My education continues apace. Those who have been following my trail since leaving the exciting world of game journalism for the even more exciting world of game development know that I have, shall we say, "bounced around" since taking a job in the Sims division at EA in late September.
To be more specific, and to keep y'all current, I have just been transferred to my 4th project in what is about to be 6 months on the job. Note (and I am speaking specifically to my employers who are probably lurking on this blog) that this is a statement of fact, not a complaint. God do I love my job. Please keep employing me. The thing is, as I am coming to learn, is that, at least at a big place like EA, and, especially in times like these (ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON), change is inevitable, and, as priorities are rearranged and forecasts are made and budgets are getting put under the proverbial microscope, one can't get too comfortable with one's current project. Or cubicle.
So last week I physically moved for the third time, and project-wise changed for the fourth. I can't really tell ya the why's and wherefore's, or even what particular projects I was on and am NOW on, other than that I am still in the Sims group, and am now, once again, on a project that I actually like. (Which has been the case every time.) My new one, in fact, may be the one best suited to my at least one of my abilities: I am going to be working on writing/rewriting dialog and other text for the game. So, yay! A writing gig! On the downside, the tools for doing this kind of thing in a game are monstrously alien to me, and my first attempts at dealing with them resulted in hours and hours of trial-and-error with not many concrete results--and that was just to change one or two lines of dialog. (In brief: The text doesn't exist in "script" form, but, rather, every line is a separate line in a database. Figuring out how to use this database, how to find the line I want to change, how to change it, how to get it submitted for translation, how to see its affect in game---this is the stuff that caused steam to emit from my ears this past week, which, if nothing else, was a great conversation piece for my new co-workers.
On top of all that, there's the time pressure. If I'm being tasked to polish a level, and a certain amount of faith and trust has been bestowed upon me that I will get it done...well, I need to get it done. Like, yesterday. But when one finds oneself being the New Guy, yet again, with all new co-workers with an all-new work environment and culture, it takes time just to get acclimated and feel comfortable and confident. I mean, when I have to once again ask people where the nearest coffee pot is...it's hard to maintain a sense of rhythm or continuity in my work.
But this is the world in which I chose to enter, and which, for the most part, is still incredibly rewarding to me, simply for the fact that it is challenging me--which is exactly what I wanted. Right now I do honestly have moments of "be careful what you wish for" going on--oh how easy it seems now to run a magazine!--but this experience is, for all the stress and bouts of insecurity its causing me--one I do not regret. Having just typed that, I realize it may sound like I'm trying to convince myself (and you) that this is true...but I promise! It is.
As David Byrne once sang: "There is nothing that is stronger than the feeling that you get when your eyes are wide open." Right now, my eyes are open wide.
In other news:
1) Still 1 episode behind on BSG, so I haven't watched the finale yet. But I am glad the show is over. It was great, but it was time.
2) Lost is better than ever. Amazing, really, given how crappy the show was for awhile. What a comeback.
3) My NCAA bracket picks are a disaster. I guess that's what I get for believing in Pac 10 teams. As much as I don't want to admit that to Dana and Brian.
4) I am not eating the same food night after night, I promise. My blog intern has failed at keeping that updated.
5) Still loving the Incredibad album beyond all reason.
6) Still haven't seen Watchmen yet. If nothing else tells you how busy I am--there ya go.
Peace, kids. I'll be back.