green one, but didn't take a 2nd pic, this one is for tomorrow... more on that in a sec)

Suddenly, someone pulled over. Nathan from the Diablo 3 team was my first Blizzard hit! He seemed like a super nice guy, and said in his year and a half of working at this office, he'd never seen anyone out on the curb, and hell yeah he'd take a look at my booklet. I asked if he'd mind taking a few to pass around, and he said sure.

I gave him 5.

Maybe that was a few too many, or maybe I should have just given them all to him.

A while later, security came out to see me. I figured I was being thrown out, but quite the contrary. He told me it was a public street, and as long as I wasn't trying to hop the fence or jump in front of cars, that being on the sidewalk was totally fine with him. He seemed interested in what I had, too, and wished me luck in my endeavor. We chatted a bit about Blizzard in general for about 5 minutes, and he suggested I try to contact the PR people. That's first on my 'to do' list for tomorrow. The PR department didn't even occur to me, but here was a fan that made a pilgrimage to the fabled holy land of Irvine to pass out scripture... hell yeah, that's good PR! ;)

One last guy (Matt) came by, on a skateboard, and we talked for a bit. He took two more copies, before going. One for a "common area" (I'm assuming like a break lounge), and one to pass on to someone who could maybe help.

As ridiculous as my plan was, it worked! Here were 7 of my 12 copies, one their way to inside the iron curtain, and even my being on the curb was eliciting a response. Plenty waved or smiled to me, even if they didn't stop. I plan to set up camp again tomorrow with my new red sign. Maybe those that thought they might have stopped will stop if they see me out there a second day in a row.

But don't I only have 5 left to hand out? Well, I actually just got back to the motel from Kinkos. I'm printing off another 20. That's another 500 bucks, but like I said... if it WORKS, then it's money well spent. If it doesn't work, then I can certainly say I gave it everything I had, and that I pursued every option available to me.


That's passion, baby.





I mean... right?



37 comments:

Hades said...

Damn nice read and the best of luck to you! I really hope they at least give you a fair chance and give you a proper jobinterview.

Good luck on the curb! ... yeah :D

Larísa said...

Go, Ixo, go!

"Take your passion and make it happen" as they sang in the 80s.
I really really would like to see you impersonating the American dream. You can become anything you want to. Including a Blizzard Employee.

cheers

Jeremy said...

Go go go! Best of luck! Huge props for the unorthodox approach! Don't give up!

Robert said...

Wow, your really into this!

Perhaps if this doesn't pan out, you maybe could apply for an 'internship' at Blizzard. Maybe that will get your foot into the door :)

You may also want to make a YouTube video about this, see if it could go Viral and get some attention.

Also you should tweet about this too on twitter as lots of people seems to be reading that now a days.

kyrilean said...

Wow! I do not have the balls to do what you're doing!

Good luck! I hope it happens for you!

Sassafras said...

Right!
Gluck to you.

Stabs said...

Freaking awesome!

Got my fingers crossed for you, best of luck!

PS in 20 years time when you're CEO people will still be linking this and sniggering ^^

Saritor said...

Good luck Ixo!

Hatch said...

Glad the sign actually worked (at least to some degree). This is inspiring; takes some serious gonads. Good luck!

firespirit said...

Ixo:

Good luck man!

Your passion and willingness to go out on a limb truly shows your dedication - and you know what? I think that is what WoW needs right now, aLOT of dedication.

Hey, maybe you'll end up in a TV spot or something. On my end, I would hire a person on the spot if they showed this kind of dedication.

Ulfblud said...

Haha, good show Ixo!
I've driven by the campus many times, sometimes dressed for an interview in the area, and thought long and hard about just skipping out on the scheduled interview to try to weasel my way in there.

I wish you the best of luck - the head honchos would be foolish not to give you a chance, seriously. The dedication shown by doing what you have done should prove that you're passionate about their company and the product they peddle.

And again- not to sound all schizo internet psychotic here - if you tire of being alone in the land of South County, hit me up at dmon8888@gmail.com. I live 15 minutes from your hotel, and would gladly roll out the barbecue and beer for yas.

Knock 'em dead, home skillet!

Cap'n John said...

It pays to advertize, and baby, that /2 LF1M sign was cheesy, corny, tacky, & cheap, but also FUGGIN' BRILLIANT!. It got you eye balls and attention and that's what counts.

Good luck in there, Ixo. Yes, in there, because today you're getting in to the Holy Land.

Kiryn said...

