Video Game Designer
Glen Geekworthy rolls over and turns off his alarm clock. Too bad, since he was really enjoying the Star Wars theme. Glen has seen the movie at least 30 times since it came out in 1977, even though the movie is older than he is. Star Wars was the catalyst that launched Glen into Geekdom, driving him to complete both computer engineering and video game design degrees. Now, at 29, Glen runs herd on five other designers at a medium-sized game development company. He's been there for four years, and has steadily worked his way through the ranks to envied Lead Designer status.
However, even Lead Designers have to go to work, so Glen rushes through his shower and grabs a protein bar on his way out the door. Yes, he puts on clothes first. He gets a super-sized cup of joe at the convenience store across the street from his office, since he knows he's got a super-long day. Even with that, Glen makes it to the office in 15 minutes.
Glen scans his schedule and “To Do” list for the day. At 8 a.m., he's got a team meeting where he'll get a status update from the other designers, the script writer, and the quality assurance guy. The team hasn't been moving along as quickly as they should be, and Glen suspects they've been burning the candle at both ends... with the other end at the local sports bar.
Just as Glen predicted, the team reports they're two weeks behind schedule, with the game's final rollout just a month away. The developer is expecting big results from this one, since the team's last effort resulted in record sales among the rabid gamer set. Clearly, the team's slackerism has to stop, or else the project won't get finished on time. Glen knows he'll have to shock the guys into better work habits, but he's done it before. With some difficulty, Glen forces the team to stop texting and gaming, turn off their smartphones, and actually listen to him.
Glen's strategy seems to work, as the grumbling ceases and the team turns back to the project planning program. They know they'll have to knock off the basketball games and beerfests for the next couple of weeks, but hey, they knew the territory when they walked into it. Getting the game done on time is non-negotiable. The game developer is not a pleasant man when he's annoyed, and he's been known to dress down a slacking employee when it was costing the company money. Nobody wants to see that again.
With the meeting's frustration behind him, Glen turns his attention to his game development work. He's still got to refine some of the game's structural elements, such as the playing field and the rules that govern the game. During the last run-through, Glen discovered that some of the rules contradicted each other, which would have left the players scratching their heads in confusion. Glen takes the rest of the morning to resolve the rules issue, and then it's time for lunch.
For the game design and development team, lunch is the high point of the day. They scarf down their sandwiches and fries in 10 minutes, spending the rest of the lunch hour surfing their smartphones to find new games to play. They honestly can't believe they get paid for this. Glen reluctantly breaks up the gamefest after 45 minutes, allowing the group time to hit the men's room and shoot off an email or two. Then it's back to work until at least 7 tonight. No college basketball at the bar for this crew.
After a couple more hours, Glen calls another meeting to get a project update. He's got a meeting with the game developer tomorrow, and he's not exactly looking forward to it. Fortunately, the guys have gotten a good wake-up call, and they've been busting their butts all afternoon. Glen is encouraged, but knows the team has a few more long nights before they're back on track.
Finally the day is winding down... but the night's work is just beginning. The team orders dinner, wolfs it down in the conference room, and de-stresses with their smartphones for a few minutes before hitting the computer screens again. The programmer looks a bit buggy-eyed, the script writer has resorted to creating dialogue as he stalks the halls, and the junior designer just looks plain stressed out. This is his first big project, and he's a bit overwhelmed with the scope of the job. Glen has far too much on his plate to babysit the kid, so he's turned the herding job over to Chuck, one of his most dependable team members. Chuck listens to the junior designer's tale of woe and intrigue, provides some direction for his next few hours of work, and settles back into his own cubicle.
At 8 p.m., everybody's fried. Glen calls for the guys to wrap up their current task and call it a day. They've still got a few more weeks before the game launch, and they will probably still have to pull a few all-nighters to meet the deadline. However, tonight's not one of them. The guys finally leave the building about 8:15, and don't pass Elvis on their way out. Who knows, though, he's probably hiding in the computer somewhere. Wonder if Dwight has seen him?