2 Years a Game Dev

Today marks two years since I became a game dev.

After leaving Tokyo on March 31, 2015 and then spending a month in my hometown of Moncton, New Brunswick, we moved to Montreal on May 5, with my first day as an employee at Eidos Montréal — part of the Shinra Technologies team, based in the Square Enix Montréal studio — on Monday, May 11.

A lot has happened in these two years. After the Shinra adventure ended in January 2016 (due to the unfortunate cancellation of the project), I started at Ubisoft Montréal the following month — on February 15, to be exact — happy to join the For Honor team to experience the final year of development of this new franchise for the studio (the game came out on February 14 of this year, almost exactly a year after I started). For the past six months I’ve had the great joy of working as part of the studio’s Game Operations Online team (or GO-2, as we call ourselves), a service team that supports the live aspects of the studio’s various productions via operational guidance and tools.

What an interesting journey it’s been so far.

I have a ton of people to thank for helping me along the way, whether it’s through guidance, support, or plain ol’ friendship, and instead of going through a long list of names, I’ll give you all a big collective hug.

I’ve had a lifelong passion for games, and it became my dream to work as a game dev. Here’s to many more wonderful years in this industry.

The Dream of Working in Games

Shortly after the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there was a story that came out about a non-Japanese programmer appearing in the game’s credits, Corey Bunnell (pictured), who it was later discovered had a long time ago written in a forum about his dream of working for Nintendo — read this Kotaku piece. I find this to be such an inspiring story, and it reminded me of how lucky I find myself to have been able to also follow a dream of working in games, and making it happen.

Yesterday (March 31) marked exactly 2 years since we left Tokyo, heading to Canada to spend time with my parents in my hometown, with still no job in sight (or any idea of what city I would end up in). It was a scary move to make, but I had faith that I could make something happen eventually. Just over a month later we were moving to Montreal, and on May 11 I started work at Eidos Montreal as a Production Coordinator for the Shinra Technologies team there (under the Square Enix umbrella). Two years later, and I’ve continued my games journey by moving to Ubisoft and experiencing the launch of a new franchise for the company (For Honor), and now I get to work with yet another terrific team of people as part of the studio’s “Game Operations Online” team.

Without wanting to sound too cheesy, if you have a dream of doing something, sometimes you just gotta have faith that you can make it happen if you try hard enough (and being surrounded by awesome people who can support you in different ways doesn’t hurt either). I decided to do this at a point in my life (i.e. age) when most people are content to simply continue to coast on the path they’re already on. I still have other goals I’d like to achieve, but I can say that what I did was well worth all the effort — and yes, all the stress too.

Alive and Well

It’s been a while, but yes, I’m still here.

My last post was to announce that I was going to move to Montreal and start working as part of the Shinra Technologies team here in Montreal, where we work from the Square Enix Montréal studio (and are part of the Eidos Montréal family). That move happened at the start of May, my first day of work was on May 11, and as June comes to a close, I’m still here.

It’s been a bit less than 2 months since I started my new job, and I’m still so happy to have had the opportunity I’ve received to work with these people. We’ve got a great team here in Montreal, and we’ve got a great team in New York as well, which is were the business side of the company is located (in Montreal, it’s the technical team, where all the magic that is Shinra Technologies is getting developed). 

And although I still didn’t get to go to E3, it did feel a bit different to be watching it as an insider, instead of just as a fan (or as part of media). I got to cheer for all for all of the exciting things coming out of our great Square Enix umbrella – and there definitely was lots that I really am excited to play, including Lara Croft Go, which is being made in the studio where I work.

In terms of life in Montreal, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise if I say that it’s been taking time for us to get settled – after 15 years in Japan, re-adapting to North America, and more specifically Canada (and on top of that, to Montreal, with its own idiosyncrasies), is taking time. 

I am incredibly happy to be able to eat Lebanese food again – shish-taouks are definitely my jam. And poutine. And club sandwiches. And bagels.

And root beer.

I’ll try to start writing here again – I don’t want this blog to die. I also started updating my media consumption diary again.