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Musing on purpose.
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Sent out a resume on Friday, to a new game company in Maynard called Ironlore(thanks for the tip jducouer!). It sounds like it would be a fun gig. Wish me luck.

If it doesn't pan out, I am still somewhat wondering "what I want to do when I grow up". I love games, and I enjoy helping make them, but the industry is so insane/unstable...

Part of me is still attracted to becoming an editor, but until the economy well and truly recovers, no one's interested in hiring people with less than 3 years experience in any particular field. Hell, the competition is brutal for unpaid internships!

The most productive-feeling thing I've done in months was to spend a day working on a web page analyzing visual symbolism in Alan Moore's _Watchmen_. Maybe I belong in academia. I hope kestrell gets into the MIT Comparative Media Studies program. Maybe I could follow her in a year. Though goodness knows how either of us is going to find a way to pay for it...

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Have you thought about Turbine? http://www.turbinegames.com/ They're starting on D&D on-line and LoTR on-line.

If they were something you were interested in, I'm sure I know someone who could put in a good word...

Yeah, I've thought about them. I even interviewed there a few years back, and almost got a job. But they're totally focused on massively multiplayer games, and that's not really where my interests lie. I'm not that fond of D&D or LotR (as computer gaming environments) either. Plus, the commute would be a bitch. If only two of those were true, I might still go for it (and I might yet, if I get hungry enough), but I am still hoping for a better fit elsewhere.

Who do you know at Turbine?

Well, then it sounds like it wouldn't be your perfect spot.

(Er, I sort of own part of it... but I tend not to advertize that.)

I sort of own part of it...

Okay, that definitely raises an eyebrow.

To be honest, though, Turbine is a brutal place to try to find a job. When I was out of work a couple of years ago, I made a pretty serious play there: my background in multiuser social environments is super-strong, and I've got a pretty good resume for multiplayer games in specific. So Turbine was an obvious place to try.

But it's *really* tough. First off, they advertise every position far and wide, and don't put any restrictions on headhunters re-advertising them, so every open req appears to get at least several hundred applicants.

Second, they have the most extraordinary technical screening. On the one hand, I kind of appreciate that: it was one of the very few places that asked technical questions at the screening stage where said questions weren't totally idiotic. But damn -- I spent something like 2 full days just answering the damned thing. The complexity and depth involved were comparable to a strong CS take-home final exam. (Four separate "tests", each requiring major thought and design, not to mention a good deal of code.)

Third, follow-through was pretty weak. I can sympathize with that -- if they're trying to wade through hundreds of applications, and asking even a good fraction of those people to deal with that screen, the amount of work involved in reviewing the answers must be unbelieveable. Still, I got the distinct impression that they had a process that they were having trouble supporting.

In the end, the position wound up getting withdrawn, which was mighty frustrating, given the amount of work I'd put into applying for it. It was a bit of a longshot, to be fair -- unlike alexx_kay, I can't really claim to be a hardcore computer gamer per se, and that's shot me down at more than one company. (It's almost a shibboleth these days: if you don't play computer games for multiple hours a day, they don't want to hear from you.) Still, it was an annoying way for the process to end...

Raises an eyebrow... how?

I'm not saying it's the best place in the world. I've known some people to really enjoy their work experience there, and others to not so much. After we got in bed with MS things got much more crazy too. Plus the more investors there are (and there's always more) the less any of us seem to be able influence things and changes.

I've enjoyed the end products (Asheron's Call), the work being done right now is quite impressive IMHO, and if I were looking for a job in the game industry, I'd think it a good opertunity to work there - though you wont get that little mom and pop startup feeling you once would of.

I'm sorry to hear your experience there was unpleasant.

When I interviewed there, it wasn't quite so brutal, but it was certainly the most intense interview I've yet experienced. I was gang-interviewed, in squads, for essentially a full business day. And that was after having gone through two fairly lengthy telephone interviews.

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