It would seem that my post entitled LFG was aptly named as I accepted (and already started) a position with ArenaNet, the devs of the immensely popular MMO Guild Wars. So why Arenanet? I had other offers. Even a ridiculously inflated Senior Producer position with Zynga that would’ve paid me boatloads of money. Long story short: I could go into the amazing frosting that this company has on it, but the core of what I was looking for was: 1) A healthy work environment and 2) A place where I could have a ton of responsibility and grow as a producer. ArenaNet has offered me all that and more. I certainly never expected to work on an MMO. It probably comes as no surprise to those who know me that the idea of grinding on the same game, waterfall style, doesn’t really appeal to me. Surprisingly enough, ArenaNet is nothing like that at all. And damn, words can not express how good it feels to be doing “real” game development again (sorry web devs!).
As far as Rocket Ninja is concerned, my friends assure me that we all have to have our crazy startup stories and this was mine. Thankfully I got more than a story – I found some great friends and really tested the bounds of my production experience. I certainly don’t regret my time down in SF and looking back, it feels like one long vacation (well, when you ignore the really late hours and stressful work environment). And it goes without saying that I’ll be returning to San Francisco again soon.
(Apologies to my coworkers for not posting this sooner!) :)
tl;dr – Seattle. AAA. MMO. Happiness.
I am officially LFG or in other words, for you non-MMO players, I am looking for a new job. “But Kristen, didn’t you just start a new job?” Why yes! I did!
Long story short? Startups.
Long story long? When I joined this company, I came to work on the social game that was in the works. After two weeks of doing an awesome job, I was also put in charge of the “CEO-pet-project” and “investors-are-going-to-love-this” Facebook chat app, Be3D. I got Be3D shipped, but when I turned to get the social game out the door it was cut. Well, not cut yet, but everyone is trying to get it cut and I have been moved onto the chat app indefinitely by the CEO. In startup terms, they call this a pivot.
Now, even if you are new to this blog it’s not hard to figure out that I love games. Specifically, I love producing and making games. In fact, I love it so much that I have made a decision to dedicate my career to making and producing games. No joke. For reals. Therefore, I need to leave. I still have a job here and am really being successful (and honestly being paid ridiculously sums of cash) but it’s not about that. It’s about doing what you love and what I love is games!
So there you have it. Feel free to message me if you have an interesting opportunity. Best case scenario: I stay in SF and I work on mobile games. However, I’m open to chat with anyone! You never know what special opportunity may come around.
I’ll keep this blog updated on where I land and in the meantime I’m going to throw myself into my personal projects. Oh! And GDC is next week – perfect timing. Hope to see you all there!
Yes the rumors are true: I’ve gone to San Francisco. I’ve started up a new job as a Producer at Rocket Ninja, a company interested in bringing 3d games to Facebook. I honestly never thought I’d be building Facebook social games at a typical SF startup. I had four offers on the table ranging from more AAA to even smaller mobile game startups but this company was just the right fit. The reason? My coworkers, especially my EP, are just out of this world. It’s amazing the talent that they’ve managed to bring into this place. Second reason? I could flex my producer muscles and get some real experience. As it turns out in the short 3 weeks that I’ve been here, I’m now the producer in charge of both products. The executives are busy doing executive’y type things and they’ve seen my talent and feel comfortable deferring to me in most things. So that means I have a team of around 7 and another team around 35 and I’m essentially free to run it as I see fit in order to get these products out the door. It’s a daunting task but I’m glad to have more responsibility instead of less and, so far, I’m happy with the work.
In addition, I’ll be within stumbling distance of GDC which is just a short 3 weeks away! I’m excited to see some former coworkers and attend a few parties. If you’re coming into town and want to get together be sure to let me know! In the meantime, it’s all about the networking. I’m hoping to meet as many fellow game devs in the area as possible and insert myself into the gaming community. There’s so much opportunity here in SF and I look forward to making SF home!
It’s been almost of month since I posted but not for lack of keeping busy. I’m just going to run through a quick list of what’s been happening.
layoffs – Apparently I’m officially a studio game developer now as I’ve witnessed my first post-ship layoffs. I can’t say much but I will say that it feels very surreal. When I was at Microsoft, we never had to worry about this stuff. Even now I’m witnessing my former coworkers being shuffled around to accommodate the plethora of other titles ramping up over there. In a dev studio, they would just be laid off. I am, however, a firm believer that this doesn’t have to happen. Those that say that this is just part of the games industry are just providing excuses for mismanagement and not firing poor performers earlier.
rainbow rapture – As you may know, my side project Windows Phone 7 game has been doing quite well and is just about to hit 2 months on the marketplace. We’ve top 40k downloads, released global and friends leaderboards with the help of the Scoreloop guys, and a paid, ad-free version is in certification and that should be out sometime next week. We’re winding down on the final couple updates and then moving on to the next great idea for the team.
adventures in flashgamelicense – And finally, Drizzly Bear’s Little Weebo is finally up on flashgamelicense for bidding. (If you have a developer/sponsor account, you can play it here!) We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from other developers and I think we’ve already landed on the decision to deploy this to iOS/Android (ah, the joys of Unity). Then we’re going to port Rainbow Rapture to Unity and also deploy that to iOS/Android. A lot of my friends are anxious to play my game on the platforms they actually own and who am I to deny them that opportunity? :)
That’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to. I need to rejuvenate my AltDevBlogADay writing and I’ve been sitting on a Kickstarter post for awhile now. I’ll finish that up and then we’ll go back to regularly scheduled postings!