I have procured short term employment with United Front Games in Yaletown. The length of the contract is short, about four months. I am helping them finish up True Crime. It may lead to further work with UFG but then again it may not. There are no promises beyond this contract. Nevertheless, I am finally getting my chance to work at UFG. I’ve been wanting to work there for quite a while now. The studio is in a very cool location, right above the Yaletown Brew Pub. There are many, many people I know and like at UFG whom I’ve worked with before. A large contingent of people there are ex-Black Box, from both skate and Need for Speed. There are also people whom I worked with at the now-defunct Backbone Vancouver. In fact, I’ll be sitting right next to my old lead programmer from my very first game way back in 2005.
I’ve been told how being a contractor is different than being a full-time employee. For one, I need to apply for a business number apparently. I also don’t get any medical nor dental benefits. The money I receive isn’t directly deposited into my account, I get old-fashioned paper cheques which have to physically deposited. Apparently no tax is deducted from my pay so I have to account for that at the end of the tax year. I was also told I can now write off things as tax deductions because they apply to my contracting job. For example, any video game I buy can be written off because it can count as research into the current state of video games. A new HDTV counts as well because you need the new TV to conduct the video game research on. Some things aren’t deductible of course but I’ve been told to keep all my receipts going forward just in case.
In any case, I am excited to be working on my first game that has guns, bullets, and explosions! Though the ESRB rating is still pending, it’s looking like this will be my first M-rated game as well. Yay! I start next week and will be doing my best to get True Crime in the best shape it can be when it goes out the door.