By mtmckinley 5 Comments
Year -0 (continued)So, while it was exciting to think that I could possibly have my first CG job before I even started college, it was not to be. I ended up working at a movie theater for most of my college career. I quit that because of the higher pay I could get at a call center... ugh! I did eventually get the job, but not until I was mostly through school. Soo...
MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOB!!!!11!!
I was 20 years old, had just quit a telemarketing job (after less than a month of working there), and thought I would email that old job possibility to see if they might change their mind and hire me.
Turns out they did! They emailed me back and said to come on in next Monday. I was sooo lucky!
Year 1 begins! February 2000WALRUS CORP.
My first job was with Walrus Corp. Walrus was a small start-up started by two brothers, Walter and Russell (I see what you did there. ). They had a few investors and hired me and one other artist to help them develop their software.
It wasn't a game company, but they were developing software for creating 3D websites. It was interesting. Each website that used their technology would have a navigable 3D environment that could display web pages, have 3D avatars selling things, dance club chat rooms, and so on. Kind of archaic now, looking back. It was kind of a very primitive version of what we have now in Sony's HOME, except it'd be all over the internet and not just in one application. My job was to test the software and create demonstration "rooms" to show off the software at work. I created a 3D theater (where people could buy movies), an office space (for giving online tours and for company PR), and lots of different themed "chat rooms" (I remember doing a Doom inspired room, an Incan cave, a dance club, etc.) I remember one was even using Dawn soap products in a fancy bathroom as a way of selling the products.
I was still in school at the time, so I worked part-time through the week and came in on Saturdays. It was educational to be sure, but wasn't exactly what I wanted to do eventually. For example, we weren't using Max or Maya or anything. It was the Walrus Editor that we used to create these rooms and they could only create simple shapes. So while I was learning a lot about working on a team and on a real project, I didn't learn much about real 3D software like Maya or creating anything related to games or films (at this point, I was still planning on getting into movies).
When I first started, we worked in an extremely small office. Which was ok, since we only had 5 people all together. However, after about 4 months of steadily learning how to use the Walrus tech and creating demo rooms of increasing complexity, there was a sudden (well, sudden to me anyway) falling out between the two brothers. Suddenly, Walter was kicking Russel out! It was a big to-do with armed escorts and all that jazz.
I was shocked, but still had a job and still had investors, so we kept going. We eventually got a nice office space in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It was a huge office! And we still had just the 5 people... kinda funny. But we eventually hired on a couple more guys and kept going.
This job lasted until the beginning of January 2001. The studio ran out of funding and we eventually all got let go. We never did fill that office space up.