I've got a job waiting for me now with 38 Studios in Maynard, Massachusetts. I won't say all the stress I felt was for nothing. It certainly was a learning experience. I got to spend a lot of time with my kids, for one.
My story of being laid off has been told, but I've been pretty quiet about the weeks and months that followed.
I started out sending resumes to every game company and studio with an opening that even remotely fit my skill set. I even sent my resume to some companies that didn't, in the hope that these blind overtures might pan out. I never expected to hear back from any of those studios, but one of them (38 Studios) contacted me after a mercifully short amount of time. For that, I am very grateful.
The initial email contact evolved into a phone conversation with the studio recruiter, followed by a phone interview, which was quickly followed by an on-site interview in Maynard. What I saw there impressed me, and it wasn't just what little I was shown of the project that got under my proverbial skin. It was the people, above all, that made me want to land the job. Everyone I spoke to brimmed with enthusiasm, talent, and (above all) excitement. They all loved the jobs they were doing, whether it was implementation, design, or art. It was like a breath of fresh air.
The on-site interview was a long process that lasted an entire day. I spoke to a number of people, all from different disciplines. I did a lot of talking, naturally, answering questions and asking a few of my own. At the end of the day I was exhausted, but hopeful, and I wanted it to work out even more. It went well beyond the fear of being unemployed and wanting a job. By that point, it had come down to a very genuine desire to lend my skills to a project that I could really, truly believe in and contribute to in a meaningful fashion.
The offer came before Christmas. It was the best Christmas present I could've hoped for, and I enjoyed my holiday even more knowing that there was something waiting for me ... even if it was nestled in the icy chill of Massachusetts. Lovecraft country, truly! And once we're settled, I plan to explore the places that inspired some of Lovecraft's greatest tales: Salem, Marblehead, Ipswitch, and Bolton.
Today, I fly up to Boston in search of a place for Amy, the kids, and I to live. I don't want to be away from my family, but I see the necessity of the trip even as I feel the pain and worry of leaving my wife and kids behind for a relatively brief time. Once we lock that in, we'll be able to get our stuff moved and start over in a golden (if cold) land of opportunity and adventure.
Yeah, I'm a geek. But I'm an employed geek, using his geeky skills to contribute to the future of MMORPGs.
Things are going to be just fine.