So Long, Old Friend.

I wanted to post something sooner, but emotions are funny that way.  Everyone goes through it differently, and in their own time.  Wednesday night and Thursday morning were filled with a lot of sadness for me as I processed this alongside my twin brother, who had been a part of that studio for five years before it closed down last week.  I suppose I just wanted to offer my own pick-me-up to everyone over there.

It's made me sad to know that there are people there, hard workers and even more importantly, friends and family that are in the midst of a trying time.  Losing a job is never easy, and I don't think anyone's going to argue that it is.  Over the last few days though, one of the things I've had to remember, and I'm sure everyone there will have to remember, is that people like us didn't get into such an organic and at times downright volatile industry by being bumps on a log.  We got into it because we are driven people that want to see something bigger than us succeed.  And to be frank, it's that attitude that ensures me that my brothers and sisters over in Fairfax will find something new.  Something satisfying.  Everyone who's worked at that office can regale you with stories through almost twenty years of history about what it was like working there in Fairfax, VA.  Just like family, there are good tales and some not so good.  At this moment in the company's history, it would be easy for the armchair analysts to take a look at the tales that tell where things could have or even should have been different, but the entirety of that history, the whole that it encompasses... that's part of what being family is about.  The important part is that you go through those things together.

This seems like so, so long ago.  Is it Roman enough?

There has always been a part of me that has a hard time understanding the cold, unblinking logic of the  business side of things.  There's only so much of it that I understand, or care to understand.  But I know enough to be cognizant of the fact that it's not always pretty.  Businesses exist to make money.  Sometimes decisions are made to that end that I don't understand, or frankly, don't want to understand.  I'm sad that things like this happen sometimes, or rather that they affect good people.  But I suppose I'm also comforted to hear that the company is doing everything it can to ensure that the people there can find placement elsewhere in some cases, or in other studios via a job fair that it will be holding soon.  Not to mention severance packages.  I suppose in a world and industry that is far from perfect, it's post-mortem treatment that is far, far better than some of the horror stories that you can read about out there.

One aspect that has really touched me in recent days is seeing the multitude of former Mythic colleagues that have been reaching out to our friends to let them know about open positions at their own studio that they currently call home, or to simply see if there was anything that they could personally do.  What makes my heart swell is that the people reaching out weren't always employees that completely loved Mythic, or always someone who had been broken up about leaving.  Regardless of how any of us former coworkers felt when leaving previously, we all still remembered what that studio meant to us, but more importantly, what those people working for that studio meant to us.  I think that's part of why you always hear people talk about how once you're in this industry, you're in.  Getting your foot in the door is the hard part.  When you work with someone through thick and thin over several years, you get to know a person.  You get to know whether or not they're capable of doing great things, and you always want to work with those that are.  Sure, there are times when you may have to look into hiring someone new and fresh out of college, the kind of person that seems to have the vigor and attitude for the job.  But then again, if you could hire someone who sat next to your for hours on end, trying to track down an insidious bug, someone that you celebrated with by exchanging high fives when you did, all to improve or even breathe the first breath of life into a product you were working on together... that's the kind of stuff you remember.  That's the kind of person you want by your side.

First armor I ever did on Warhammer.  Those were great times.

So yeah.  I spent the better half of the end of last week feeling very sorrowful.  I was sort of watching the vernacular that I was speaking with in conversations, and listening to the words that others spoke to me out of concern.  Condolences.  I'm so sorry.  Let me know what I can do.  I felt a little guilt and maybe even slightly embarrassed over the fact that it sounded like someone died.  Honestly though, in some ways I guess it felt like it.  But I started feeling better when I realized that there isn't real death involved here.  Yes, a brand perished.  However, when you come right down to it, a job is a job.  They will come, and they will go, and then they will come again.  The connections and the memories that you make at that job though stick around.

Not only that, but in the special case of our industry, the worlds and characters that we create, the software that we can physically hold and touch and play, that kind of thing lives on forever.  That's one of the great reasons I sought out this career in the first place.  There will always be times when as volatile as this industry is that we'll go through things like this.  But in the end, we get to contribute to the creation of something.  We bring forth things that did not exist before we conjured them, and pulled them all together for the enjoyment of others.

It's a rush, an almost feverish addiction, that we seek out continuously.  It's that mutual craving that brings me comfort and confidence that everyone there will find their next world to contribute to.  And I'll be ready to celebrate with you when you do.

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