Paizo Job Opportunity: Pathfinder Developer


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Megan Robertson wrote:
Interesting distinction - and suggests that I'm a developer at heart, rather than a designer... useful to know :)

Another way to look at it is to think of RPGs as movies.

The designer is analogous to the guy who builds the technology used to film a movie—he designs and builds the cameras, the sets, the projectors, the theaters, etc.

The author is analogous to the scriptwriter.

The developer is analogous to the movie's director.

The editor is analogous to the movie's editor (this one's the easy one).

The publisher is analogous to the movie's producer.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I must admit, I never thought "Role Playing Experience" would ever appear on my resume.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Megan Robertson wrote:
Interesting distinction - and suggests that I'm a developer at heart, rather than a designer... useful to know :)

Another way to look at it is to think of RPGs as movies.

The designer is analogous to the guy who builds the technology used to film a movie—he designs and builds the cameras, the sets, the projectors, the theaters, etc.

The author is analogous to the scriptwriter.

The developer is analogous to the movie's director.

The editor is analogous to the movie's editor (this one's the easy one).

The publisher is analogous to the movie's producer.

Where does Cosmo fit in all of that ? :)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Megan Robertson wrote:
Interesting distinction - and suggests that I'm a developer at heart, rather than a designer... useful to know :)

Another way to look at it is to think of RPGs as movies.

The designer is analogous to the guy who builds the technology used to film a movie—he designs and builds the cameras, the sets, the projectors, the theaters, etc.

The author is analogous to the scriptwriter.

The developer is analogous to the movie's director.

The editor is analogous to the movie's editor (this one's the easy one).

The publisher is analogous to the movie's producer.

Where does Cosmo fit in all of that ? :)

We all know Cosmo is the power behind the throne. :)

Liberty's Edge

Aw man, this is a job I would both love to do and be a perfect fit for but I can't just up and relocate to the other side of the country.

I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position. Not that I don't believe a certain level of knowledge and intelligence isn't required, but in the 21st century a BA is hardly a measure of one.

Contributor

I think the college degree requirement is more a measure of maturity (albeit a very loose one) than anything else.

That being said, I am one of the few people in the company without a degree. :)


Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Megan Robertson wrote:
Interesting distinction - and suggests that I'm a developer at heart, rather than a designer... useful to know :)

Another way to look at it is to think of RPGs as movies.

The designer is analogous to the guy who builds the technology used to film a movie—he designs and builds the cameras, the sets, the projectors, the theaters, etc.

The author is analogous to the scriptwriter.

The developer is analogous to the movie's director.

The editor is analogous to the movie's editor (this one's the easy one).

The publisher is analogous to the movie's producer.

Where does Cosmo fit in all of that ? :)

(edited)

Cosmo is the stuntman who is the musclebound hunk of a leading hero's body double, admired by thousands of screaming fans who don't actually realise who he really is. He puts his life on the line, day after day, for little pay, for the sheer thrill of the constant peril and love of his craft. At least I think that's who Cosmo is supposed to be... :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Coridan wrote:

Aw man, this is a job I would both love to do and be a perfect fit for but I can't just up and relocate to the other side of the country.

I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position. Not that I don't believe a certain level of knowledge and intelligence isn't required, but in the 21st century a BA is hardly a measure of one.

The "college degree" requirement is, as Liz mentions, proof of "maturity. It's proof that you're responsible enough to EARN a degree, and thus responsible enough to serve as a developer in a fast-paced job in a professional capacity. It's also proof that you're passionate about words and story and writing. If you can prove to us that you are all of these things in another way, that's great. That's also VERY hard to do, since "I like gaming and have been playing RPGs since I was 10" is NOT proof. That just proves that you enjoy the game. It doesn't say anything about how good you are at writing or developing or editing. Simply being a fan of the game is, unfortunately, not enough.


Coridan wrote:

Aw man, this is a job I would both love to do and be a perfect fit for but I can't just up and relocate to the other side of the country.

I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position. Not that I don't believe a certain level of knowledge and intelligence isn't required, but in the 21st century a BA is hardly a measure of one.

FWIW, I am a hiring manager (not in the game industry) and I would like to let you know that a bachelors degree is very quickly becoming a requirement for almost any desirable position. This is due to many factors that I won't go into but let me just say that there are so many avenues to getting a respectable degree today that not having one is quite a detriment.

Find a program you like and get that degree done. If one of your hobbies is a pen and paper RPG you can certainly buckle down and get a BA.


Coridan wrote:

Aw man, this is a job I would both love to do and be a perfect fit for but I can't just up and relocate to the other side of the country.

I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position. Not that I don't believe a certain level of knowledge and intelligence isn't required, but in the 21st century a BA is hardly a measure of one.

This is the exact point I was discussing earlier, though I was handling it more subtly.


cibet44 wrote:
Coridan wrote:

Aw man, this is a job I would both love to do and be a perfect fit for but I can't just up and relocate to the other side of the country.

