New Contract, and Preparing for GDC
Well, honestly, I never left. I just let my website lapse. For three years. Now, I’ve become an independent contractor, so I need this site to show everyone what I’m up to and what I can do.
I was unemployed for a few months, and that allowed me to reflect on what kinds of things I want to do in the future. I realized that while I held my most recent job, I completely lost sight of the things that I myself want to put into the world. I was throwing so much of my energy into someone else’s dream that I completely neglected my own. That will not be happening again.
I am now on a cool full time writing contract for Disruptor Beam, and preparing for GDC! My GDC talks for 2019:
- Advocacy Microtalks
- Have Laptop, Will Telecommute
- …and I will be present at the annual roundtable I founded in 2015: The IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG Roundtable, where attendees will be able to get a special discount on my book, Digital Love: Romance and Sexuality in Games.
If you are interested in an appointment at GDC, check out my Public Google Calendar for GDC 2019 and do an invite or shoot me an email. I started with the whole scheduling thing super late, but, now that I’m on it, I expect things to fill up.
On Job Loss in the Games Industry
I am working on several pretty cool things (check the “Currently Working On” page), but there’s one thing I’m particularly excited to share. Before October of last year, I had never been unemployed before. It was terrifying. While I did come out the other side and things are fantastic right now, I learned a lot about how to survive this type of situation, some of it through trial and error. It occurred to me that young developers just starting out are just figuring out how to be employees, so might not know how to navigate unemployment in this industry. With that in mind, (even though I wasn’t “fired,” it’s just a catchy title…) I developed a conference talk called “You’re Fired! Now What?” and submitted it to the Career Track of the East Coast Games Conference. Often, you send a proposal off, don’t think about it, then go on to the next thing.
In the meantime, Activision, ArenaNet and EA had massive layoffs. This one, affecting thousands of developers, sent ripples across the games industry. I never intended for this talk proposal to be quite so relevant, and I’m deeply sorry that this is the case. I posted on Facebook, asking people who wanted to help with their stories and advice about this, so I could cite them in my talk. The response from the development community has shown me that job loss in this particular industry is an important topic that needs to be more openly discussed. Not only will I be doing the talk at ECGC in Raleigh in April, but I have decided to produce, with the cooperation and volunteerism of others in the games industry, a FREE book called “Game Maybe Over: Surviving Job Loss in the Games Industry.” More information about that project, as well as the form to propose your own chapter, is at this Google form. Chapter proposals will be accepted until May 31, 2019.
A few great resources I’ve found along the way that address the issue of job loss in games:
- Making Games for A Living Means Being in Constant Fear of Losing Your Job by Katie Chironis
- Finding A New Path: How I Survived A Game Industry Layoff by Christine Brownell
- Grief and Job Loss: Tips for Coping With the Social and Emotional Impact of Layoffs by Kelli Dunlap, PsyD