As most of you know I spent three years working at Flying Lab Software on the Pirates of the Burning Sea MMO as a writer and then creative director. That ended last October and since then I’ve been concentrating on Green Ronin. It was nice to get a breather after working two jobs for all that time. The factors that led me to take the FLS job reasserted themselves after a few months though and earlier this year I started looking for another day job in the computer game industry. After much searching and many interviews, I have found the sort of position I was looking for at a good company. As an added bonus, it’s on a property I know and love.
Yesterday I accepted a position at Vigil Games, which is part of the THQ family. I’ll be a senior designer on the Warhammer 40K MMO, Dark Millennium Online. This is a narrative design gig, so I’ll be writing dialog, mission text, background material, faction info, and so on. In other words: the stuff I’m best at.
The wrinkle is that Vigil is in Austin and I’ve been in Seattle since 1997. Certainly I never imagined living in Texas. I hate hot weather for one thing. At least it’s Austin though, which is sort of like the West Berlin of Texas. Now my step-daughter Kate has just started high school and after all her years at that stupid hippie school she’s finally at a school that she seems to like and I don’t want to rip her away without notice. Nicole and I also own a house here, so it’s not easy to just pull up stakes on move on. So the plan is that I’m going to go to Austin, get an apartment, and work the job. Nicole and Kate will stay here at least until Kate finishes her first year of high school. Next summer we’ll assess where we are at and look at a full relocation. Not seeing my family regularly is a downside for sure, but I’m willing to do it if it means relieving the financial pressure on us.
So what does this mean for Green Ronin? Not a whole lot. I will continue to run the company on nights and weekends, which is the way it was for three years when I was at FLS. I will continue working on Dragon Age, though that’s likely going to be the only design work I’m going to take on in the near future. Thankfully, we have Jeff Tidball onboard as Dragon Age developer and he’ll be pushing the line forward. Set 2 is almost done, so this is actually fairly good timing for me.
The next few weeks are going to be crazy leading up to an initial move mid-October. I’m heading up to Edmonton next week to meet with BioWare, returning in time for the Green Ronin summit and 10 year anniversary party. Then I’m going to Chicago for a week for Riot Fest, a five day punk rock festival that I’m so looking forward to. I’ll finally get my chance to see Articles of Faith, one of my all time favorite bands, as well as groups like Negative Approach, The Effigies, and Naked Raygun. I’m staying with Ken Hite (thanks, Ken!), which means there will also be war gaming and good eating. I hadn’t planned it this way, but the Chicago trip is going to be a last hurrah before the biggest change in my life since I moved to Seattle all those years ago. I plan to have a hell of a time.
Originally published on LiveJournal on September 23, 2010.