I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position. Not that I don't believe a certain level of knowledge and intelligence isn't required, but in the 21st century a BA is hardly a measure of one.

FWIW, I am a hiring manager (not in the game industry) and I would like to let you know that a bachelors degree is very quickly becoming a requirement for almost any desirable position. This is due to many factors that I won't go into but let me just say that there are so many avenues to getting a respectable degree today that not having one is quite a detriment.

Find a program you like and get that degree done. If one of your hobbies is a pen and paper RPG you can certainly buckle down and get a BA.

Except for those of us who believe that higher learning is an individual path and don't feel it should be institutionalized.

Myself? I'm always learning, always studying, always seeking further knowledge and personal skill development. I very well may take a few college courses here or there, but I have a strict philosophical disagreement with the concept of a 'college degree.'

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Note that the listing for the software developer we're hiring states "College degree or the equivalent in professional experience." I personally don't have a degree so it'd be weird if we made that an absolute requirement for that position.

Also, if you saw this thread and thought, "dang, if only Paizo needed a software developer instead of a Pathfinder developer".... send us a resume.


You know if I wasn't still in college I would very much love to work for Paizo.

I don't suppose a Civil Engineering Degree would get a foot in the door? I have written several campaign worlds and story plots in my years of gaming and I am sure every DM has made house rules..

I digress.

Sometime in the future Paizo, sometime soon I hope.

Liberty's Edge

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Megan Robertson wrote:

I'd be interested... but would the position meet Green Card requirements?

Family is willing to relocate. Anyone know what the weather is like in Seattle?

Unfortunately, we have no experience with things like Green Cards. And I don't have anybody with any expertise with them. Are you familiar with any of the rules and regulations for Green Cards?

-Lisa

Not really but I will research it once I've finished up the writing sample. Family are all UK citizens, I actually hold a multiple-entry unlimited stay visa for the US (not sure if it allows me to work, as I haven't wanted to before). Both adults are graduates and professionally qualified... daughter's 14 and has already expressed a wish to live in America!

Paizo Employee CEO

Megan Robertson wrote:
Not really but I will research it once I've finished up the writing sample. Family are all UK citizens, I actually hold a multiple-entry unlimited stay visa for the US (not sure if it allows me to work, as I haven't wanted to before). Both adults are graduates and professionally qualified... daughter's 14 and has already expressed a wish to live in America!

Let me know what you find out Megan!

-Lisa

Contributor

Coridan wrote:
I will have to point out my disappointment that Paizo has fallen into modern society's ludicrous belief that college degrees are necessary even for such an entry level position.

Don't think of this as an "entry-level" position in the same way that "video game tester" is an entry-level position. If hired as a developer, you'd be expected to hit the ground running, and soon would be responsible for several Paizo products every year from start to finish. Look at the responsibilities listed for the job. Does that sound like something a novice could do? If you don't have a bachelor's degree, you're going to have to be really good at explaining that you can be counted on to perform the tasks associated with this position.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Myself? I'm always learning, always studying, always seeking further knowledge and personal skill development.

Okay, prove it. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Dammit...I really wish that I could apply for this one!

I majored in English and History for my bachelors degree. My honors thesis was on Late Roman politics, and I am currently working towards a Master's degree in Information Technology.

Unfortunately, I live down in Australia. It's *so* not fair...


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Except for those of us who believe that higher learning is an individual path and don't feel it should be institutionalized.

Myself? I'm always learning, always studying, always seeking further knowledge and personal skill development. I very well may take a few college courses here or there, but I have a strict philosophical disagreement with the concept of a 'college degree.'

You're welcome to your belief, but you should expect that, careerwise, you're going to have to try three times as hard to get the same job, and to work twice as hard to get paid a lot less.

I'm not going to tell you that that's right or that's fair, but that's what generally is -- and, honestly, if you're not pragmatic enough to deal with that, it does say something about you which an employer might reasonably avoid, depending on their expectations for the position.


Gary Teter wrote:
Also, if you saw this thread and thought, "dang, if only Paizo needed a software developer instead of a Pathfinder developer".... send us a resume.

I did think that! But man, relocation is a daunting prospect when you're not fresh out of college and single.

I'd guess, what, some kind of mobile app or apps? There's not too much demand for Objective-C outside of the iPhone world at this point...

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Prime Evil wrote:

Dammit...I really wish that I could apply for this one!

I majored in English and History for my bachelors degree. My honors thesis was on Late Roman politics, and I am currently working towards a Master's degree in Information Technology.

Unfortunately, I live down in Australia. It's *so* not fair...

Have you ever considered starting your own 3rd party publisher or freelance writing? They're both fun jobs and you're working in the RPG industry. And you can work from the convenience of your current home in your pajamas. Or in a batman cape.

