Usually, if you really want a job, you put together an incredible portfolio, fire off a unique cover letter, and tailor your resume to the position. You keep in touch with the employer, and make sure you impress them every step of the way during the interview process.
Of course, if you're Alexander J. Velicky, all of that stuff is novice's work. The nineteen-year-old Velicky is an aspiring game designer, with very real aspirations to nail down a job working at Bethesda. Instead of doing what most of us would do -firing off a few emails, calling some people, applying to whatever jobs opened up - he decided he'd show Bethesda he could do exactly what they do...by himself. Consider Falskaar - a mod Velicky designed for the studio's game Skyrim - Velicky's official job application.
"The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team," Velicky explained.
Falskaar is over twenty-five hours long, with a map one-third the size of the base game. Velicky says he put a full year of his life into designing it, with over 2,000 hours of work. Even more impressive is the fact that, save for a bit of sound design, he did pretty much everything on his own.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this was the first mod he's ever made for the game.
"I organized everyone involved," Velicky told PC Gamer, "but the voice actors themselves recorded all the dialogue and submitted it to me. I had some people help me out with a few models and textures, someone wrote a book or two for me...But otherwise, all content was implemented, written, and developed by me."
The mod is fully voice-acted by twenty-nine actors, who between them
play fifty-four characters. The quality is impressive, and actually
higher than some titles made by full studios. As if that's not impressive enough on its own, Velicky sacrificed work, school, and a social life, and lived with his parents for a year.
"My dad was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent. I was not able to go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job."
"Falskaar isn't perfect," Velicky admitted. "I'm not an expert who's been crafting gaming experiences for the last 20 years, so I certainly still have a lot to learn, and always will. I'm always looking to learn and improve, and Falskaar was a huge chance for me to do this."
It's this sort of dedication and devotion; this sort of feverish, obsessive creativity that defines some of the best, most successful innovators in the world. What's more, he is, by his own admission, always looking for new ways to learn and improve. Some of the biggest developers in the games industry could learn a few things from him.
As for his job application... Bethesda? Hire him. Now. A developer like this doesn't come along every day.
Skyrim is Bethesda's latest entry in the award-winning Elder Scrolls franchise. Set on the continent of Tamriel in the high fantasy world of Nirn, Skyrim's narrative is set in northern province of the same name. The dragons - ancient, horrifyingly powerful beasts - have returned from the grave; Alduin, the dragon raising them, plans to devour the world and bring about the apocalypse. The only one truly capable of stopping this from coming to pass is a being known as the Dragonborn - the player character.