A note before I start: This is a list in jest to make fun of archetypal people you could possibly run across in the game industry. I know firsthand because I have been, and still am, some of these. So if you feel offended because you identify with one of these description, take solace in knowing that we are all that annoying person to someone at our studio.
The Prestigious Career Transfer
Ever wonder what a game designed by a Banker is like? Me neither. This is your classic Management Consultant, Lawyer, Investment Banker or Private Equity Analyst that is stepping down to join the game industry because… they think they like games sorta. Equipped with an ivy-league degree, they aren’t starting at the bottom of the totem pole, learning the ropes of game development and crunching on the dev floor. No, this overpaid bunch is starting at the top. Hey, I know what you are thinking: they don’t know games. But they’ve reached Silver in League of Legends one time and they have a friend whose sorta good at Street Fighter; THEY KNOW GAMES. The one executive who’s super impressed by prestige just hired one, say hi to your new boss.
The Classic Engineer
The game industry classic. Black band shirt that has been washed so many times it is an undead shade of grey? Check. Castle wall constructed from the office energy drink guarding their desk from sunlight? Check. Oder so powerful they are barred from all closed door meetings? Check. How can someone decrease load times by 20% but they can’t figure out hygiene? If they weren’t so god damn talented at programming they would be unemployable. What can you do, genius engineering to go hand in hand with nostril assault.
The Side-project Recruiter
One job isn’t good enough for this enterprising beast, meet the perpetual side hustler. They have a match-RPG-battle royale-survival-MMO that’s going to be straight fire, BUT they need your help. This hustler needs artist, programmers, designers, producers and any able body to join up on their side project. No they can’t pay you, but who needs money when there’s revenue share! Who knows, maybe we’ll ditch this shithole and start our own studio; the sky’s the limit!
The MBA Product Manager
They got their business degree and they know how to use it. One of the more recent developments in the game industry is the influx of MBA grads into the game industry, specifically mobile product management. ARPDAU, D7, ROAS30, LTV180, who knows what the fuck this alphabet soup means but they sure do sound smart saying it. What does this business titan have in store for our game? Just copy our competitor. That’s right, our strategy to dethrone our competitors is making shitty copies of their games. This is bound to work, they read it in a case-study whatever that means. Also, look out for the Shark Tank pitch, “The MOBA industry is worth $50 billion dollars, if we capture just 1% of the market, we’ll not suck”. Sure MBA, sure.
The Bright Eyed Kid
I dare to say the best of us were once this kid, this is why we hate them so much, they remind us of when we entered the industry and thought magic and rainbows made games. But now we are old, bitter, been laid off a few times and don’t want to hear someone excited to be at work. These kids hit the jackpot and actually scored a job in the game industry out of college! They made it! They have so many game ideas! They’ve watched Jenova Chen’s GDC 2013 keynote more times than any human rightfully should. Lucky for us, our industry of broken dreams has built in mechanisms to crush optimism and dreams. Take solace in knowing they’ll be one of us in no time. Yay game industry!
The Touch of Death
Oh shit, they’re on our team now? This person is the pale horse that comes before the village is wiped out by disease. Everything they touch dies. It doesn’t matter how healthy your revenue is, how fun your gameplay, how much better your game looks than your competitors, when this person rolls onto a project, the game will figure out a way to die. They get moved from project to project, as if the execute team has zero ability to see basic patterns, leaving a graveyard of games in their wake. When you see their intro email to your team, you know it’s time to dust of the old resume, update that LinkedIn profile pic and polish your interviewing skills because the lay offs are a comin’.
The Person that Doesn’t like Games
Why the fuck are they even here? There are so many jobs out there in the world, who are these people that work in the game industry and don’t like games? They could be engineers, artist, producers and even designers that somehow ended up making shit they don’t like. Crunch? They’ll be by your side. Low pay? They’ll deal with it. Play the latest Twitch sensation? No they have better things to do with their time. They’ll say “Isn’t a little childish to be playing games at our age?” WTF? Why are you here?
The Shitty Michael Jordan
Did you watch The Last Dance? There’s a scene when Michael Jordan’s teammate talk about whether he was a nice person and the scene perfectly blends into Michael, his airness himself, talking about what it takes to be a winner and why he pushed his teammates so hard. The Shitty Michael Jordan also pushes their team and demands perfection, except Michael Jordan has six NBA Championships and this person is a mid-level manager that can’t stay at a company longer than a year and a half. Everyone sucks in their eyes and everyone else is the reason the game’s performance is suffering. They need their Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, but in reality they’re not Michael Jordan on the court, they’re Michael Jordan getting struck out 5 nights a week in AA baseball.
Where is so-and-so at? Oh having lunch with the VP again. This person campaigns harder than a democrat in Alabama. Who’s going to figure out how to increase revenue by 15%? They sure as hell aren’t. Who’s going to present a slideshow to the exec team? You know the answer. They’re only goal is to maximize their visibility to those in charge of promotions and raises. They aren’t the best or the worst at anything. In fact, they generally do nothing memorable in their professional career at all. Nobody hates them, nobody loves them. Almost middle of the road about everything. Wait, how the fuck did they get promoted to VP? I have to report to them? Wait no, they are my boss’s boss? What have I been doing with my career? Fucking Politicians…
The Allergic to Game Development
This person is the most talented game designer of all time. They can fix any game. They have ideas that will shake the industry to its core. There is only one problem, they are allergic to game development! They see trends years before they become mainstream and only produce 90+ metacritic games, if they ever actually produce a game. Everyone just needs to listen to what they say and act upon their ideas, they’ve got ideas! How you heard of a painter that doesn’t paint? How about a sculptor that just has ideas? I’m sure there a big budget film directors that don’t don’t know how to make films… right? Don’t worry, they’ll find their way to the nearest publisher to withhold milestone payments until you implement their “killer” ideas.
Alright enough jovial negativity for now. I’ll have to get around to a more positive, “Awesome People You’ll Meet in the Game Industry”.