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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Dreams Shattered Like Broken Glass

Now that I'm (almost) officially done with college, I'm apparently supposed to think of my future. What are my goals? Professionally, what I want out of a job is something that I can do, and would be rewarding to me, of course. I really want to do something creative - unique, really. Matching all those interests could theoretically be served, obviously, by doing something in video games. I could be a game designer, I think. I certainly could, say, do storylines for games. So even though I know the game industry, well, sucks for working in, with its mandatory unpaid overtime and domination by marketing and CEO types, I'd thought maybe there was a chance. Maybe I could do it right. Then, the other day, Penny Arcade had a guest post from the designer of Everquest.

He said "in my 8+ years as a professional game designer, not once has any boss of mine ever asked me for an idea for a new game. "

Now, even the non-gamers amongst you have heard of Everquest. It was a huge commercial success. In fact, you could argue that it redefined the way business was done for certain aspects of gaming. One would expect that the designer of the game might possibly be asked what he might like to do. I mean, he's earned that, right? Nope.

You've all also heard of SimCity and The Sims, of course. They were designed by the same fellow. One would think that the designer of SimCity would have an easy time pitching a game idea. But he had to fight tooth and nail to get The Sims actually created and released. Now it's the best-selling computer game of all time.

Imagine if you wanted to be an author, and on the off chance you ever got hired, the CEO of the publishing company ordered you to write whatever books he or she thought would sell. You then had to write it in a month, and sometimes, they released the book before you finished, let alone edited. I mean, the publishing industry is shitty, don't get me wrong. But if you're a quality writer, someone somewhere would like your book and publish you. Game industry? Not a chance.

Someone find me a new dream career.
- Rowan Kaiser, 4:49 AM
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