Gamers With Jobs

Toddland wrote:
MaxShrek wrote:

Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the Excorcist 167 times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it.

Hah! I can recite this by heart! Do I have to say your name three times now?

Nope. That'll just make the next time you fart, it will happen at the absolute worst possible moment.

Druid and Zero, it is kind of wild to think that we were doing WoW stuff like 14 / 15 years ago. I have really mixed feelings about that time. I liked a good deal of the people I met gaming back then but I also do not like who I was.

That was near the bottom for my personal life. I was pretty much constantly drunk and angry all the time. I was starting most days with an eye opener. I barely worked and barely saw people in real life. I literally can't remember large chunks of 2008 - 2010. I still don't know how I made it through undergrad.

Things flipped around in 2010. I had run out of money and forced myself to get a job. My work was such that if there was suspicion of impairment you were terminated the same day.

So, I would make sure I was legally sober before work and then drive my stupid ass to the bar or liquor store immediately after shift.

Got pulled over by highway patrol after bar close one night but the dude took off suddenly before he even got out of his cruiser. Not sure what was more important than a probable DWI but it shook me up real bad.

I sat there for a few minutes waiting for the officer or another cop to show. Nobody did. I had no one left in my personal life to come pick me up and I was less than a quarter mile to my house on a country road so I drove home.

The next couple of days I began to realize how badly I had f*cked my life up and how dangerous I personally had become. I threw out the booze and detoxed myself. Started going to a therapist.

TL;DR, I got my sh*t together.

I'm so glad to hear that!

For what it's worth though, even if that era was you at your worst, please be comforted to know that even then you were doing great things -- the community and friendship that you brought into the lives of a ton of GWJers was wonderful and valuable, and I know that I remain deeply appreciative of it all these years later.

When the thread was created I was working with (mostly) kids with intellectual/developmental disabilities, a job I continued in increasing positions of responsibility through college and until 2016-2017, when I got burnt out, went back to school for my Master's (public health-adjacent), and started my current position (research analyst for a consulting firm) in 2018.

I only remember that I found the site through Blue's News some time in 2006, and got to know folks mostly through the original Gears n' Beers Fridays.

Shout out to all the other folks who were 22 when this thread was started and are a different age now.

I would have been 16 when this thread was created and turned 17 a few months later. I'm now 35, married with 2 kids, and building breweries.

In between I went to school in the nearest large city, made a tonne of awesome friends, grew up with GWJ, and moved to Japan for a few years.

Came over here after listening to the Conference Call.

So in 2003 I was still living with my parents in Vancouver and took a job at a company just about at the border of South Surrey and White Rock. I was having a bit of trouble making it as a web designer after the dotcom collapse and was still very much at a junior-level when I met the husband-and-wife team running their web development biz out of their basement. Eww, a basement company? If I'm being honest, I probably had no business plying my trade anywhere: my fundamentals were still sorely lacking and I simply didn't have the creative fire to compete with many of my peers. But these owners saw something in me and gave me a chance. The basement office made me hesitate but we moved into a real office a few months after I began working with them. I spent 2 very productive years working for this company and learned a lot about the creative process and consulting with clients directly.

So after my two years I began to think that I was outgrowing the company (the Massey Tunnel commute was also a drag) and jumped ship to become a "Senior CSS Template Developer", which was another name for a glorified web designer serving the real estate industry. I traded in sleepy White Rock for chic Yaletown and almost instantly regretted my decision. My new bosses, though as much as I admired their success for building a business in their mid-to-late 20s, were both pricks. My clientele (realtors) by and large also sucked. I didn't last long there. After being thrown under the bus for some operational mishaps I found myself back in the burbs, this time working as a "webmaster" for a company that dealt in vacation rental homes in Mexico. My timeline is getting a bit fuzzy now. This was around 2006-2007...I think?