I'm so jealous of you. Even though I don't live anywhere near there, and I really hate southern California, even just being a customer service person or a tester for them is like a dream job to me. Maybe someday they'll get too big and open up a secondary campus up here in the bay area *fingers crossed*

Good luck, we're all rooting for you! Live the dream, Ixo~

River said...

Man I wish you the best of luck, so awesome if you got a job.

Ysharros said...

Fingers crossed. Someone, somewhere, is going to have to recognise your burning devotion, if only to get you off the Blizzard kerb, right?

Just don't dress up, m'kay?

arbitrary said...

Good luck, that's totally awesome!!

Regis said...

Kudos to you, I would never have guts to do something like that.

Good luck and hope you get your raid dungeon "sold" ;)

Kyir said...

As always, best of luck.

oshin said...

Thats awesome, you definitely arent just settling for sticking in one cv and giving up, and thats just plain awesome, I dont know how many of my friends say they`d love to be game designers etc, but yet none of them really pursue it.

Hopefully you`ll be telling your future colleagues in blizzard this story in the future !

Ardua said...

You're a crazy bastard. As a result, I seriously wish you all the luck in the world mate. Ambitious, ballsy. Here's hoping.

Kassi said...

Go Ixo :D

Looking forward to experiencing your dungeon!

Tesh said...

*standing ovation*

If nothing else, you're doing your best. That counts for something in my book.

Y'think that iron curtain has a window somewhere? I mean, *real people* have to work in there somewhere.

Blue Kae said...

Wow, you've got some huge brass ones. Good luck with day 2!

HP said...

Rofl! I sincerely hope you get what you want out of this. In the mean time, I'm sure we'll all enjoy reading your antics

P.S. I have you on my blogroll but it isn't showing up when you update. If Larisa hadn't linked your entry, I would've never known you updated =(

HP said...

Oh nevermind, my blog roll did update, I'm just noob >.<

Eury said...

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you! I'm sure if you get to an interview you'll knock their socks off.

Best wishes - I can't wait to hear what happens!!

thatsskarwithak said...

Good luck to you.

I really do hope you had a few people proof read your submission, just to make sure there were no glaring mistakes.

But it takes balls to do this, so hopefully you will soon be able to utter Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I work at Blizzard and passed by you yesterday not knowing what you were doing :). I suggest you go to Blizzard.com and look at the jobs available on the job page. Then apply using the instructions that they provide. If you have the chops, I'm sure they will be more than happy to take a look at your stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about stalking and creepy ;) This is *NOT* the way you want to become known.

Tornik said...

That, sire, is all kinds of awesome. It takes some kind of guts to do that, and I salute you for trying.

Professor Beej said...

That takes some guts, Ixo. You've got gumption that I respect. To get my teaching job, all I had to do was schmooze my department chair while I ran the coffee shop she ate at once or twice a week.

This takes initiative to a whole new level, and I really respect that. If it works, then holy crap.

But if nothing comes of it, maybe you'll be a quest, citation, or easter egg in Cataclysm somewhere.

And while it would obviously be the best of all worlds to get that interview and land a job, if they take even one of the concepts in your booklet and use it in Cataclysm, then it's worth it. You'd have proved you have what it takes.

So good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

I hate to point this out to you but...

http://www.blizzard.com/us/legalfaq.html

Where can I send suggestions for games?

We appreciate the time and energy people put into making suggestions for our current and future games. Our company policy, however, prevents us from accepting for review any unsolicited ideas. Often in our industry, an idea being submitted will be identical or similar to one already used by other companies, or already being independently developed by or for a company. Therefore, Blizzard Entertainment® has adopted the unalterable policy of refusing to accept or look at any unsolicited submissions or ideas. You can post your suggestions to our Suggestions Forum.


You might have actually gotten "Nathan" in trouble.

Ralph said...

Weird. I work across the street. Wonder why I didn't see you.

Better luck next time.

Ixobelle said...

@ Anon above:

that's basically what the PR guys told me. Which sucks, but is understandable (with our retarded american legal system).

Longasc said...

Well, I would not have hired Tigole and Furor for being jackasses... but apparently it paid off for Blizzard. They might have a better eye for talent.

I also would not hire you for sure because this sign really looks more desperate than competent, sorry to say this.

I wish you good luck, maybe they will prefer the quality of your work (the dungeon) over your somewhat cheesy form of self-promotion. :)

Zanthor said...

You got linked from "Lum the Mads" site... you are getting a *BOATLOAD* of press from this.

Exposure is key!

Joe said...

Exposure is key? LOL WTF no it isn't. Being really damn good at your job and keeping your head low is key.

Also, WoW is a sub-par game etc. etc.