The days leading up to Pax and the convention itself were a turning point in my life and thinking. It is really odd to look back now and realize that I never though about working at a game company before. Having been a passionate gamer all my life, having an interest in business and finance… Why did it take a somewhat random trip to Pax to wake me up?
The Zorts Project was already underway when the decision was made to attend Pax. The goal of the convention quickly became about networking. Selling the event to my wife really involved sell the idea of networking to get a job. The vague idea was that I should also know some people in the game industry. Maybe I could meet some at Pax.
When preparing for an industry trade show what is the first thing that you need? Business Cards. Although there was no way of knowing what to put on the cards before attending the convention, it seemed best to go with ‘game designer’… It’s surprising how many times at the convention it was mentioned that ‘game designer’ is the wrong thing to put on your business cards… But I had to go there to learn that. Better to put yourself out there and make mistakes, then learn from them. It’s never a good idea to make a verbal statement, much better to demonstrate something. So my business cards are a game. Everyone who saw them thought they were great. I owe a big Thank you to Tammy of Rubicat design for doing the graphics and getting a printer.
Actually attending Pax was way more amazing than I expected. It was like being in reverse high school. There were a couple sports or racing related games, but they were in the minority. Instead of all football, baseball, soccer, it was all knights, weird aliens, or robots. Oh so many robots.
My excuse for going was to work on getting a job. So the business development panels were my primary targets. The vague feeling of wanting to create a company has always been hidden within me… But the industry that would make the best fit was never clear. With so many various interests nothing ever seemed like a great fit. But the panels about creating a game, or creating a game company were really truly inspiring. I even walked past Robert Khoo. I really should have shaken his hand. I was too nervous.
The networking goal of the weekend was completed in spades. I met Scott MacMillan who lead me to Boston Indies. Gaining the knowledge of that community was probably the most important thing to happen. Which may also inform the previous point about going. Getting a job only happens when you can network.