Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Old Job and the New

So, Duesseldorf.

A week ago Friday I left my job at Pokemon USA. Two days later I got on a plane for Germany.

No, nothing was wrong with Pokemon, USA. I was pleased with the work I had done, some of which has shown up, some of which has yet to appear. I liked the challenges, the people and the view, though I detested the commute with an ever-increasing passion (which is odd because it is the same commute I had with Wizkids). And my corporate masters seemed pleased with what I doing. But no one had had "the talk" with me about keeping me on once the contract elapsed, so I kept my ears open to other opportunities.

Enter Blue Byte Software, a subsidiary of Ubisoft. They were looking for a story writer for a new title and had gotten my name from someone in the Seattle/Vancouver area and would I be interested? Several emails and story pitches later, they offered me a contract position, initially for a few months but, like Pokemon USA, with the potential of turning into something much more long-term. I thought about it, and the new job would be a great opportunity to build a computer game's story from the ground up. I said yes.

Good, said they, can you come to Germany? Say, early November?

And that, children, is what I am doing in Duesseldorf right now. I've spent a very productive week working with the core team (Benedikt, Andreas, Alex, and Arne (hi guys!)), understanding both their process and their goals with the new game. Things have gone remarkably well - they are a talented bunch, both receptive to new ideas and forgiving when they have to explain that they had already thought of my latest brainstorm and had to discard it for some reason I had not realized. It has been a bit of a whirlwind, and I am surprised that I have fit in as smoothly as I have.

Of course, I can't tell you what I'm doing until the project is much, much further along, but when I can say, I shall. But I'm real excited about what I'm doing, and eventually you will be too. Trust me on this one.

More later,