The vacation rental biz slowed down enough to get me laid off in the first or second quarter of 2007. I took some time off to rethink my career path. Well, I wouldn't say I did much thinking as I never did lay out a career plan for myself when I was young enough to still have a use for one. I bummed around for some months before taking a temp job as an eBay customer service rep when the summer was winding down. This was probably the lowest point of my working life. Games like BioShock and Mass Effect really helped me stay sane during these dark times.

To speed things up a little here, after the nightmare of eBay:

- 2008: IT administrator for a telecommunications company. I remember the ladies in the office swooning over Gregor Robertson when we did some telephone work for his mayoral campaign.

- 2011: Multiplayer and campaign tester for W40K: Space Marine at Relic Entertainment. My first games industry gig! I'm what...34 years old at this point. Talk about a late bloomer!

- 2012: Quasi-economy and mission designer for a THQ Facebook game that never saw the light of day.

- 2012-2013: Lead designer for a bingo-inspired mobile game. The fact that I was given design lead when I didn't know my anus from my bellybutton tells you all you need to know about the management of this particular game studio. I also hated we were doing this stupid bingo game, of all things.

- 2014: Design generalist contractor on an aborted mobile CCG and did some level design for a Samsung Gear VR stealth game. I got addicted to Destiny after my contract was up but somehow nearly finished an indie game and half heartedly did a website for my friend's parent's company.

- 2015: My first live ops job in games. Joined on as a data migration specialist and my role is still pretty much that although the title and responsibilities have morphed somewhat in the years since.

- 2020: Tried my hand as a project manager/producer on a different project at the company and mostly disliked it, mainly because I was still having to do 100% of my previous job as an operations guy, and partly because my old boss was both an absentee father for my team & impossible to please and I was also trying to sell my home & buy a new place at the exactly the time when team morale was in the tank and the pace of work was just relentless. I typically try to avoid mega-stress in my work life and this was about as stressful as I've ever been in my entire life. Also, constantly having to drive meetings and fussing over spreadsheets & JIRA instead of actually doing the work turned out to be not my thing after all.

Holy sh*te, this was too long. Thanks for reading!

In 2003 I was was working building eCommerce websites and corporate web applications.
Since then I got my first break into the games industry as a games developer, but the company went bust after a year. I got back into corporate database/web/applications development for 5 1/2 years before getting back into games development. Now I'm the Technical Director in charge of all of the programmers at a mobile games development company and have released 6 games, with another about to be launched at the end of next month.
My wife says that I'm a much happier person working with games

In those years, I've also had two more kids (now have 5), one of which is now 17 and going to University next year!
I've also become a grandfather last year. I feel old.

I came on here after listening to the Conference Call thanks for all the stories its a fascinating read! I have moved a long way since 2003 not least with two kids now in tow but its weird to think of the changes in my work life alone:

In 2003 I was 23 and working in postgrad research biology on a small Scottish island into Raptors. On meeting my now wife I needed to get a more stable income, some days I do miss working on my passion but the changes that have come since have given me a much more stable platform for my family and to me thats worth it.

Since then I have worked for a bookmakers for 2 years which made me miserable not least because essentially I was being ok at maths to take money from those who weren't ok at maths and give it to shareholders.

I then moved into the U.K civil service initially at absolute entry level answering phones, moved to the other end of the country to further that career been promoted a few times and am now in the process of moving back to Scotland because I can do my job remotely these days.

The stories on here really show how much your life changes from your 20s to 40s but thanks all for making me focus on it a bit.

So I got this all rolling but didn't post right away. Whoops.

In 2003, I was still in year 3 of 5 of college studying for Architecture which is / was a required 5 year program. I graduated in 2005, and after interviewing at 20+ firms, finally landed a spot in a new town to me. All but 1 interview were in the DC/ northern VA area, and the 1 was in Richmond. I ended up in Richmond and am eternally grateful I did. I spent 12 years in Architecture, all at the same firm. I looked around a few times, but always felt where I was at would be better for any number of reasons. In 2017 I joined the family business. Years early my dad had built up a house flipping business, after realizing his job in the print industry was quickly evaporating and that was his avenue out. He built it from just income replacement for himself to a business for the both my parents and my siblings are in on.