I thought he handled the question quite gracefully actually.
This time next week I will be back amongst the ranks of the employed. I have accepted a contract position with Radical Entertainment. The contract runs until November, unless something crazy happens again. If you’re not aware, this is the second straight contract I’ve accepted where Activision is paying my salary. Whereas UFG was just being paid by Activision, Radical is wholly owned by Mr. Kotick’s company.
I did not take this position without great consideration. The things I were doing on the last two games I worked on weren’t exactly exciting (at least for me). On Fight Night Champion, I really had no choice in the matter. On True Crime: Hong Kong, I took that job as foot in the door at UFG so I could stone step my way into a more fulfilling role. Of course, things didn’t go so well at UFG. As such, I became extremely wary of the next job I would take. I know the current state of video game development in Vancouver seems to have this air of desperation around it, where too many unemployed developers are scrambling for too few jobs. Even so, I was not prepared to just take the first thing that came along. Financially, I was and I guess still am, in a position where I could have spent all of the spring and summer without working not be stressed about it. I was mentally prepared to take a few months off to relax, do my own thing, and in general, have a wicked awesome time.
I actually turned down a full-time with benefits job offer last week because I didn’t feel like the fit felt exactly right for me. The offer was very decent with regards to its terms and I thought about it a lot. In the end though, there were a few things I realized I wanted from my next job and those things weren’t there for me in this offer (and no money wasn’t really one of those things). So even though the market is tough out there and there’s tons of competition in the city, I walked away from a sure thing. I will admit there were moments during my deliberation where I was asking myself if I was being foolish. I wouldn’t hesitate to apply to that company again though. They seem to have a stable plan for the future and it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with.
My application process with Radical wasn’t exactly straightforward either. I have no problem telling you that I was actually their second choice for the job. On Friday, they told me I had grabbed silver but there was a consolation prize of sorts. Instead of the job I applied for, they said another job was available for me to take if I wanted. This other job entailed doing stuff I did on the last two games I worked on, mainly UI work. As you know, I didn’t really enjoy that type of work. They gave me the weekend to think about the decision. It was nice of them to offer me the position but I didn’t really need much time to decide. So on Monday, I told them thank you for the offer but I was going to decline. I felt quite content with my decision and then proceeded to look online for vacations to Palm Springs.
Later that day though, I got a phone call from Radical. It was explained to me that their original pick had received a regular full-time position elsewhere so he turned them down. The position was mine to take now. Rather than accept on the spot, I asked to think about it overnight. The reason I did that is because I put some job-related plans into motion on the weekend and I wanted to think about how those might play out in the near future. In the end though, I accepted the offer after some more additional consideration.
So you might be wondering why I took a contract job over a regular full-time position and what I’ll actually be doing on the game. On the first matter, I made it a priority of what I was going to be doing for my next job. I decided a job that fit my interests and passions first was going to be more important than any type of regular, full-time commitment from a company. On the second matter, I’ll be helping out the missions team on Prototype 2. If working on missions tech for a large, open-world game sounds familiar to you, it should, because that’s exactly what I did for over three years on the skate franchise. I loved working on the skate team and this is really my first job that gets me back to doing that type of work since leaving Black Box. This in itself was the biggest factor in my decision to go with Radical.
I am cautiously optimistic about this new start with a new company. I feel like I’ve made an informed choice. Though after what’s happened to me in the last year career-wise, I don’t think anyone would blame me for remaining guarded for the next little while.
Some important decisions prevent me from making a detailed post tonight. As always in these situations, I encourage you to watch a video of a monkey washing a cat.
A former co-worker of mine lives in the same building that I do. He lives there with his girlfriend. Let’s call her Lafawnduh (not her real name). Since they’ve moved in, I’ve gotten to know Lafawnduh quite well. She is a great person, nice and friendly. She and I get along well.
Earlier this month, Lafawnduh became a consultant for a beauty and wellness company. As such, she is offering beauty and wellness products for sale to her friends and family. To help introduce the products to us, Lafawnduh has organized a little product party at her place this week. I have been invited. Many people sell products in this manner, as some of you might know it started with Tupperware parties. Anyways, I looked over the guest list and I saw that fourteen people were invited. Of the fourteen, only two were dudes, of which I was one of them. The rest, of course, were women.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. I have a strong suspicion that the other dude is gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that at all). I just thought it was pretty funny that I got invited to a product party that involves products that skew heavily towards a female audience. Now to be fair to Lafawnduh, I guess I do live a somewhat metrosexual lifestyle. I wear clothes mainly from Banana Republic. I get my haircut at a salon. I have previously bought moisturizers from a male cosmetics line. Oh man, after listing that, I realize I probably should have been the first one on that invite list. There is also another interesting anecdote. Lafawnduh once mentioned she wanted to set me up with one of her co-workers. As she put it, this girl was dating a real loser and that she deserved a decent fellow like me. This never went anywhere unfortunately, as the co-worker apparently kept on dating the guy. Oh well.
Anyways, I’m totally cool with me being me, so I’m gonna go to this product party to support Lafawnduh. It is interesting, however, to be reminded once in a while about how others might view you. Fabulous!
