It’s been almost an entire month since the last time I posted anything here. This is the longest I’ve gone between posts since I began writing here a few years ago. I’ve gone through a few things over the last few weeks, both good and bad, so the blog was put aside. I had planned a few posts, including sharing some thoughts on the (lack of) progression in Marvel Snap, my impressions around F1 2023, and some quick thoughts on a few other games. For now, let’s talk about what’s been going on lately.
Dealing with unemployment
I’ve been out of work since last July. I’ve interviewed for jobs but never got to the final stages of securing employment. In the meantime, my wife and I began dog fostering and offering daycare and boarding services. We’ve temporarily homed multiple dogs and continue to do so. On top of that, we’ve been taking care of other people’s dogs while they go on vacation.
While I love dogs and strongly recommend people foster if they can, it’s not a great way to make money. For fostering, we do it for free. While some organizations offer food and other necessities, we do everything out of pocket. As for boarding, while the upkeep of dogs is small, the price we charge per day is not sustainable. So, I’ve been looking for work while managing our pack.
Although my experience is in the gaming industry, particularly in marketing and communications, there aren’t enough jobs available. I expanded my search parameters to other industries and fields, but I’m only getting interviews or being contacted by recruiters from gaming companies. Because of that, I started looking at other roles that I could be suitable for.
Be wary of online courses
So much so, I signed up for ELVTR’s Game Production course, hoping it could help me land a job as a Game Producer. A lot of the jobs I interviewed over the last eight months were Project Coordinator or Producer-related. I twice almost landed Producer roles at some Vancouver-based studios but hit a snag at the last hurdle. In most cases, it was my lack of direct experience that hurt my chances.
I signed up for ELVTR’s program because it looked interesting. It’s not cheap. For a six-week program, it’s almost $4,000 CDN, even with their “discounts”. Unfortunately, after the third class, I decided the program wasn’t what I thought it would be and requested a refund.
There are a few problems with their program. Outside the price, the class size was way too big for my liking. I was expecting, at most, 30 people. Instead, there were over 50 students enrolled in our program. I also didn’t like the class structure. They schedule two 90-minute classes each week (Tuesday and Thursday). The plan was for the instructor to give his lesson over the first 75 minutes, then follow it up with 15 minutes for questions. Unfortunately, we had about 4-5 students consistently interrupt to ask questions. This not only ruined the flow, it always led the class to run longer than the allotted time.
I’d like to get into production
I want to get into video game production at some point in the future. For me, helping to build something with a team is a goal of mine. I’ve never been one for individual achievement. It matters more that we succeed as a team. Having worked in content management, I feel there are a lot of similarities between it and production.
You’re managing different elements to deliver content (in my case, a website). As a content manager, you’re working with writers, artists, legal, localization, etc… in order to get a website up and running. It’s not much different from being a producer on a game.
Having earned my Google certification in Project Management (through Coursera), I’m hopeful that I can use it in the future if an opportunity comes my way. However, I do have some good news to share. While it’s not production-related, I managed to land a job that I’m scheduled to begin in a few days (May 29).
Landing a new job and changing how I manage this site
I’m really excited about the new job. It’s still in the games industry, but working in an entirely new area. Although it’s not in the marketing/communications side of things, the fact that I’m working at a game studio, I have to change the way I post on this site. When I was a contractor at The Coalition, I avoided directly talking about games I was associated with (hence no mention of Gears-related properties). I did talk about other Microsoft games, but I think I was clear to disclose my relationship.
With this new job, I’m going to have to avoid talking about any of the games they develop and publish. It’s a tad disappointing since I wanted to talk about one of their upcoming games, but couldn’t once I was offered the role. Based on the information I read during my offer sheet acceptance, I’m allowed to talk about games, including streaming them, but I can’t do it for commercial benefits. Since I don’t make money off this site anyway, I don’t think it changes too much.
While I won’t be able to talk about some games, I still want to share my thoughts when I can. I’ve used this site to talk about all sorts of stuff, from mobile gaming to my love of handhelds. That shouldn’t change too much. Direct reviews might be less frequent, but I can still share my thoughts on newer stuff when appropriate. This is a good opportunity to get back into looking at older games. My “Looking Back” series is my favorite. There are a few games I plan on doing, including one I should have posted after my post about Hong Kong from March.
Stay Tuned for More
Although this post wasn’t games related, I’ll try to have something up in the next couple of days highlighting the games I’ve been playing lately. In the meantime, I’m gearing up for my first day of work and can’t wait to share more when I can. Thanks for reading!