(maybe I said to much there)


Dire Mongoose wrote:


You're welcome to your belief, but you should expect that, careerwise, you're going to have to try three times as hard to get the same job, and to work twice as hard to get paid a lot less.

I'm not going to tell you that that's right or that's fair, but that's what generally is -- and, honestly, if you're not pragmatic enough to deal with that, it does say something about you which an employer might reasonably avoid, depending on their expectations for the position.

These are wise words indeed. I experienced this first hand as I worked in my career for over 10 years before I got my Bachelors (and eventually Masters). It wasn't easy but it was definitely worth it in the time and money spent.

As I mentioned above there are so many ways to get a bachelors degree today from a fine institution that it is hard to consider applicants without one. As Dire says, I'm not saying it's right or it's fair, but it's reality.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having a degree shows that you are capable and responsible enough to start something and bring it to a happy finish. And actually there aren't many other objective criteria that can show that. A recruiter looks at your resume and thinks "can this person finish what he/she has started ?" A degree shows that you can, regardless of what degree it is and where it was obtained.

Contributor

I bucked the degree for about a decade of my professional career, but ultimately found that the doors I wanted open weren't opening without one. I finally finished my degree about a year ago and now I have the best job ever. There are so many options for getting and financing a degree, and the experience is so enriching that I've been persuaded that an organization really should want people to have them.

That said, one of my best friends has no degree and has become the most successful person I know. It took him a lot more work and probably an extra decade to get there than people going into his line of work with degrees, but he's there now and isn't carrying around a bunch of school loan debt.

Liberty's Edge

My first degree is in botany, and yet I have built a career in computing, ending up with attaining the highest level of professional status (Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society) for work in e-learning :)

But some of the qualities learned during the acquisition of that first degree - like being able to absorb knowledge and a talent for going finding stuff out - are still in daily use even if rarely applied to the plant world these days!

@Lisa - of course I shall.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Days like these make me really angry about US keeping my country out of the Green Card program and requiring a visa, which gets rejected in 90% of "I come to work in the US" cases ... Grrrr.

Liberty's Edge

(Blame my phone for any typos/capitalization errors)
College is a farce except for scientific fields (engineering, medical, etc).

Anecdotal evidence:

I went to school for a semester this year, first time since I dropped out of a video game school (where I learned that I hate to code and can't draw). I decided to go for a history degree and took world civilization 1, intro to cultural anthropology, history of new jersey and research papers.

They were fun, I got along great with three of the professors and I thibk they really enjoyed having someone in the class who wasn't just doing high school part 2. I learned a few things but nothing I couldn't have learned from spending a few hours on wikipedia. I could have (and have) learned more from spending $30 in the history section of barnes & noble. I aced the courses and ruined the curve, getting a perfect score on my world civ final.

All I have to show for it is being 2000 dollars poorer. If a job doesn't want me because I am smart enough to see a scam for my money...their loss. Many of the most successful people in the world are college dropouts. The self starting and ambitious, I am one of them and perfectly happy to strike out on my own.

This isn't specifically directed at this job posting, I would do it for free until recognized as worth being paid if paizo wasn't 3000 miles away.


Coridan wrote:

All I have to show for it is being 2000 dollars poorer. If a job doesn't want me because I am smart enough to see a scam for my money...their loss. Many of the most successful people in the world are college dropouts. The self starting and ambitious, I am one of them and perfectly happy to strike out on my own.

This is pretty well a tangent at this point, but did you go to a four-year school, or did you go to a community college or other two-year school?

The latter can often be high school part two, yeah.

Definitely you can find a lot of stories of college dropouts that became big successes, but you can also find a lot of stories of people who became rich by being professional athletes. These paths work out for some people but it doesn't mean they're good ideas to plan on in general.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

When I was in college (questioning the worthiness of my degree) a guy at my church taught me something very valuable. He and his company considered what the degree is in of little importance. Most jobs train you on the job when you start working there. But he said that the fact that you possessed a degree demonstrated that you can choose to do something and stick with it for 4+ years even when it gets hard, boring, and tedious. Somewhere in your college career you'll feel like giving up. You'll question whether or not you are cut out for the job, if you want to do this for the rest of your life. The real question is whether you stick with it.

If you stick it out long enough to get the degree, an employer will see that as a sign you will probably stay with the company even when the job gets hard, boring or tedious as all jobs eventually will.

Its not whether or not you learn anything at college that really important. Its a test to see if you can study for 3 tests that professors deliberately schedule on the same day a major report is due. Can you handle living without your parents and pull an all-nighter. Will you choose to study 10 days in a row without seeing your significant other or will you say "screw it" and choose not to do the work. A degree, any degree, is a short-hand way of saying, yes I can handle what life throws at me, prioritize, multi-task, and handle dynamic professional and social situations and work for a long term goal.

