As far as first days go, today wasn’t that bad at all. They all seem to follow the same pattern of activities: form filling, tour of the studio, being dropped off at your desk, discovering what hardware and software you’re missing, reading documents, meeting about fifty people, forgetting fifty people’s names, building the game, playing the game, all of which you try to do without looking or feeling useless.
I did get more affirmation that the game development community in Vancouver is definitely tight-knit. I knew going into work that I’d see at least three people I knew from previous places of employment. What I didn’t account for was various other people who I’d worked with (some just peripherally) years ago, who came to my desk to welcome me aboard. There was one guy who I hadn’t seen in nine years, stretching back to my QA days, who recognized me and wanted to see how I was doing. He was one of the nicest guys I met while I was testing games and it was great seeing him again. Then there was the designer who I didn’t even work with directly about six years ago who came by to say hi. I didn’t even know he recognized me from way back then but he did, so that was good of him.
The other thing I noticed on my first day is that there’s an amazing amount and selection of free food and snacks at Radical. At other companies, there are varying degrees of “free” when it comes to snacks and drinks. I’ve never seen so much free stuff before. There are free breakfast items every day. Every lunch hour, they provide sandwich fixings for the entire company. We’re talking several selections of meat, cheese, and vegetables. Throughout the day, you can grab all kinds of snacks like chips, toast, cereal, fruit, yogurt and stuff I probably didn’t even see yet. It can’t be cheap to order that much food for a team this size so I give the company much respect for offering this perk to the employees. One guy warned me that I could gain weight just from the food that’s available around the studio.
If you see me in a couple of weeks and it looks like I’ve put on weight, please tell me.