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From Mythic to Nexus

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As you may or may not know, Mythic Entertainment closed its doors. This is especially meaningful for me, as Mythic was my first industry job. It's also meaningful to a lot of other folks who worked at Mythic, from the CS reps to the QA testers to the engineers, designers, artists, and everyone else who made the studio what it was.

Before joining the Mythic family, I worked as a buyer for an orthodontic manufacturer. I did a good bit of freelance writing and design for tabletop games prior to that, including work on the 2nd edition of the Warhammer Fantasy RPG. Mythic was developing Warhammer Online at the time, and when an opportunity to apply for a Content position opened up, I somehow managed to make it onto their radar. After a phone interview, they flew me in for an on-site. I must have done something right, because they hired me.

The good ol’ days…

I left my job at the orthodontic manufacturer, and my family and I moved to Fairfax, VA. Making a cross-country trek in a Scion xB with my wife, son (then 2 years old), daughter (4 months old), and three cats was quite an experience. We celebrated July 4th in a cheap motel on the Virginia/North Carolina border. By the end of the next day, we were in our new and very empty apartment. Not long after that, I was at the office learning the ropes from a number of very talented people.

I was pretty green back then, and it was all very exciting. There I was, working on a triple-A MMORPG for the company that had made Dark Age of Camelot. I was thousands of miles from home supporting my family and doing a job that I was actually happy to get up for every single morning. That's not to say it wasn't work, but for the first time in my life--with the possible exception of a 13 month-long stint in a hobby game store--I loved my job.

Warhammer Online eventually launched, but it wasn't the success that the powers that be hoped it would be. Things got scary for a while, and I survived two rounds of layoffs before I found myself out of a job in November of 2009. In all, I spent two and a half years on the Mythic payroll. I worked with and met wonderful people, made many friends, and learned a lot about what to do (and not to do) when developing an online game.

"Play WildStar, or I vaporize game designer!"

I don't regret my time at Mythic, not one bit. Being laid off was scary, especially so far from home and without any manner of safety net, but I bounced back. By January of 2010, I was employed by 38 Studios and living in Maynard, Massachusetts. Once again I had a job I loved. Once again I was working with a lot of very talented, passionate people. I'm sure we all know how that story ended, but I'm not here to talk about Amalur. I'm here to talk about Warhammer... and WildStar.

The studio that gave me a shot back in 2007 closed its doors today. Tomorrow at midnight, the studio that gave me a shot in 2012 will launch its first title. It's bittersweet in some ways, but it's also exciting. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm going to meet it with my head held high.

I'm proud of my co-workers, I'm proud of myself, and I'm proud of WildStar.

(Reposted with permission from Gary Astleford’s Personal Blog)


Guest Writer