It’s been a lifetime since my last blog post and a lot has happened to me to validate a new entry. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. As some of you may know, I’ve been working full-time for various game companies the last 10 years. It began when Say Design (Los Angeles) hired me as an AD and I worked remotely from my home on the east coast. After a year or 2 I was offered a position with Acclaim Games as an animator and studio art manager. After 2 years with Acclaim, we were bought by Playdom and then Disney Interactive. From there I was offered a job 7 miles from home with GSN Games and spent 6 years with them.

This past January GSN Games had their 3rd round of layoffs in just over 2 years and I was included in the culling of the herd. I was anticipating the layoff due to rumors of how big the numbers were going to be and the fact that my skills were under-utilized for the past year or 2 leading up to the layoffs. I could see the writing on the wall and in full disclosure I was hoping to be dismissed as I felt stagnant creatively.

The most fun I had at GSN Games was when we developed a game title in-house which was a very rare thing. Most of our games were outsourced to 3rd part developers and we would only internally QA them and add them to a container app for publishing. I was a “point of contact” for one of these 3rd party companies and attended daily meetings for the better part of a year leading up to the layoffs. Not exactly a “skill” I was excited to wake up for at 6am every morning. The title we did develop was super fun and very creative. It was a match 3 style mechanic with a cast of characters that I referred to as naked mole rats in bunny costumes. These characters were wandering around space on various planets harvesting their favorite food source: breakfast cereal. It was quirky, fun and visually rich with inventive personalities and engaging animations. We built the game with saga-style levels and QA’d it extensively. We also generated marketing assets and received approval from Apple. We were on the 1 yard line ready to go live when management pulled the plug on the entire project. The entire team was dumbfounded. We asked why and was told that they never intended to go live with the game and that we as a team, were merely being tested.

There are moments in life that define you, who you are and/or where you want to be in your life and career. It was at that moment seeing our game baby get shelved forever that made me realize it was time to move on. I hung on for another year and when the rumors of layoffs started, I bided my time to see if I was to be selected.

Layoff day came and I got the call along with over 80 other employees. Our entire San Francisco office was decimated also. It was widespread across the company and that came with lots of employees in tears, hugs and confusion. I was packed and ready and drove home looking forward to the next chapter of my career, if I still even had one. Having been focused on my current employees’ whims for most of the past decade, left me unsure if I even had an audience anymore.