Make love & WAR

Make love & WAR

A few days ago, on 18th December, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning shut down for good. Those of you who know me know that I haven’t played WAR in years, but it’s still an incredibly sad thing to see happen. Why? Because WAR was the first video game project I worked on. My games industry career started in GOA Games Services Ltd., the European publisher for an MMO that will forever stand out in my memory. I feel very strongly that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for myself taking that chance, and for the company taking a chance on me.

There’s a great post by John Drescher called WAR is (still) everywhere that rings particularly true for me. This quote is what really brought it home:

“If you look around the industry today at pretty much any major MMO being developed in the Western market, you will find WAR there. Sometimes, it will be in the games themselves where concepts and ideas that first showed up in WAR have been “gently borrowed”. Mostly, however, it’s in the people making those games. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a major MMORPG team whose leadership doesn’t feature someone who cut their teeth as a developer on WAR. In some cases, HUGE chunks of the WAR team simply set up shop in a new project – old comrades in a new home.”

The Tome of Knowledge really drove achievements into a mainstream requirement for MMOs, where they weren’t so much before. Titles, too, weren’t so big until WAR came along, and now they’re almost a staple in games. Most importantly, though, was the Public Quest system, which you can see iterations of in games like Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV. Were things like these done before? Of course, but not in the same way or on the same scale, and that’s what makes the difference.

Perhaps more importantly, though, you find so many games industry professionals who worked on this game in some shape or form. I was in the customer support team then later the community team. I’ve moved through one additional games industry company before finding myself where I’m at now. Most of the people I work with now are people that worked with me before at GOA, and when I go to conventions like Gamescom, I meet old colleagues frequently just milling about the floor, working or just attending. As mentioned in the post on Josh Drescher’s blog, a lot of us learned skills from working in a tough environment that we’ve carried on to our new roles, and that’s something I’ll always be thankful for.

So thank you, to Mythic, to GOA, and to my fellow WAR coworkers, for what was a great experience and so key in my personal growth. I really do appreciate it, and will never forget it.

Words to use in your cover letter (Working in Games #2)

Writing a Games Industry Cover Letter | Working in Games #2
Countless times, people ask for advice on how to write a games industry cover letter. I mentioned this briefly in my first Working in Games post, but using strong words in your cover letter and CV can make all the difference! I thought it would be worthwhile digging into this, and when I saw the image below I had to share.

Working in Games #2: 20 powerful words to use in a cover letter.
Source: The Sorority Secrets
I’d also recommend words like “executed”, “delegated”, and “developed”. Think of words that are central to the position you’re applying for, and how they can apply to something you’ve done before. These words are strong and show that you were key to the success of whatever it was you did. Now, possibly the most important part of all is not to overdo it, and to make sure you don’t tell a fib. Let’s face it, if you get hired as a team lead when you have zero leadership experience, all because you said that you “led a team”, only you are going to suffer!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped a friend with a CV or cover letter, and they’ve used arguably “weak” words to explain what they did. It comes across lacklustre, and even if the person reading the application doesn’t realise it consciously, it sounds like the person applying for the position simply did less than if they had used more powerful words.

This will apply for any position in any industry, not just gaming. Applying for a games industry job means you’re applying for a position in a fairly young industry, so using strong words is important. The people reading your CV could easily be just as passionate and enthusiastic as you are, so make sure you bring out the big guns to impress!

More in the Working in Games series
Working in Games series
Working in Games #1: How to make your CV stand out
Working in Games #2: Words to use in your cover letter
Working in Games #3: What to expect in your games industry job interview

Got any questions?
Feel free to ask in the comments!

How to make your CV stand out (Working in Games #1)

Writing a Games Industry CV | Working in Games #1
I’ve been working in the games industry for almost 10 years, and for about a year I worked in recruitment. Not only do I pride myself in my own CV, but I have a fair idea of what makes an application really stand out when it reaches the recruitment team of the company you’re interested in, so here are some tips on writing an excellent games industry CV/resume, and make sure your job application gets noticed.

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