Liberty's Edge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Have you ever considered starting your own 3rd party publisher or freelance writing? They're both fun jobs and you're working in the RPG industry. And you can work from the convenience of your current home in your pajamas. Or in a batman cape.

(maybe I said to much there)

That's what I do (although in full Kiss make up and costume, not a batman cape)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
When I was in college (questioning the worthiness of my degree) a guy at my church taught me something very valuable. He and his company considered what the degree is in of little importance. Most jobs train you on the job when you start working there. But he said that the fact that you possessed a degree demonstrated that you can choose to do something and stick with it for 4+ years even when it gets hard, boring, and tedious.

Whereas a PhD shows you are willing to spend five years answering a question no one has ever bothered to ask before.

The value of a college degree has greatly diminished in the last few decades. There was a time when a degree was a rarity and it was taken as evidence of a general level of education. More than anything, it was proof that you were of a class that could afford to spend four years improving your mind.

These days, however, as the value of the degree itself diminishes and it becomes a bare requirement for most jobs, students are increasingly demanding that what they learn be tied with what they will do in the workplace. Is it a ripoff? Perhaps, but the loser is higher education itself as it begins to take over responsibility for something companies used to do -- job training -- and has less time to do what they were designed to do over a 1000 years ago -- nurture lovers of learning.

If you don't love what you are learning in college, find a new major or take some time off and explore the world. Don't blame the prof, you lover of learning, because the prof gets evaluated by students on how 'relevant' her teaching is.

Liberty's Edge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Spoiler:
When I was in college (questioning the worthiness of my degree) a guy at my church taught me something very valuable. He and his company considered what the degree is in of little importance. Most jobs train you on the job when you start working there. But he said that the fact that you possessed a degree demonstrated that you can choose to do something and stick with it for 4+ years even when it gets hard, boring, and tedious. Somewhere in your college career you'll feel like giving up. You'll question whether or not you are cut out for the job, if you want to do this for the rest of your life. The real question is whether you stick with it.

If you stick it out long enough to get the degree, an employer will see that as a sign you will probably stay with the company even when the job gets hard, boring or tedious as all jobs eventually will.

Its not whether or not you learn anything at college that really important. Its a test to see if you can study for 3 tests that professors deliberately schedule on the same day a major report is due. Can you handle living without your parents and pull an all-nighter. Will you choose to study 10 days in a row without seeing your significant other or will you say "screw it" and choose not to do the work. A degree, any degree, is a short-hand way of saying, yes I can handle what life throws at me, prioritize, multi-task, and handle dynamic professional and social situations and work for a long term goal.

Just as easily shown by holding a single job for 4+ years.

I went to a 4 year school first (for video game design) and just recently it was community college and one of the top rated CCs in the US (brookdale cc). And the degrees earned by those people in class with me are equal to any earned in a traditional 4 year (it does offer ba programs despite being a cc)

Dark Archive

Coridan wrote:

(Blame my phone for any typos/capitalization errors)

College is a farce except for scientific fields (engineering, medical, etc).

Anecdotal evidence:

I went to school for a semester this year, first time since I dropped out of a video game school (where I learned that I hate to code and can't draw). I decided to go for a history degree and took world civilization 1, intro to cultural anthropology, history of new jersey and research papers.

They were fun, I got along great with three of the professors and I thibk they really enjoyed having someone in the class who wasn't just doing high school part 2. I learned a few things but nothing I couldn't have learned from spending a few hours on wikipedia. I could have (and have) learned more from spending $30 in the history section of barnes & noble. I aced the courses and ruined the curve, getting a perfect score on my world civ final.

All I have to show for it is being 2000 dollars poorer. If a job doesn't want me because I am smart enough to see a scam for my money...their loss. Many of the most successful people in the world are college dropouts. The self starting and ambitious, I am one of them and perfectly happy to strike out on my own.

This isn't specifically directed at this job posting, I would do it for free until recognized as worth being paid if paizo wasn't 3000 miles away.

The thing is, any job posting that wants a degree or equivalent experience is actually pretty generous. And it makes sense that THIS particular industry would be fine with the equivalent experience because you clearly don't HAVE to go to school to be in this type of career.

One thing is for sure, this is a difficult career to get into. So, I think that if they're going to choose someone that has no proof of commitment (college) they need some sort of evidence that you stick with the projects you're given. If you cannot show them that, then you're probably out of luck this time.

You may not be able to walk right into a game developer's position with no experience/degree but why not start smaller like ALL OF THE OTHER PEOPLE who work at Paizo have. They did not all start out at the top, they started with smaller things like freelancing and etc. THAT is the whole purpose for RPG Superstar...

When you stated, "I would do it for free until recognized as worth being paid..." that shows that you don't have any credibility in the gaming industry. Which a lot of people starting out don't...so don't get upset that you're not technically "qualified" for a game developer position. My husband is a developer and someone with no experience in the industry would be SOOOO LOST. I'm SURE you're very smart and would easily achieve your degree, but the truth is, it's not something that an inexperienced person can walk right into. I have a degree, been playing RPGs since I was young, am very creative, own my own business, and I could NOT do their job probably even if I trained to. LOL!

