First day at Playfish/EA

Today was my first day at Playfish/EA, and I figured I'd give the blog a brief update on the excitement so far.  On everyone's first day at EA, you have to go through new hire orientation – something that isn't too exciting, but it's good to get an overall idea of what EA is up to as a company, how it works and motivates its employees, and the various benefits of being an EA employee.  The whole thing lasts a few hours or so and at times it was hard for me to sit totally still for that long (due to my ADD, more than anything), but at least I got some free EA cups and a copy of Medal of Honor out of it 🙂

Orientation had me excited about EA, and it also served as a great reason to head down to the EA Redwood Shores (EARS) campus.  Since my last blog post, the Playfish gods pulled some strings and got me a full-time desk at the Playfish office in San Francisco, so I'll now be working full-time in SF.  This is absolutely fantastic and I'm very excited for many reasons, but it does mean I won't get to see all my friends at EARS any more than I would outside of work.  Going to EARS for orientation was fun because the campus was awesome, but also because I ran into two awesome people on my way into orientation and while on a tour of the campus.  The first being Peter (Marketing guy for Crysis 2, Alice 2, and other stuff), who I sat about two feet away from while I was at EA over the summer.  Peter's a hilarious guy with similar music and gaming tastes, as well as a great sense of humor.  It was great to see Peter since I haven't seen him in about four months.

The cherry on top was seeing Jaap Tuinman, though, as he played huge roles in my being hired for both my summer contract gig at EA, but also this Playfish position.  Jaap's a fantastic Director of Community at EA Games, and I'm forever grateful to him for all he's done for me in the past six months.  I consider anyone who gets to work with him very lucky.

After orientation, I headed back up to San Francisco and straight to the Playfish office.  I already had a desk with some nice Playfish swag on it (pictured above), and I even had an inbox full of email.  I was shown around the office, introduced to everyone, and immediately went into a couple community/company briefing meetings.  It felt great to be at a job again, and I'm really excited to get started on some community projects for our upcoming games.

So far, I'm really impressed by everyone at Playfish and I can't wait to work with them all.  Across the board, everyone was very smart, nice, funny, and laid back.  The entire company was very welcoming and people seemed genuinely happy and excited to have me there, something that I'm very happy to see on my first day 🙂

The Online Content Manager role is new for the Playfish SF office and there is a TON of room for me to grow and make the role my own, and I'm hoping to make a huge impact not only on the SF office, but Playfish as a whole.  Community Management is relatively new at the company, so I'm hoping to take what I've learned over the past few years, add a bunch of new knowledge from the Facebook Game community, and do some great things for both the company and our millions of players.

I'm very excited and I can't wait to get started.  Stay tuned!

Accepting a position at Playfish (EA)!

Hello everyone!

Great news! Today I'm accepting at position to work at Playfish full-time as an Online Content Manager in their San Francisco office.  The Online Content Manager is basically a Community Manager, handling all community efforts for their particular game, and I'll be working on the games coming out of the SF office.  This comes with just about a week left before my prediction of getting a job before December would be void – I sure cut it close!

Playfish is a Facebook game company that was acquired by EA a year ago for ~$300 million,  and the company has created about 20 Facebook games over the years.  They're probably most famous for titles like Restaurant City, Hotel City, Pet Society, and most recently have recently released EA IP titles like Madden and Fifa.  It's very exciting to see the opportunities that Playfish has, to leverage both original IP, as well as EA portfolio IP's when creating new games.

While Playfish is owned by EA, they still manage to preserve a lot of the startup feel and atmosphere, and in general they're going to just trust me and expect me to do great work.  There won't be a lot of hand holding, just the expectation that I'll be creative, collaborate with the team across the board, and do great work.  This is what I LOVED about gamerDNA, and I can't wait to do it in a company that still has the backing of a company like Playfish/EA.  It's a great opportunity for me to learn more about community in the social gaming atmosphere, as well as a great opportunity to learn more about building communities at a large scale via social media and traditional community efforts.  Not to mention the Facebook casual gaming demographic is pretty new for me, so there will definitely be a bit of learning curve that I will have to adjust to.

From the first call I had with Playfish, things felt right.  All my conversations with the SF Playfish people were great, with very intelligent and easy to talk to people.  You can tell everyone is very talented and passionate about doing great work, but at the same time they want to have a good time doing it.  I've even been contacted by folks on the team already, urging me to accept and congratulating me, saying how excited everyone is to have me on board.  It feels great to be working at a place where people want me to be there and are excited about working together.

I should be starting next week, and I'll be working from the Playfish office in downtown San Francisco.  I'll also get to work at the EA Redwood Shores office occasionally, which will be great because the campus is great and I've got a lot of friends that still work at EARS.

This is just a quick post that I wanted to throw up since I literally just accepted on the phone.  In the future I'll be sure to post some more detailed blog posts 🙂

October/November 2010 Update

Hello everyone!

Thought I'd jump in and give the blog a bit of an update, since some cool things have happened lately, and I thought it would be nice to balance out my kind of a bummer post from last month.  To clarify that last post, my goal was to describe the unemployment process that I've been through and experienced, while also giving an update.  In general, things are getting better every day, and lately things have been pretty great, all things considered.  I still don't have a job, but I've had an interview (if not multiple interviews) every week for more than a month straight.  It has been great, and it seems like things are starting to go in my favor.  As one opportunity drops out, others have popped up in it's place.  This unemployment situation will go away soon (I feel confident about this!), and in the meantime I'm trying to spend time with friends and my roommates, learn about community/social media, and enjoy myself.

I love San Francisco, and one of the best things about the city is that everyone here loves to party and loves to get together and celebrate something awesome. Whether it's Pride Week, Folsom St Fair (which was…interesting?), Love Fest, or the Giants winning the World Series…people in this city really come together and have a good time.  This week it was the Giants winning the World Series, and yesterday I had the pleasure to join 1.4 Million people in downtown San Francisco for their ticker tape parade, as well as the Key to the City Ceremony.  The crowd was MASSIVE, and it was amazing to see such a diverse group of people all celebrating something and getting along.

I started watching Giants games during the playoffs, mostly because everyone in this city really gets behind the Giants in force.  Everyone wears Giants shirts/hats, watches the game at bars or with friends, and you can always hear yelling/cars honking after every run scored and every game won.  My neighborhood went completely nuts when we won the World Series on Monday, even leading to some riots on the west side of the Mission.

Yesterday was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky, and it was great to be in the company of such great fans to celebrate a great team.  I've come to really love the Giants players and their personalities, as these are some really funny and interesting guys.  Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, and Buster Posey are three of my favorites, but guys like Uribe and Aubrey Huff are also tons of fun to watch.

Next year I'm definitely going to have to go to as many games as I can, as the team is an amazing group of atheletes and I can't wait to see what they do next season.