By Graham SomersAs of 2017, I’ve been working in the games industry for 15 years. I started my first job – as a Community Manager – in 2002 at a company called Big Huge Games, located in a suburb of Baltimore on the east coast of the USA. I started work more or less fresh out of college, with a couple of hundred dollars in my bank account. I still have the idea that someone is going to figure out that I don’t really know what I’m doing and tell me to get lost. Until that happens though I’m just going to keep on doing my best at whatever I’m working on.
A fair number of things have changed in 15 years.
- My first work computer was an 800mzh desktop. Now I work on a 2.4Gzh laptop.
- I used to work exclusively on PC games. Now I mostly work on mobile games with the occasional PC game thrown in.
- I used to work for much bigger companies, the smallest was 40+ employees. Now I work with a group of about 20 people.
- I used to work in an office building. Now I work remotely, in my home.
- I used to be 23 years old…I once worked 3 days straight. Now I’m 38 and I try to get my work done in an 8 – or 9 – hour day so I can have a “normal” life.
- Yes, we used to crunch. We don’t really have crunch here at BonusXP.
- I played games on my PC, and a couple on my Xbox. Now I play games on my PC and my iPad.
- I used to just playtest games when I wasn’t working on community stuff. Now I do CM stuff, playtest, and even get to mess around making levels for the game.
The two big games that came out when I started working in games in 2002 were Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (fantastic game, I’ve finished it twice) and Battlefield 1942 – which we were soon playing fanatically during lunch and after work at the office.
Some things that haven’t changed in the last 15 years?
- Hard work. There are still times when you just have to buckle down and get things done. Making games isn’t easy.
- Good people. You spend a lot of time with your co-workers, so it’s especially nice when they are good people. I still count a great many of my co-workers as good friends, because they’re simply good people.
- Most people still don’t really understand what a Community Manager is…although there are far more CMs around now.
The other thing that hasn’t changed is you can’t talk about unannounced projects that you’re working on. That will hopefully change quite soon! Stay tuned.