dinsdag 30 november 2010

From Marketing to Production

As the snow begins to fall and mass hysteria sweeps the nation over a bit of frozen water, we all start work with ice cold enthusiasm here at the Xform offices. Even the mice seem to be too cold to come out and grab our breadcrumbs. The end of the year is always the perfect time for a bit of contemplation on what has happened in the last year. Mainly because there’s nothing else to do of course. I’m staying inside as much as I can from now on, but before I get cabin fever I want to reflect on some videogame related memories and thoughts for the future.

I started in videogames as a writer. I was so bored with the movie theory I had to read for my study (“Film- and Television sciences” at the University of Amsterdam) that I decided to apply my own  theories to videogames. Videogames played a very small role in the curriculum as a part of “New Media” the major (nowadays you would call it a Master) I decided to follow. 

I ended up at a Dutch television show about videogames for an internship. It’s a show called Gamekings and they still make damn good television now. These guys were really cool and I enjoyed my time there very much. I learned a lot about work and life in general there and made some good friends. Plus, I got to travel all over the world as a cameraman on location.

After that I made a clean break there, because it felt wrong staying there not knowing what I really wanted (as always with me). I ended up at now defunct Playlogic International N.V. as a Product Manager. My first experience with an actual “office space” got me depressed for a while. But I did see potential in the company at that time and felt the motivation to push on. After 2,5 years I jumped ship just in time and joined Xform.
Now it’s time to switch my work once again, from marketing into hardcore production. I think videogame production suits me the best, because marketing involves too much lying and betraying your conscience in general, not a strong point for me. Being part of a real production company, seeing how products get made and actually get finished is a great experience.  Plus, more importantly, you actually get to see the fruits of your labor, once you put something in you’re instantly rewarded with the result of what you do. I’ve had contacts with production at all times during my marketing times and always wanted to know everything about the project. In marketing you’re always treated as someone who doesn’t know what it takes to make a game and your requests are always greeted with a very deep sigh. I think I’ve always known how it works a bit, because I’ve worked in television production, but at Xform I can finally see it firsthand. Browsergame production is actually the most hands on I’ve ever seen videogame production work. It’s production in its purest form and at Xform  games tend to be pure fun.

-- Erik

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