Originally posted on 10/16/10 on Mrrrdev.


It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse of what I had always wanted to do. These visitors from the game industry worked for various companies and described how much fun it is to be working in the industry.  They told us interesting stories about their work and the challenges they had to overcome.  One developer told us that he worked on a Spiderman game level where the player needed to catch up to the Hobgoblin, and due to a number of issues he encountered, he ultimately programmed the distance between the player and the Hobgoblin to be fixed but decrease over time.  This meant the player could never lose, though the experience was molded to make it seem like victory had to be earned.  It was an enjoyable experience for the players, and that was all that mattered.

Soon, though, each game developer began to talk about the dark side of the game industry.  Hard deadlines led to increased hours which consumed evenings and weekends.  One person mentioned that he sometimes had to work sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, for between three to six months before a game’s release date.  This concerned me greatly because I was engaged to be married once I finished college.  I asked one of the visitors how spouses felt about the long hours.  He responded, “well, I’ve seen a lot of divorces.”

I was discouraged.  For most of my life, my dream – and later, what I felt was my spiritual direction – was to create video games.  But I couldn’t work in the game industry under those conditions and maintain a healthy relationship with my soon-to-be-wife.  God had brought us together, so I knew that our marriage was meant to be, but I felt God had also called me to a ministry through game development.  As time went on, I read more tales about the problems with working as a developer in the industry, such as in the infamous EA Spouse blog post.  From the looks of things, I couldn’t have both my wife and develop games, but both were given to me by God.

What should I do?

Well, as any smart person should, I chose my wife.  We were married about a month after I started work at a regular software development company.  I’ve worked on software that helps users with data management, transformation, and analysis, both as a quality assurance engineer and a developer.  I enjoy my work and am thankful to work for a stable, well-paying company that respects me as an employee, even when I was green and thought that I should wear a dress shirt, slacks, and tie to work (my first manager, dressed in beat up jeans and a faded t-shirt informed me that I was “way overdressed”).  Things were progressing normally for four years as I took on new roles and challenges and gained experience in a number of ways.

And then came Minecraft.

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