The Escape Route Leads to Another Maze

28 Jun

This post ended up being a bit more personal than intended, but I hope it sheds some light on a topic that many people have questions about: “What happens when I graduate?” -Cory


I’ve recently begun to survey my situation after four years worth of ashes and debris has mostly settled.  I’ve graduated from college, exited the paradigm of life as a student.  I will never again pay gratuitous amounts of money (that I don’t have) to be bombarded with information and expectations.  Instead, I will be paid to get bombarded with information and expectations.  So far, so good.

When life as I knew it ended, I felt unprepared.  I had demolished my website after a lengthy period of neglect.  My resume was out-of-date.  My BFA Thesis was not in a format that would carry over easily after the installation was torn down.  I still have as-yet-unfulfilled promises hanging about in regards to hosting my BFA as open-source code on my defunct website.  And ChromaWaves, the most publicly recognized game that I’ve had a part in, is still unpublished because of a bug that none of the members of the art team have the tools to fix.

But things are not what they seem.

the mazeI was offered an internship at a local mobile development studio to develop an iPod/iPad game.  To top it off, a few close friends and even my girlfriend, Jackie, were offered the same internship.  How could my fortune get any better: I would be making a game with friends, something we’ve all been doing already (and do well together), and we’d be getting paid for it. But it doesn’t stop there.

A month ago, Jackie went to interview with a “publishing services” company that handles illustrations, layout, compositing, and everything in-between for big publishing companies like McGraw-Hill and the American Bar Association, to name 2 of probably over 20 big-time names.  Good prospect for a Biomedical Artist.  Since she doesn’t drive, I drove her there, and since she doesn’t have a laptop, I came in to demo her BFA for them (which I happened to help her with). Long story longer, they decided that they really wanted to hire us both, with full-time salary and benefits.  Effective immediately.

And no, I wouldn’t be arranging text on a page; the job title is Interactive Designer.  I’d be developing flash and java applications, with a high probability for games.

Is there such as thing as too much good fortune?

Now for the decision: work with friends on a project I already felt committed to, or abandon them for job security?

After many discussions with family, friends, and mentors, I felt I had no other choice besides job security, especially with tens of thousands of dollars in debt from student loans towering over my future.  The good news is that I didn’t receive any ill-will from my “abandoned” friends.

The word of the day is disillusionment.

The job started off strong, with a few brainstorming sessions and a friendly reception into the workplace.  The past few weeks, though, have been frustratingly idle. I built a prototype for some CD-ROM software to replace the dark marbled interface that looked like an early 90’s website dug up from the ground; that took me a day.  We’ve been furnished with all the hardware and software we could ask for, but we’ve got nothing to work on.

I’m sure that will change soon, but hearing about progress from Andrew amidst a lack of hardware and software has me itching to show someone what I’m capable of.

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