My Telltale Layoff: A Follow Up

Since 2012, I’ve struggled on how, if, and when I should publish what I’m about to say. For this first fully public disclosure, I’ll stick to the main points.

I loved working at Telltale Games. I worked with a number of people whose work I grew up on. Worked with franchises I loved and lead me to working in video games. This is what happened to me for that dedication.

  • April 30th, 2007:
    • Started at Telltale Games.
  • April 2007 – July 2012:
  • July 18, 2012:
  • July 28, 2013:
    • Informed by lead management of Telltale Games of the list of companies where I “need not apply” to.
    • Later, some of these studios confirmed this status in various ways.
  • November 27, 2013:
    • Found employment as a contractor in front-end web development at an ad agency.
    • 507 days since the Telltale layoff.
  • July 18, 2014:
    • Gag order from layoff expired.
  • July 18, 2017:
    • Non Disclosure Agreement, which technically covered gag order, expires.
  • Late September 2018:

This does not begin to describe what I endured by these events. It doesn’t cover the isolation, the paranoia, and assortment of other forms of trauma and recovery from the last seven years. This doesn’t include the people who did make positive work to assist me though this time. If there’s interest in the deeper story, I’m willing to give further details and the few receipts I have. Though I confess that most of my information came from individuals who spoke to me and no recordings exist.

To be clear: I don’t believe that every studio had me on a list. I had a narrow set of skills that only a few places would find relevant. These places were actively closed to me. In other cases, recruiters of certain studios had blanket policies against Telltale content programmers as the skill set was seen as incompatible. That too was told to me in-person at a recruiting event. I was a narrative designer in a world where that wasn’t a title one could have.

At this point, it’s hard for me to see a path to work in video games again. Too much time has passed for my experience to be relevant in the eyes of the current state of the industry. The management of Telltale succeeded in their goals, for whatever their reasons, to remove me from the industry. Even with the closure of the studio, they won and I lost.

For today, it’s a big step for me to come forward. With the support of friends and years of therapy, I’m finally able to share this testimony with you. It’s not a complete, but it’s enough.

Video games. They’ll break your heart.

New Resume & Portfolio

I created a new website featuring myself!

Seg's Resume Website
https://theseg.github.io/

I needed a home to showcase myself professionally, so I started working on this site. While this blog fits to my occasional musing of writing, this is a more professional site highlighting my career of the past few years.

It gave me a chance to play around with Twitter Bootstrap and Font Awesome, which are now my new BFFs. Not only do they make development easier, it also scales very well for smaller screen devices like mobile phones. It’s also hosted on GitHub Pages. I wanted to stick to basic HTML this time around since it’s been such a long time. I also used LESS for CSS. While I’ve used SASS before for Umloud.org, Bootstrap uses LESS which made the workflow smoother. Finally, I used CodeKit to compile LESS and minify JavaScripts. Such a wonderful tool that I even paid money for it!

This isn’t the only website I released over the weekend, but it’s certainly the most important! A special thanks goes out to the number of people who’ve gave a lot of feedback during my process. Thank you all so much!

Now Accepting: Opportunities

Moving on from Telltale after five years, I’ve been taking a few days to figure out my next move. I absolutely want to continue working in the games industry. I may have more shipped titles than most (60+), but there’s a lot more I have to offer to this art form. I’ve checked off enough boxes of titles I grew up on (Sam & Max, Monkey Island) and even started some new works (Puzzle Agent). I want to continue making new works.

My strengths are creating strong narrative environments. This can happen at large institutions, but I also have a wide enough T stance to be great at either small teams or start-ups. I’ve worked and submitted games on every console/PC retailer and make games on most consoles.

Now leaves the question: What opportunity awaits me?

For anyone inquiring, here’s my resumé to start the journey.

Origin Story – Part 1

The following is a multi-part series about how I got into the game industry.

On the Something Awful forums, Nickoten asked me the process I took to get into the games industry. I’ve told people in person, but I realized I never wrote that whole story down. To fix this, I’m going to start writing about my journey to working in interactive media. I should preface this by saying that I don’t think anyone else can take this kind of path anymore as the landscape has changed significantly. What I do hope is the overall themes of my story can help others in their own paths.

The Beginnings

Continue reading Origin Story – Part 1