So Many (Metaphorical) Hats

It’s always a little hard to explain to people what exactly it is I do at Pixel Constructor.

“Well, this week I’m working on some 3D assets for the game. I made some ruined walls and some fountains, but I had to scrap one because it looked like-“

“Oh, so you’re an artist.”

“Sure. But last week I was testing a level to make sure I couldn’t jump through the world anywhere.”

“So you also do QA…”

“Of course, we all do. But the thing I’m really stressing out about is the social media push-“

“What’s your job title?”

And that’s the funny thing. Nobody knew what to call me. I came in with industry experience that included alpha and beta testing but also running those tests, organizing our testers so we could get the most bang for our buck. I’d helped players with their problems, but I’d also written support articles and knowledge base articles and trained other people. I could create technical drawings and learned 3D art quickly, I could write dialogue and script it, but we didn’t need more dedicated artists and writers.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, eventually you’ll fall into a niche. The one I seem to have carved out over years of work is… well, on the website I’m listed as our community liaison, but informally I’m the Best Helper Bee.

None of us has the luxury of doing just one thing. A texture artist can’t get away with doing nothing but designing textures. It’s all-hands-on-deck when we need to get a level tested and, as I frequently stress in meetings, “everyone is marketing at an indie.” But I have the luxury of doing just about anything and everything. When we need extra assets for a level, I can whip out my 3D modeling program of choice (Blender, because I’m cheap and it’s free). When that level needs testing, I show my skills at being able to break anything handed to me. When our sound and music man needed to pass off some duties, I even got to do a little voice direction and pick out the clips of dialogue that would go into a scene. I leap on anything that lets me do a little writing or creativity, and this time, I’m steering the marketing push that… well, YOU are a big part of making successful!

For me, it works. I get bored fast. If I was doing nothing but churning out different staircases for months on end, I might not thrive as well. But when I can move from task to task, polish the edges, and help where needed and as needed, I get the kind of variety I need to keep myself marginally sane. I get to solve problems and be a part of making something bigger than my skills could create alone.

And here is where I do it:

Note: This is kind of a lie. This desk has been this clean exactly once, and I took a picture to commemorate it.

 

 

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