If you're as ambitious as you SAY you are, then start working on stuff of your own. Try some self publishing, I think Sean has posted links on how to get into that. And networking is one of the biggest aids in this country to getting a good career. It really is how most people get their jobs. I'm sure it has a lot to do with this particular industry because a successful game developer will have formed a good reputation about their work and friendships along the way. This would be a good time to start attending conventions and getting to know people.

It's fair to require some sort of college to prove commitment and/or equivalent experience to proof your worth and reputation.

Whenever this situation arises that you don't have the EXACT qualifications that are posted on the job ad, apply anyway. You never know, if your app is good enough (writing sample included) then you may at least get noticed and they'll remember you later down the road after you've improved your resume a bit.

Start building up your resume with whatever related work you can. Not many people can walk right out of college with their degree and get a great job. I know this for a fact!

I went to college for four years (honors), 3.9 GPA, and I still had a rough time finding work here in Seattle that would pay me enough to live with lol. I actually ended up keeping my own business that I had started during college for extra money. That is what I do full time now. And the same with my business, I had to form friendships, network at conventions, and really prove myself to earn the clients that I have. Things workout differently for everyone, and honestly had I not gotten the degree I would not have been able to form my business or network well.

Good luck!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Jodi Lane wrote:
Whenever this situation arises that you don't have the EXACT qualifications that are posted on the job ad, apply anyway. You never know, if your app is good enough (writing sample included) then you may at least get noticed and they'll remember you later down the road after you've improved your resume a bit.

Apply anyway, and tell them in your cover letter what your strengths are, what your challenges are, and how you are going to rise to those challenges. Employers may be faced with a choice between an unqualified candidate and an unqualified candidate with a plan.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Coridan wrote:
Just as easily shown by holding a single job for 4+ years.

I'd disagree with that. A person can spend 4 years working a day-in day-out job and it doesn't prove much of anything other than they can do what their boss tells them to do. It proves they can show up on time. It proves they don't get caught surfing porn during work hours.

It doesn't prove they can thrive in a dynamic environment. It doesn't prove that Nintendo time trumps your long term goal. It also doesn't prove that that job got tedious in 4 years.

Dark Archive

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I have a degree in chemistry.

Bruce Cordell has degree in biochemistry.
Jason's degree is in architecture.

My degree is in Biology. I turned down a fully paid tuition plus expenses for marine biology to start my first game company.

-Lisa

We're all very thankful for that ;o)

James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I still hold to that the most useful degree in RPGs is Law. Theory of Law, in particular, and preferably at a PhD level. ;-)

Eew.

I've read legal documents written by lawyers, and I've read RPG books written by writers. I'll take the RPG book written by a writer any day of any week.

I'm going to agree with James here that they're quite a bit different! Hehe. I like them both but yeah, different.

Liberty's Edge

Getting the 4 year degree doesn't prove commitment, only a financial capability to finish school which is getting exceedingly more expensive every year. If the job posting had said "or equivalent experience" I would have no beef. Paizo is an especially awesome company as far as breaking into the business through open calls and rpg superstar and I applaud them for that.

My complaint is that this job posting is a problem going on all throughout this country. Now that HS diplomas are attained by nearly everyone a bachelor's is needed. As the % of people holding those increases a master's will be demanded. It is simply an artificial gate to bar opportunity. It isn't something I expect from paizo.

To Jodi I just want to remind I am not an applicant for this position and it is not due to the degree requirement (which wouldn't stop me from applying if my boyfriend and I weren't tied down to New Jersey) and that I have volunteered for paizo before and don't see why volunteering suggests that I am not a good fit.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Coridan wrote:
... if my boyfriend and I weren't tied down to New Jersey)

Off topic question: where in New Jersey are you? My gf and I live near Trenton.

Liberty's Edge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Coridan wrote:
... if my boyfriend and I weren't tied down to New Jersey)
Off topic question: where in New Jersey are you? My gf and I live near Trenton.

Howell, exit 31 off 195

Liberty's Edge

My observations are probably of little worth here, but I'll add them anyway, because I can if for no other reason.

When I set off for college at 18, I was ill-prepared for the experience. High School never made me crack a book (graduated with honors), and I was a recreational user of a few socially accepted (in college atmospheres, anyway) drugs. I had been accepted to the Honors Program at Penn State, but because I auditioned poorly, I wasn't accepted to their Music program. So, instead of making a smart choice and going into the honors program at a major Division I university, I did the adolescent thing and went to a much smaller state school ("They want my mind, man, but not my music! *&*^ them!" Yeah, stupid...but I was 18). I did not succeed in college. I was immature and foolish. I was also (say it with me) 18 years old. I stayed in school, but I was never going to graduate - I was on a path to become a career college student, with the school more than willing to continue to accept my money and me more than willing to continue to goof off and be a social butterfly, but little else.