I’ve been living in my apartment now for about two years. There are only nine apartment per floor in my building. I’ve gotten to know most of the people on my side of the floor. One guy works at the supermarket near my place so I see him a lot when I’m shopping for food. There’s the old guy that I’ve talked to dozens of times but for him, it seems like he’s meeting me for the first time, every time. I even know people on the other side of the floor. There’s the young couple where the female is on strata council (she’s a good person to know). Then there’s the older couple that are always so friendly to me. I just met a third couple from that side a few weeks ago. It took almost two years but the meeting did occur. Finally, I know one of the apartments on my floor is not occupied all the time. It’s actually owned by a property management company which rents it out to people for short terms. It’s fully furnished and ready to live in at a moment’s notice. For example, NBC staff (who weren’t important enough to get closer accommodations) lived in that apartment for two weeks while the Olympics were on.
The one apartment that has a resident that I’ve never met is actually living in a unit that is most visible to everyone on the floor. There is only one unit that is across the from the elevators. I probably see the door to that apartment just as much as I do my own. I stand right by that door every time when I’m waiting for the elevator and I see that door every time I come up the elevator when I come home. Despite this, I have no idea who lives in that apartment.
Since it’s in such a central location of the floor, I’ve heard a lot of things coming from that place. I know that resident has a TV. One time I heard the sounds of Kill Bill Vol. 1 coming from behind the door. I’ve heard other movies coming from that apartment as well. Whoever that person is also watches a bit of regular TV. What I haven’t heard are the sounds of video games. Does that mean that person isn’t a gamer? No, they might be a PC gamer but it doesn’t sound like they have a console.
By glancing at the peephole in the door, I can also see if that person has the lights on in their apartment. What I’ve discovered is this person doesn’t seem to keep late hours. I’ve come home late or taken out the garbage late and I’ve never seen the lights on. It’s my guess they are not much of a night owl. They probably wake up early for a regular 9 to 5 job. This probably accounts for why I’ve never run into this person either in the hallway or the elevator. Our schedules never match. They’re gone for work before I’m up and they return home before I even leave my own job (when I was working).
As for the age and sex of the resident, I have no hard facts. I have never heard any voices from the apartment. If had to guess, the resident is probably male. As for age, my guess is maybe late 30s to early 40s. All of this could be completely wrong as I have very little data to go on.
I find it very surprising that I can walk by this apartment every day for about two years and still not know who lives there. Part of me is tempted to just knock on the door one day when I know they’re home to reveal the mysterious resident. I suppose I could just wait in the hallway from 7:30am on one morning to catch the person coming out of their apartment but that would be treading into territory that I would not want to go into.
Will this mystery every get solved? If it does, I will certainly follow-up.
Though my blog isn’t eleven years old, this domain is now. That is correct, on March 24, 2000, I registered this domain using a punch card which was fed into a UNIVAC during the very beginnings of the Internet. A little bit of trivia for you, Al Gore processed my application.
In eleven years, I built this site from nothing to basically a tiny bit more than nothing. I thank each and every one of you who have visited over the years. I look forward to a quantum Internet in the next eleven years!
Last Thursday at Skate Paddy’s Day, I told a whole bunch of people I had to leave the drinking and festivities early because I had an interview the next day. In the subsequent days, I had a few people ask me how the interview went. This morning, at around 10am, I got a text message while I was still asleep. It was from a number that I did not know. It took me several hours to respond because I couldn’t figure out who it was. Still not knowing the sender, the resulting text conversation went like this:
MYSTERY FRIEND: How did job interview go?
Me: Mom, is that you?
MYSTERY FRIEND: Don’t make me spank you again! Always with love of course.
Me: I usually pay extra for that.
The conversation ended at that point and I received no further responses. The mature thing to have done would probably involve me just letting them know (sheepishly) that I did not know who they were and that I was sorry I didn’t get their number when they got mine. I don’t really give out my number very often without reciprocating so I’m not sure when I went wrong with this. I believe my Facebook profile had my number on it before I made it private so there might have been a window of opportunity there.
I don’t know if this person is also a loyal reader of this blog either. If you are, thanks for giving me material for this post. Sorry for not knowing who you are. There really is a simple way of solving this. Meet me at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower a fortnight from now at precisely 2pm!
I’ve been a huge fan of the movie Back to the Future since it came out in 1985. I watch that flick at the least once a year. I still use lines from the movie in my every day life. The great thing is, people get the references as well. I guess this isn’t much of a surprising admission, perhaps if I had said I enjoyed Battlefield Earth, now that would be a different story.
I renewed the registration for this domain on the weekend. Every year I pay about $8 to $10 so that I can maintain my hold onto this super-important domain name. You might laugh at that but I can almost guarantee if this domain got released into the public again, some nefarious Internet speculator would snap it up and wait for the offers to come in. Also, my other name sakes in the world would probably want take this domain and restore some dignity to our name.
Here’s to another year!
I’d like to highlight a web and iPhone (Android coming soon!) app that a former co-worker has developed. It’s called TaxiNow and as the name implies, it assists you in getting a taxi. Now you might be asking yourself why wouldn’t you just call a taxi company or use their own online booking forms? This is where TaxiNow is better than those options. The app allows you to see the actual real-time locations of taxis in your area. When you request a taxi, the dispatch is not even in the equation. Your request is directly sent out to individual drivers in your area through the app. Taxi drivers have a slightly different version of the app which allows them to see where you’re located. They can then indicate they’re on their way. You no longer have to guess how far away your cab is because you can track their progress to you with the app. This service has the awesome price of free.
Though the app has no inherent geographical boundaries, the majority of taxi drivers who have downloaded the app are centered in the Vancouver area. I encourage you to view the video above for a quick overview and take a look at the TaxiNow web site. At the very least, you can see how many taxis are TaxiNow enabled in your area.