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.

The Life of Seg: April 2008 Edition

Checking in on the blog and going to use some lame excuses as to why I haven’t been contributing too much to ye old blog. So I’ll list my lame excuses in hopes the story behind them will produce meaningful content. Yea!

Sam & Max on the Wii

On April 3rd, Telltale Games announced that Sam & Max Season One will be a disc based Wii game, set for release sometime in the Fall. I was even featured on the blog post holding a Wii Remote:

Seg and Andrew Announcing Sam & Max Season One for Wii.

We spent quite of bit of time cleaning up that room, especially all of our retail consoles. We didn’t want people to think that just because we had a PS2 in our media room, that we would release for the PS2 (which we are not doing). As you can see from the photo though, we forgot the PS2 controller right next to the TV. :/

I mention this because it’s a interesting history between Sam & Max on the Wii and me. Back in Aug 2006, a few of the various staff at Telltale were mentioning how point & click games, including Sam & Max, would be great for the Wii. No plans to do so, just that the idea of going to the platform would be nifty. Obviously this lead people to think Telltale was actively developing for the Wii. This rumor propagated. Emily decided to make a post about it to curb the rumor and set facts straight and state while it’s a desire, they need Nintendo’s support to make it happen. A link to Nintendo’s contact page was made. When I saw this post, I wrote up a form letter for people to use. About 3 hours later, Emily updated the post saying Nintendo contacted Telltale and to stop sending e-mails.

Continue reading The Life of Seg: April 2008 Edition