This story's getting long, so I'll cut it short and say: 9/11 happened, it made me reevaluate what was important in my life, I threw up my hands and moved home, degreeless.

Fast forward.

I'm now 32 years old, almost twice as old as I was when I started college. I haven't touched a drug of any kind, recreationally or otherwise, for 12 years. I've worked at a Fortune 50 company in an analytical capacity for 10 years - I interviewed well, they took a shot on me and haven't been disappointed. I handle deadlines all the time, I'm proficient in user acceptance testing and project management, and I understand complex systems of various kinds. I also am responsible enough to support a family of 4 - but I have no time whatsoever to commit to a degree at this point in my life (see: family of 4). An RPG Developer job would be a great fit for me, but even if I lived in Seattle, I couldn't apply for this one based on the degree requirement.

I respect Paizo's right to hire whoever they wish into their company, but I would respectfully ask whether or not the decisions someone made when they were an ill-prepared teenager has or should have any bearing on whether or not they are capable of doing a job, making and honoring a commitment, or anything at all for that matter.

Just something to think about. I'm sure you folks will get many wonderfully qualified applicants, and will find someone great. Best of luck to you in your search!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Coridan wrote:
Howell, exit 31 off 195

send me an email

Spoiler:
dalecmccoyjr AT hotmail DOT com
Jon Brazer Enterprises

Jeremiziah wrote:
I couldn't apply for this one based on the degree requirement.

I totally understand what you're saying up until this part. You're saying you can't apply. Why not? You can apply. Paizo (or any company you're applying to) may turn you down, but it is their call to turn you down. Its your job to say "This is how my resume fits your job description."

If you really want the job, you should go for it. Whether you have a degree or not. My degree is in Engineering, but I'm applying anyways. I've got nothing to lose by applying. And if you really want the job, you should too. Tell them just how perfect you are for the job.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I've said it before, but it might be worth saying again. The skillset we need for a developer is one of the hardest ones to find out of ALL the jobs here at Paizo. It's also the job that's most likely to entail working extra hours on weekends or late nights due to problems with freelancers. As such, it's VERY important that we find someone who's right for the position.

If you have a degree in English, that tells us that you're not only willing to take on a responsibility and stick it out for years until you finish what you set out to do, but it also tells us that you're capable of working with the English language in a way that produces clean text.

If you do not have a degree in English, that's one strike against you. But that doesn't mean you'd be auto rejected if you applied. Because a degree in a related field (which is basically any field where you are expected to read and write a lot of sentences and paragraphs—history's a great example, while botany is not) proves a fair amount of that as well—in this case, we'll end up paying a lot closer attention to your writing sample, I bet.

If you don't have a degree at all, that's an even bigger strike against you. But not even THAT means you'd be auto rejected. In this case, though, you'd need to be able to prove that you have experience working with the English language and RPG design. At this point, we'd need more than your writing sample, honestly. A list of credits is a huge boon here—that tells us that degree or not, you've been published before. If you have credits in the RPG industry, that's even better, and if those credits are for d20 games that's even better than that, and if those credits are for products we're already familiar with and like, that's the best. Getting known in RPG superstar (you certainly don't have to WIN, because we get to know the writing styles and strengths of everyone who gets to the top 32) is a great way to get your foot in the door here, as is writing for the Pathfinder Society. But until you actually DO one of those things, we don't know you from anyone else in the world.

And the job's too important and key to hand over to someone we aren't sure can handle it. It's just the simple truth of what we need the new hire to be able to do.

All that said, we plan on being around for a long time to come, and that means that we (and other game companies) will be hiring for positions like this again in the future. If you WANT a job as a game developer but don't yet have the skills to get our attention, start building those skills up. If going to school isn't an option, then start writing. Get known on RPG superstar. Go to conventions. Talk to us there or online. Submit work to Pathfinder Society, or Kobold Quarterly, or any number of other RPG companies.

That's what I did—I started when I was 12 years old, in fact, by submitting adventures to Dungeon magazine (got my first adventure published at age 14). Went to college to get a degree in English for it. Moved from California to Washington to be close to a major game design company. Found out what temp agency serviced Wizards of the Coast. Started working for that agency and temping at WotC. Wrote a TON of articles for Dragon and Dungeon. Got to know the folks who worked in R&D. Applied to game designer positions MANY times, and when I didn't get the job, I took a deep breath and continued working on my skills and resume and credits. Applied AGAIN to game designer positions.

It took me about 20 years to get my dream job as an editor/developer for a game company, in the end. Other folks have certainly gotten into the field more quickly, but if you want the job, you need to work for it. You need to prove to whoever's offering the job that you're the one to hire for the job. And if that means you're not ready today, then do your best to be ready tomorrow.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
I couldn't apply for this one based on the degree requirement.

