Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Looking For Something?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dan, Do you really play games all day at work?

I decided I probably needed to write on our blog. Mostly because Susan has a pretty short honey-due list for me and I can take care of all two by one blog entry.

1) Honey you need to blog on our site.
2) Honey what do you really do at work so I can tell my friends who ask?

So first off what is my current job and what have I been doing at Microsoft for the last 3 1/2 years. For those not familiar with the video game industry and creating video games it's probably easiest to understand it in terms of writing a book.

So Microsoft Games Studios has two major pieces, at least these are the two major pieces that concern me. They have internal development studios (ie authors who write books that work directly for Microsoft and draw a weekly paycheck) for those who play games you might have heard of some of them Turn 10, Ensemble, ACES, Rare, LionHead etc. MGS also has their publishing arm. So if you want to write a book pretty much you need to find a publisher who will pay you to write the book, and then you earn money off the book sales etc, etc. The Video Game business is no different and MGS has a large publishing org that works with external development studios(ie authors who write books that don’t work directly for Microsoft instead we pay them $500,000 to write a book that we then publish) . Ok that is pretty much all you need to know there is external and internal development studios and then there is the publishing org. Up until now I have worked for the publishing org which means I have also spent a lot of time working with our external development partners ie traveling to North Carolina, and Canada.

Ok Dan but what do you really do.

Well let’s go back to the book analogy and create an imagery situation. Let’s pretend that you work for a publisher who is publishing a 1000 page novel, and every morning the author would deliver the latest version of the book to you and you had to give feedback to the author about the changes he made to the book from yesterday, what you liked what you didn’t like etc. Further more you can’t just open the book to any page you have to always start at the beginning and read every word before changing the page, and the author is too busy to tell you what he actually changed i.e. maybe they didn’t change anything or maybe they rewrote entire chapters you have no idea. On top of that none of the pages are numbered and they aren’t delivered in any particular order and in fact quite often some pages or chapters are missing and again you aren’t told which ones. So maybe the author deleted a chapter or passage they didn’t like or maybe they forget to include it in the drop they gave you. Also just to cover the most ground the author doesn’t have access to a spelling or grammar checker so you have to manually find and send the author notes about every spelling, and grammar error.

Ok hopefully everyone can follow that long and not to complicated analogy of trying to evaluate the book as it’s being written. So part of what my job has been is to create tools to help the teams that have to read the book to make them more efficient. For example creating a tool that will automatically assembly the pages of the book into the correct order before it gets to your desk. Creating a tool that will let you skip to any page, chapter, or paragraph you want without having to read everything first. A tool that would provide a summary of what changes were made between versions of the book and what all the changes are. Tools to run spelling and grammar checks on the book with an easy interface to allow you to correct the errors or else send the author a note about each one to correct.

Of course there are sometimes where I need to read short sections of the book or else the entire book (you can substitute play the game for read here) so to answer the rhetorical question of this post, no I don't play games ALL day, but I do end up playing some.

So in the most simple terms that is what my job is, umm did I say is I meant what it used to be because I recently left that job and started a new job last week, but I will save that for another post.

1 comment:

tonksfam said...

So you designed the gaming world's version of Adobe Acrobat Pro ;)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Total Pageviews