I wound up staying out much later than I expected with this one, so I’m going to go quick-and-dirty with this post to get it out before midnight.
I’ve been slipping a lot lately and want to hopefully rectify that.
That said, enough pussyfooting around. Let’s get into it.
Tonight I went to a really cool event with my friend Mimi. We got to see a few employees from Blizzard Entertainment speak at the Fullerton Public Library.
Apparently the library had reached out to Blizzard because one of the librarians was a huge fan, and I’m glad they did because it was a super fun event.
Three representatives from various parts of the company came to speak. There was Adam Gershowitz, the lead producer for Overwatch; Monte Krol, a software engineer for World of Warcraft; and Skye Chandler, a game designer who primarily also works on World of Warcraft.
One of the reasons I’d wanted to go was because I’m interested in the games industry. Obviously.
In that regard, it was a really informative little event. Adam explained the overall creation process using a very helpful analogy to making Spaghetti, Monte went through the various kinds of programmers who create the baseline for each department and Skye talked about designing characters, environments, items, quests and more.
They were all really personable, funny and had some great pieces of advice.
A few of my favorites from Adam specifically (as I really only took notes with him because I got so interested that I stopped) were:
- When creating a game from the ground-up, find the nugget of what you want to do. The rest may be hard, but you’ll get there.
- If you can’t sit down and play your game every single night, you don’t have a good game yet.
On top of the advice, they also brought some really sick pre-Alpha development footage, primarily from Overwatch.
I tried to snag some screenshots, so they aren’t quite as cool as the videos we saw but they’ll have to do.
Having played a fair amount of Overwatch with my friends and half-following the Overwatch League last semester for my Entertainment Reporting class, some of this stuff was awesome.
Another great thing about the event was how open the Blizzard people were. One of the reasons I’m writing this so late is because, to put it bluntly, nobody knew how to shut up. In the best possible way.
Once the Q&A portion of the event started, a billion people had questions to ask, and many of them asked two-or-three questions. Some of them about hiring preferences, about skills they should develop… The kind of stuff you’d expect.
But each of the three presenters gave every single question an equal amount of love and focus. Most got at least five minute responses that were thorough.
It was really nice to see how much they cared about interacting with the fans and, often, aspiring students. Even if it got pretty hilarious when the Library around us closed for the night.
The Q&A as a whole wound up lasting until 9:45 p.m. or so. It was supposed to go until 8:45 p.m. because of closing time at 9.
So also shout out to the Public Library folks for recognizing the passion and letting it fester for as long as it did.
As a final note, I suppose it would be remiss of me not to mention my secondary, covert adult intentions for going to the event.
I’m sure you all know by now that I’m the managing editor for the Gladeo League, and I’ve been working on finding people for our reporters to interview.
What kind of a shrewd businessman would I be if I didn’t take a fun opportunity like this and use it for networking as well?
That said, another shout out to Adam Gershowitz specifically. It was very late and he was talking to a billion people at once, but he still took the chance to hear my quick pitch (because I didn’t want to steal too much of his time) and hold onto my business card so he could pass it along to their HR folks.
He was just a nice guy all around.
So, if you see me start to roll out some Blizzard employee interviews at some point in the near future, now you know the genesis of that.
To end this off with some kind of haphazard bow, third shout out of the night goes to Mimi for agreeing to come with me pretty much last second. Also for dealing with me holding her back to try and talk to the Blizzard people.
It was great, and I’m glad I was able to go and make it a friend chill time as well.
She’ll probably read this, so I’ll end it off with something for her: ❤️s around the Orc.