I totally understand what you're saying up until this part. You're saying you can't apply. Why not? You can apply. Paizo (or any company you're applying to) may turn you down, but it is their call to turn you down. Its your job to say "This is how my resume fits your job description."

If you really want the job, you should go for it. Whether you have a degree or not. My degree is in Engineering, but I'm applying anyways. I've got nothing to lose by applying. And if you really want the job, you should too. Tell them just how perfect you are for the job.

Wise words.

Another way to think of it: Right now, we don't know you. If you send us a resume and apply, that's us meeting you (messageboard posts don't count, really). And even if you don't get the job, the next time you apply, or send in some submissions to the Pathfinder Society, or meet us at a convention, you'll already have your foot in the door because you'll be able to say, "I applied for the game designer job back in the winter of 2010."

Liberty's Edge

All of that is wise advice, James and Dale, and believe me - I'm on it in every concieveable way.

It's a frustration I've been facing for awhile - I face it even internally, within the company I currently work for - that job requisitions often are worded in such a way that they require a degree (yours is worded in that way, for example) when in reality, they might not. Such conditions prompt long, rambling messageboard posts from people like myself.

As someone who has worked in a corporate environment for some time now, I'm quite keen on not wasting other peoples' time. I'm also acutely aware of the amount of qualified applicants that you're going to get even within the posting requirements you've outlined, which are narrow, as they should be. So, I can't help but feel that I'd be wasting your time by applying, and that's not something I intend to do at this time.

Although I won't be pursuing an English (or related) degree anytime soon, I will certainly be attempting to freelance, and I'll definitely be submitting an entry in the RPG Superstar contest (which I heartily applaud you for staging, it's a fantastic idea). I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I'm going to break into the industry somehow - I've promised myself that. So, thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot that you'd take time out of your day to listen and reply to me and others like me who might be lurking.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:

Moved from California to Washington to be close to a major game design company. Found out what temp agency serviced Wizards of the Coast. Started working for that agency and temping at WotC. Wrote a TON of articles for Dragon and Dungeon. Got to know the folks who worked in R&D. Applied to game designer positions MANY times, and when I didn't get the job, I took a deep breath and continued working on my skills and resume and credits. Applied AGAIN to game designer positions.

It took me about 20 years to get my dream job as an editor/developer for a game company, in the end. Other folks have certainly gotten into the field more quickly, but if you want the job, you need to work for it. You need to prove to whoever's offering the job that you're the one to hire for the job. And if that means you're not ready today, then do your best to be ready tomorrow.

Sounds familiar, except substitute Eastern Washington for California, and the ton of articles were for the WotC website and for 3rd party publishers (there were a few Dragon articles early on) for Dragon and Dungeon. Other than that, the only major difference is that I just went back to school and finished my degree, and I wasted about five years after I left college the first time before making getting published a priority and actually started submitting material. Now I work as a Narrative Designer for a video game company.

I think the key thing to understand is that if this is something you want - something you really, really want - you have to work hard for it... for years. And you have to keep on working hard, even after you've found some measure success. It's one thing to be a well known freelancer, and something else entirely to be employed in gaming full time. Self-employing yourself full time as a freelancer is a great way to spend your time (I know from experience), but not the best way to make a living. I'd be willing to bet that the person who gets this position will be a name that people recognize. I don't see this as Paizo playing favorites or enforcing an arbitrary requirement, but rather that they want to make sure that they hire someone who has shown a measure of dedication to RPGs, and has the skills and motivation to back it up.

Ultimately they have to make the hiring decision that's best for the business, and best for their own sanity. You can't do this by hiring someone who's an unknown quantity. But if you've already made efforts to work with them on various projects, then you shouldn't let any requirement on a job posting keep you from applying. When I worked for WotC, before I finished my degree, there was a requirement in the job listing that the applicant would have a bachelor's degree. I didn't at the time, but because I'd been temping for them, they knew me, knew I could do the work, knew that I fit well with the team, and I got the job.

Liberty's Edge

Good luck to everyone that is applying!

I'm a little curious (not that we will necessarily ever hear the answer - nor SHOULD we) if any "name" people from the RPG world are applying. It seems like Paizo consistently gets such great names to joing the company, I would almost be suprised if that is not what ends up happening here as well ...


Jeremiziah wrote:
It's a frustration I've been facing for awhile - I face it even internally, within the company I currently work for - that job requisitions often are worded in such a way that they require a degree (yours is worded in that way, for example) when in reality, they might not. Such conditions prompt long, rambling messageboard posts from people like myself.

