(On an elevator ride)
Lady: How’s patent law?
Lady: Patent law. You work in patent law, right?
Me: No, actually I don’t.
Lady: Oh – it’s just that you look stressed out. Patent law people always do! No. You know, I bet you’re an IT guy then, huh?
Me: Nope, but you’re getting warmer.
(We reach her floor. She steps out.)
Lady: Ah, computers it is. I knew it.
Me: I’m a game designer.
(The elevator closes.)
It took a couple of weeks, but I soon realized after graduation that I can no longer hide behind the prospective title of “Student”. Yesterday morning I ran into the above scenario. It was probably the first time, in a position where I’m being paid to work on a video game, that I’ve said out loud ,”I’m a game designer.”
I don’t want to bring a ton of unnecessary attention to such a simple moment, but one of the most unexpected transitions from education to profession was just that: losing the identity of a student for the first time. It’s a feeling Jim first mentioned to me weeks ago, but this was the first time I had to do anything about it.
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 My resume was out-of-date.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 And ChromaWaves, the most publicly recognized game that I’ve had a part in, is still unpublished because of a bug that none of the members of the art team have the tools to fix.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.
It’s that time again.
I’m stuck in limbo between two game design projects: one that’s just closed a chapter of itself, and another that’s only beginning to sort out its ingredients. As I’m slipping into yet another undetermined space between significant points in my life, mixed feelings emerge. Feelings of reprieve — from escaping another crunch period, while retaining some of my sanity. Feelings of liberation — to play with ideas I haven’t had the time to think about. Feelings of fear — that I don’t know when the next good idea will make an appearance, and when or how it might manifest.
There’s a lot of things to be concerned with even in the lull’s of productivity. After talking with a number of people, I found that not only do few people talk about this creative hibernation between projects, but also from personal research have I rarely come across much in the field of game design journalism.