The Game Developers Conference Online is being held this week at the Austin Convention Center in the heart of Texas. Oddly, I didn’t consider attending until a bunch of folks I know started posting on Facebook and elsewhere that they were going to be there and wanting to know who might be joining them. Upon seeing the long (and growing longer) list of friends, I decided I’d better get my act together. I registered yesterday morning and headed downtown to pick up my badge and start the schmoozing.
One of the first people I bumped into was my former coworker from back in the day at TSR, Inc., Zeb Cook. Zeb made a comment about already having con fatigue and I was about to crack a joke about how it wasn’t as easy as it used to be all those years ago at Gen Con every summer, when it hit me. It was the 20th anniversary of my first day of work at TSR. (Update: Not sure why I had a brain cramp, but it’s actually the 14th, not the 11th; but the point remains.) I had thought about it several times as the month approached, but it still sneaked up on me. As hard as it is to imagine, what’s even more amazing (and a little sad) is that I’ve actually now been gone from TSR/Wizards for longer than my tenure there. Where did the time go?
In any event, I spent a while reflecting on my time in the game industry and all the great people I’ve come to know as a result. Of all the terrific things I’ve worked on, whether writing, editing, designing, or just managing the process, none of that compares to the joy of calling so many of my colleagues friends. Despite the love/hate relationship that exists within the industry — with all of the cancelled projects, late payments, hiring and firing, and so on — it truly is a great big family, and it has shaped my life in untold ways.
Over the next few weeks, in honor of my 20th anniversary, I will share a few stories from my early days at TSR, something of a walk down memory lane for me that will (hopefully) amuse and delight you. But in the meantime, I just want to tell all my friends — old and new — I’ve met in the crazy mixed-up world we call the game industry, “Thanks. Your friendship means the world to me.”