For most companies in my experience the requirements for a job are largely a wish list, they basically specify a way to build the ideal candidate. If I fit 9 out of 10 criteria for the job but don't fit the last criteria (maybe I don't know the right software, or I don't have the right degree) I'll still apply if I really want the position. The key though is that I need to clearly explain in my application why I believe I can still do the job despite seemingly not fulfilling one requirement.

To take an example from my work I might advertise for a junior analyst with a requirement for a degree in maths, statistics or economics. That's shorthand for saying "I want the applicant to have the skills that I'd expect them to develop over the course of doing one of those degrees". The easiest way to suggest to me you have that skill is by having a degree, hence why it's listed as a requirement. If you don't have the degree you still have a shot, your application just needs to cover where you picked up the skills I'd be expecting someone with a degree to have.

Liberty's Edge

Oh, I get it, believe me - I've worked my way to a respectable position despite the way the job reqs were worded. I guess my point was, it'd be nice if there was some widely accepted way of saying what you just said. Actually, there is: "or equivalent experience". But, thet's a designation that's not always used in situations where it might be.

Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, I'm not really being critical here, and I hope nobody arrives at that conclusion. I fully respect Paizo's right to hire whoever they want for their jobs, and to post those jobs in any manner they see fit. I hope that they do (and fully expect that they will) hire someone who fits in from day one and who knocks my socks off repeatedly with every product. I actually feel bad that I've contributed to thread derailment to whatever extent that I have by bringing up (or continuing, however you look at it) this pseudo-philisophical discussion about hiring practices. So I say to those who will apply: best of luck! May your Profession: Developer rolls all be 20's!

Contributor

Coridan wrote:
Getting the 4 year degree doesn't prove commitment, only a financial capability to finish school which is getting exceedingly more expensive every year.

No, it does proves commitment. If you can't manage to get a degree in 4-6 years at a college, then you're just skating along. Finishing a degree requires work, commitment to goals, and meeting deadlines. Saying otherwise is an insult to people who have finished a 4-year degree, and shows you're arguing from a position of ignorance. You happened to do very well in one semester of freshmen college courses on history; first-year courses are the easiest courses. Would you think you could drive in the Indy 500 because you finished your driver's training course? Do you think you could compete in the Olympics because you took an introductory gymnastics course?

Coridan wrote:
My complaint is that this job posting is a problem going on all throughout this country. Now that HS diplomas are attained by nearly everyone a bachelor's is needed.

A HS diploma is easy to get. You go to school for free, pass with a "C" average, and you automatically get one. You can literally take a (hard) two-day test to get a GED, the equivalent of a HS diploma. It's a measure of basic knowledge.

Coridan wrote:
As the % of people holding those increases a master's will be demanded.

And when most people have master's degrees, employers will require a doctorate! And when most have doctorates, employers will require two doctorates! And eventually you'll need 100 doctorates!

Wait, no, that's not true. :)

Coridan wrote:
It is simply an artificial gate to bar opportunity.

No, it is a sign of being willing and able to study, prepare, write, and test for comprehension and retention. I worked my ass off in college. Most people who have a bachelor's degree worked hard in college. Recognizing that work is not an "artificial gate."


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Coridan wrote:
Getting the 4 year degree doesn't prove commitment, only a financial capability to finish school which is getting exceedingly more expensive every year.

No, it does proves commitment. If you can't manage to get a degree in 4-6 years at a college, then you're just skating along. Finishing a degree requires work, commitment to goals, and meeting deadlines. Saying otherwise is an insult to people who have finished a 4-year degree, and shows you're arguing from a position of ignorance. You happened to do very well in one semester of freshmen college courses on history; first-year courses are the easiest courses. Would you think you could drive in the Indy 500 because you finished your driver's training course? Do you think you could compete in the Olympics because you took an introductory gymnastics course?

It really depends upon school, location, particular studies, topic and current teachers... Really.

If I studied two years earlier I would not end with my advisor and probably made my degree. Of course I am myself to blame - I hadn't took early hints to change advisor at the first oportunity, then I hadn't enough courge to change, seeing how friendly she was with chief of our institute and later was... well, too late.

Both sides - the one claiming that degree proves something and the one that says that doesn't prove anything are both right - it all depends upon variables.

Also, on many universities, at least here in Poland first year is the hardest - as the professors are weeding out the laziest and the least competent.

Quote:


And when most people have master's degrees,

Not anytime soon...

Quote:


employers will require a doctorate! And when most have doctorates, employers will require two doctorates! And eventually you'll need 100 doctorates!

Wait, no, that's not true. :)

A few generations at least before that happens. And major changes in the very process of learning and structure of universities due to changes in society caused by technology and increased computing power.

Or that large crater caused by rogue meteor.

Quote:


No, it is a sign of being willing and able to study, prepare, write, and test for comprehension and retention. I worked my ass off in college. Most people who have a bachelor's degree worked hard in college. Recognizing that work is not an "artificial gate."

I know people who hadn't to work hard for master's degree. Again, depends upon specific course and university.

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