I'm leaving the industry

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by ggambett, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It's funny how some things happen... http://forums.indiegamer.com/showpost.php?p=238135&postcount=15

    After 9 years, I'm leaving game development.

    It's a bittersweet moment. Mystery Studio was the realization of my childhood dream, and gave me more satisfactions than I can possibly explain here. For 9 years it was a central part of my life.

    I was a 21 year old kid when I found the famous Dexterity forums, which IMHO inspired a generation of indie game developers. It was the first time I thought making games for a living, my dream since I was 4 or 5, was a real possibility. Together with my young sister as the artist and a friend from college as the musician, we went on to develop our first game.

    It's been almost 9 years now. In this time we've been up and down, we had hits and misses. I met lots of interesting people, both online and in real life.

    I witnessed the initial growth of the industry. Nobody wanted Betty's Beer Bar when it came out in late 2003 because it was too different to what was there at the time. One big portal famously proclaimed “nobody wants to play a game where they must work!”. But a guy who was just getting started with his site saw the potential, gave us lots of valuable feedback and pushed the game, which became a hit and gave birth to the time management genre. That guy was Paul Thelen and his small site was called Big Fish Games.

    In the later years we shifted our focus to 3rd party projects. Thanks to our long partnership with Legacy Interactive, which began with the Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes franchise, we had the opportunity of working in games using very high-profile licenses, such as CSI:NY (with the nice bonus of lowering our degrees of separation to Gary Sinise and the rest of the cast, who did voice acting for the game).

    At the same time, I started delegating most of the development tasks to my very talented coworkers/employees to concentrate in business development, experimental projects and research into new technologies and platforms.

    However, at 30 I'm a different person than I was at 21. It's been a while since I found this line of work interesting, challenging or motivating enough. I'm an engineer at heart, and making yet another Light Adventure game just isn't challenging anymore. Maybe I should have done “my own thing”, as Cliff, Celso, Cas and others happily do; I did a bit of research on Facebook games, I started writing a multiplayer online shooter. But for several reasons, I just couldn't really get into it.

    I started seeing Mystery Studio as a stage that was coming to an end. I had no clear picture of what to do next, but I did know one thing: I wasn't going to finish this stage without having a very compelling follow-up plan.

    And just like that, the path opened before me. A Google recruiter asked for a CV - a friend and former boss who is now working there had recommended me. I had often thought “I'll never leave my own company to work in an office for someone else – unless it's Google”

    I sent them my CV, knowing that my chances were statistically low - but after 4 months and 8 interviews, it turns out I'm that lucky guy that makes the statistics non-zero :) So next May I'll start working at the Zürich office.

    I have no immediate plans of closing Mystery Studio, though – I just won't work there anymore. I'll probably keep lurking the forums to delete spam, and because after 9 years I'd frankly miss you all, guys :)
     
  2. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    Congratulations, Gabriel! :)
     
  3. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Good luck with you new life.

    How long do you think you'll last working for someone else? 2 years? 5 years? :)

    JC
     
  4. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    Congrats and good luck :)

    I can feel your pain. I still find it fun, though we don't do just another light adventures. Probably making games in few genres saves it for us.

    Working for someone else is soooo much different. I lasted 4 years in my second job (and it wasn't full time), just one year in my first job.

    cheers
    Roman
     
  5. Colm

    Colm New Member

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    So you turned down Dublin eh? ;)

    What position are you taking up w/ google? Game related?
     
  6. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Good luck with the transition.

    You must be pretty to keen to suffer through 8?!? interviews...
     
  7. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Well ultimately you have to find a balance between what you want to do and make a decent living. I understand you completely when you say your interests are different now. "My own thing" at 27 years was doing super complex simulations/sports games, now I prefer doing story-based games, manga games, light-RPG... (though I'm working on UBM2 in 3d).
    I honestly can't imagine myself working for someone else ever, but a position at Google must be cool. I think you made the good choice if you can't find motivation in doing games anymore.
    Now, when you're there be sure to change the algorithm so the warez sites never appear on search results ;)

    Good luck! :)
     
  8. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    that must take balls.

    Don't know what I'd do with myself if I didn't have programming. Probably have to start knitting and watching Emmerdale Farm. Or something.
     
  9. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It sounds like the right thing to do for you and, well, c'mon, it's Google - you are going to be rubbing shoulders with some pretty bright folks and if you do something cool the whole world is going to see it.

    Congrats! Have fun.
     
  10. dantheman363

    dantheman363 New Member

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    Wow, 8 interviews and 4 months...talk about perseverance and patience. Congrats and good luck!
     
  11. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Why can't you do your "own thing" now?
     
  12. Julio Gorge

    Original Member

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    Good luck in Zürich! :)

    Why do you think you had near zero chance of making it into Google? Some kind of certification or specific skill set they were looking for that you perhaps lacked?
     
  13. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well, the eight interviews would have put me right off.
     
  14. BarrySlisk

    Original Member

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    No job is worth 8 interviews. Fuck 'em!

    What's so special about Google anyway? I hate large companies. You'll get to be a tiny tiny wheel in a gigantic machine.
     
  15. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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    Lol, I was looking forward to Part IV of "Fast-paced multiplayer."

    In any event, good luck at Google.
     
  16. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Yeah, ditto that. If you go for a job and they can't get all they need to know about in one sitting, go work somewhere else where they know what they're doing! :)
     
  17. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Good luck at Google! Sad to see you leave seeing as you kickstarted the Time Management casual genre amongst other things.
     
  18. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Good luck! I cling to my long held view that you should have been able to retire a multi-millionaire after creating the entire diner dash phenomena. But I'm glad you have moved on to an excellent job :D
     
  19. richtaur

    Indie Author

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    Google is awesome. We've been working with them a lot and I gotta say if I didn't have this particular passion to try my hand at personal game developer, a high second choice would be a tech advocate at Google or something. Congrats, best of luck there.
     
  20. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    jcottier, Roman: I probably wouldn't last in a traditional office setting, but as lennard says, it's Google!

    Desktop Gaming: Hopefully I'll be doing tons of programming :)

    Colm: You got me! Nothing wrong with Dublin, but Zürich is more appealing for a number of reasons. My position is Systems Engineer, not game related at all.

    Applewood, dantheman363: 3 on the phone (one per week), then 5 consecutive ones in the office. It was a long process, but I actually enjoyed it and learned a lot!

    Indinera: Motivation, burn out... although I have a couple of things I'd like to do, now as a hobby :)

    Julio: Gracias :D Nothing missing from the CV, just the fact that they hire 1 out of 1000 applicants or so.

    jpoag: Hahaha! I'll write it, I promise!

    cliffski: Thanks! That would have been nice :D
     

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