My Big Break

Next Generation Magazine: April 1996

This was the issue that kicked off my game industry career.  I had been reading Next Generation magazine since it was available in the States and well before when it was only an imported magazine known (still is!) as Edge.

This article was the first I knew of that actually provided a map of the United States that listed game companies with their address and primary contacts.  Of the many companies listed only two were in Michigan — both located in Ann Arbor about 35 miles from my home — Media Station and Parallax Software.

I knew very little about Media Station.  But I did know Parallax Software as I was already a big fan of their game Descent (a two-page ad for Descent can be found in this same magazine on pages 34 & 35 just before the cover article).

The contact listed at Parallax was for a Matt Toschlog but without an email or available job to apply for I wasn’t really sure what to do next as I wasn’t an artist, programmer, or PR person.  However, I kept coming back to a quote in the article that said:

Beyond any technical qualifications, game companies need imaginative, creative, and dedicated people who — above all — love games

I always felt that quote described me perfectly so if it was really true that game companies (and hopefully Parallax) were looking for that then maybe I could get my first break.  I was just scared and didn’t really know how to take that first step.

A few weeks go by and I haven’t made a move.  But then we get news at my current job that our company has been acquired by Texas-based ACS, Inc. and is likely closing our offices or transferring us out-of-state.  This naturally leads just about everyone to the Sunday want ads section in the newspaper where my co-workers notice this posting:

The Detroit News

Read the entire ‘How to get a job in the game industry’ article compliments of the Internet Archive: