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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

London baby! and... then Malta!

Greetings fellow readers. Once again I'm here to bore you with my job hunting adventures. As you all know, I have had another interview, but I wont say more than that I had a great time. This wasn't the Malta interview, which will actually happen early next week. But first... I'm going to London!(?)


London baby! Malta baby! Oh, god... I'm having triplets.
Read more about my interviews here and here.

I got invited by a friend to come on a short trip to London from Friday-Saturday. How can you say no to that? I have actually never been outside of, the extremely annoying, London Airports before so... I guess this will be something new for me to experience!

So what's this junk about triples. No mom, I'm not pregnant. But I have three interesting job opportunities to consider. I am very interested in a specific one, but obviously I cannot tell you which.

I still have not heard anything about the Dublin interview, but I should hear any day now. One interesting news is that early next week I will head over to Malta and stay there until Thursday, probably. Unfortunately my wacky friend Suzy is home in Sweden during this time so I cannot pay her a visit. Too bad, I really wanted to meet "Mr. O'rly". $5 to the first one who can guess who that is, and no Suzy, you are not allowed to participate OR tamper with this guessing contest :P. I will send the Moneybookers and no, I'm not joking ;)


The new Neverwinter game? Hmm...

I am honestly not very impressed so far, but it might be good. I am not a big fan of games that Cryptic have had a hand in (even though it is a Bioware game <3), since I rarely like how their games turn out... but I will probably give it a try. Here is the latest trailer for the game. What do you think about it?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Playing games while waiting...

As you all know I am currently waiting for the feedback from the Dublin interview, but also for the date when my Malta interview will be. Waiting sucks. Will I get an offer? Will the Malta interview go well? If Both goes well, what would I choose? In my mind I kind of already know, but it all depends on the offer and how good they are compared to each other.

But... I have found a good way to make myself think less about these things for the moment, to avoid unnecessary mental torture. SKYRIM (Elder Scrolls V)... and SWTOR (Star Wars: The old Republic)!


SWTOR, WoW with light sabers?
Here's one of my previous posts about the game.

Okay, fair enough, I only tested the game for like an hour. Still I must say that a lot of how the game turned out to be is very different from Bioware's promises from the beginning. They hyped the game as a game totally different from WoW, something new and revolutionary. I am sure that the game has better story line, awesome voice overs and fun epic dungeons, pvp and so on... but is it really THAT revolutionary. On top of this, it is a Pay to Play game. This is a dying payment system. How will they compete with other, almost as fun to play, MMO's that are Free to Play? Age of Wulin is a good example.

Sorry Bioware, my most beloved game studio of all time, but I am not impressed. Still I will give the game a fair chance and play it until end game at least, but my expectations now are as low as they can be.


Skyrim makes me laugh and cry at the same time
Have you read my first post about my Skyrim Experience?

It is amazing how "alive" the game world is in Skyrim. If you wait a minute before rushing into a room full of enemies, stay a while and listen to what they have to say. Every place has a story, a purpose. I eavesdropped on  two blacksmiths on the ground floor of an old fortress: "Sven got what was coming for him, but I don't trust what's going on downstairs." - "Be quiet, or you might end up there yourself, and I will have to work the forge!". Seconds later, of course, they were both dead. :)

My character is currently on the quest of mastering the different kinds of supernatural powers out there. After finishing at the Winterfall College of Magic he will study Vampirism and try to get infected. After that the plan is to become better at sneaking and thievery and finally he will join the imperials and tell them all about the Stormcloaks plans. It was a mistake, trying to join up with those people.

This is what makes me laugh, so what makes me cry? The lags, crashes and annoying graphics bugs that keeps showing up now and then. The game is playable, but it kind of ruins the immersion of my Skryim experience.

Last but definitely not least. Here is something, for you Swedes, that made me laugh harder than I have in a long while:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The power of... silence?

Inspired by some dude that I don't know, but apparently cares enough about me to follow me on Facebook, I am today blogging about "the power of silence". Actually, it is a more interesting subject than you first think.

Just think about how employers, you just visited for an interview from, can make you feel by simply... saying nothing. Or when you come home and your girl/boyfriend looks at you and doesn't say a word. This is truly the power of silence to me.


5 ways of using silence to your benefit

1. When you are on a date, shut the fuck up and let the woman speak.
2. If you want someone close to really feel bad, just do what girls usually do. Look at them... with silence.
3. If you are insecure about yourself and feel like you have to make others feel bad to make you feel better, be silent and try to deal with your own problems instead.
4. When interviewing people, use silence as a way of testing your subjects ability to take initiative.
5. Be considered a good friend by shutting the hell up with someone is trying to tell a story/joke.


5 ways of messing up with silence

1. When answering a phone call.
2. When being asked a question.
3. When a girl you like tells you she loves you.
4. When in a life threatening situation where a shout could save your life.
5. When your boss is telling a joke (doesn't matter if it's good or bad).

There, that should have made your lives a lot easier to live. :)


Now, a tribute to my dear beloved friend Andreas Knöpke:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What happened in Dublin?!

I'm back home... finally! Don't get me wrong. I loved it there, but the trip back was so bad you won't believe me when I tell you. My interview went okay and I just got another face to face interview for the Malta position, so things are going the right way at the moment.

Luckily for Håkan (whom I stayed at), we managed to find Google last Sunday and he apparently had quite a nice first day. Read all about it here!


Dream start, nightmare end

When arriving in Dublin everything was great. The interview was stressful but I think it went fine. We had some really nice food and we even got it cheaper at one point than the real price. Someone must have really liked us. How often does that happen, really?

Read more about my day to day activities in Dublin here.

On the trip back though... things went wrong wrong and WRONG! First, I jumped off the bus at the wrong terminal in Dublin. THEN when boarding they weren't happy with how I packed my bag, so they forced me to repack OR pay €40. Fortunately after repacking it twice they were finally satisfied. Ryan Air bitch.

London Gatwick. Sooo tired. Maybe there's a hotel nearby. Awesome, there's three! Wait. Two of them cost £150+ and the third one that is suppose to be as cheap as £25-50 (depending on if you want to stay 4 or 8 hours) only had premium rooms free for double the price. Fuck off. I decided to find someplace to sleep on the floor. This is the brightest part of the whole trip: I FOUND A CORNER WITH A TV WITH BATMAN ON IT! But then when having watched Batman and then A-Team on my ePC and decided to sleep nearby on the floor... "it" came.

FREAKIN' BEEPY CLEANING CAR THAT, I SWEAR TO GOD, CLEANED THE PLACE AROUND ME FOURTEEN TIMES BEFORE LEAVING ME IN PEACE!

*deep breath*

Later, just to piss me off more, the security bag scanner thing that I was queuing for broke, so I had to join the other queue. Then of course I was randomly selected for a body search. Score!

Oh yes, did I mention the waiting time in Gatwick was 10-11 hours?


Picture time!

Here's some pictures I took with my camera while being in Dublin. Go to the proper gallery to read my captions, explaining the pictures a bit better. ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This weeks second interview - done

Wow, that was probably the toughest interview I have ever had, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it. Getting pushed once in a while is good for you, as SwedishMealTime would have said. So far in Dublin, having one and a half day to spare, I have been having a lot of fun. Not only have I had my share of alcohol, but also funny experiences and awesome food.


Arriving to Ireland was...

... scary. When landing at Dublin Airport I noticed something particular. Inside I found signs in English, but also in a different tongue. Apparently people in Ireland also speak by the tounge of MORDOR. "Póg mo Thóin" apparently means "Kiss my ass". After having the first beer on a nice little pub with Wifi on the thursday evening, we explored both nice wine restaruants as well as pizza huts and overprized kebab places where you waste too much money while being affected by the side effects of alcoholic beverages.

Speaking of which - on the friday we found lots of crazy norwegians... and then some more that we invited to join the scandinavian "blob" we now had formed on one of the party streets of Dublin. Although we left these guys when they started switching partners in the club and stuff... too weird for us. Well, we did meet some German girls afterwards and since I'm already taken I kindly handed over both to Håkan (who took very good care of them...).

Today we watched "IMMORTAL" on the cinema followed by some chinese take away and movie night at home. Good movie by the way. Lot's of nice action a la 300! Oh yes, I met Jussi Perkele today at a local pub. Was nice to see that ol' crazy Finn again. He also had some ideas about some other job opportunities if none of the current works out.



Me versus The Games Industry

I got a very good feeling about the position I applied for and the company seems very serious and skillful. Exactly what I like. Now I will have to wait and see what happens.

So, Lead Community Manager for a promosing MMORPG (Yes, I have done some research about it now when I know which game it is) or Social Media Specialist for a Swedish company that seems to have the same mindset as me when it comes to Community/Social Media Management.

Or... maybe something else! There is still a chance that both companies will say no. But surely two companies can't miss out on the fun, profitable and... perhaps a bit weird experience on working with me :P

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Off to the Dublin interview... But in the meantime!

After packing everything I need, I start to feel the purple butterflies in my stomach. The interview is one day away and I'm going to a place I have never been before. This is going to be awesome. Oh yes. I almost forgot to put my prepared Presentation onto my USB stick.

Blogging is a life safer.


In the meantime: Stop whining Bethesda!

I have been playing almost constantly since when I got the game, two days ago. I must say that I have split feelings about the game. It has many bugs (I know, I know, making Elder Scrolls games for PC is a pain!), but people have been making functional games for PC for a very long time. It shouldn't be that hard and frankly Bethesda Softworks, stop making excuses for why the game is not as good on PC and start doing something about it. No one likes a Game Developer that whines. Heck, who likes to listen to whine anyway?.. oh... sorry guys! I just realized the irony.


A bad ass Wood Elf Ranger called Loznáir!

Yes, once again my character is a good guy, but instead of being a total angel he has more of a "The Phantom" kind of moral. Be nice to me and I'm nice to you, but if you are a total idiot, then I'll rob you blind and kill all of your children.

What have I learnt so far?
- Don't mess with Giants, they fling you so hard up into the air that you, even though you are already dead, you are a little bit afraid that someone can't resist putting an arrow into your ass, for sport.
- DO NOT KILL THE HOLY CHICKENS! See picture below.
- Old women that live in the Forrest are actually quite bad ass on Magic. Do not anger them.
- It is very fun to scare undead to run away into all the traps you otherwise would walk into. For example the catapult gate was very amusing. When that skeleton finally hit the wall the bones split like fireworks.
- I should blogg less and play more.
- I should remember that my flight leaves any minute and stop thinking about Skyrim.
- I should go now.

Picture stolen from my niece's Facebook. Tnx!

See you on Monday for a full report on how things went in Dublin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This weeks first interview - done

*Phew*, feels good to have that off my chest. I think it went well. I got a very good feeling about the company, the people there and the location where the company is not as bad as I thought. I think I will be more okay with it than my girlfriend. She is quite picky ;)


Preparing for interview number two

Okay, time to start packing for the Dublin trip. I am very curious about this opportunity as well, since I haven't gotten much info yet. They decided to fly me over, skipping any phone interviews. At the same time as I have a really good feeling about the Malta job, I can't help wondering how it would be to become a Lead Community Manager for a MMORPG title.

It's like "safe choice" versus "mysterious could-be-the-break-of-a-lifetime-choice". Although the safe choice might also be my break. Hmm. Difficult, but I guess I first need to see if I get offered any of the positions at all.

Luxory problems...


STILL NO "!¤#/%( SKYRIM IN MY MAILBOX!

My neighbors must think I have serious problems (maybe they are right?), because I am checking the mailbox every two hours. It would be so much easier if I actually knew what time the mail man comes to our building.

While entertaining myself by solving really hard puzzles in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, I now and then check my friends list... finding them ALL playing Skyrim. This really annoys me. Everyone can play it except me! Oh my god. Just listening to myself makes me realize how pathetic I sound... think about all the starving children in Africa! I have it so much better... still... I WANT SKYRIM NOW!

Oh look! Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got the game already :( DAS SPIEL IST GUT!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A positive attitude is everything

Yesterday my friend, again, reminded me how easily excited I get over things (he even compared me to the guy in the video at the bottom of this post). That made me think about how important it is to have a positive attitude towards things.


Believe in good things and they will happen!

You might not know it, but it is actually proven that people that believe that good things will happen will more often experience good things than people who believe nothing good is ever going to happen to them. You will also need the confidence and the will to succeed. Even more importantly you will need to be able to move on when things doesn't go as you hoped.

If you got this then you are already gone farther on the road to success than you thought.


Okay, seriously: Stop whining and just DO IT!

Life isn't easy. Everyone has bad things happening, more or less (even if it sometimes feels like everything bad is only happening to YOU and ONLY YOU!). "I want to work for Blizzard! Nothing else is good enough for me!". Get a grip. Nothing is easy. Everyone has to pull their own weight.

I lost my job a few months ago and you won't see me crying about it. Where many people sees problems, I see opportunity. I know what I want and sooner or later I am sure I will get there, no matter what it takes. You might think of me as an over confident ass that thinks too high of myself. Well, maybe, but I am also confident that you have a good chance of doing what would make you happy if you really put your mind to it.

If you feel that you are not the most positive person in the world, ask yourself this: "Where do I want to end up and what CAN I DO to get there?" Once you have the answer to that you should know exactly what to do.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Choices and Sacrifices

Many things are happening right now. Most or all of these things are connected with choices and/or sacrifices. While some friends are choosing leaving Gibraltar, sacrificing their social life here, they are at the same time gaining other things. Some of them certain, some of them not.

Today my good friend Fredrik and his wacky girlfriend Julie moved to Sweden, next week Håkan is moving to Dublin. After that it is possibly my turn to pack my bags and leave.


Choices are easy...

It is always easy to choose to do something, if you don't have anything to sacrifice. "Would you like to work at this awesome company and have a new exciting social life?". Of course the answer is yes... until you start to think about what you have to give up  to get this.


... but Sacrifices are hard

Every choice has a sacrifice, whether it is something as small as 10 minutes of  your life or if it's something as big as leaving all your friends and going to a place where you know nobody. The latter example was my scenario two years ago when I first came to Gibraltar.

Do I want to leave Gibraltar and my friends here? Of course not. Do I want new experiences, a career, and a bunch of new friends? Of course I do! My choice is hard, because the sacrifices are, but with some of my closest friends leaving, the sacrifices are less and the choice is thereby easier.

We will see where I end up, but wherever it is, I'm sure it will be worth it!


Finally, here is a tribute to my good friend Jussi, who I will meet shortly in Dublin.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I finally got a face to face interview!

It is one thing applying for a few jobs and sitting and waiting for the interview to finally come, but when it actually happens many things suddenly become so clear. Should I start planning for moving to another country? Will the job be as challenging and rewarding as I expect it to be? How would it be to live someplace new?


Back into the gaming/iGaming industry?

The truth is that I do want to get back into the gaming industry, as in "computer/video games", but since my current experience also includes iGaming, that's definitely not off the table.

Two and a half years ago I was not really sure what I wanted to do. I studied Game Design, but was thinking too much about the "big picture" and things around the product. Somehow I have been lead on a road that made me realize that my true passion is about communities, social media and communication in general. We will see where i end up, but I think that as long as I work with people that knows what they are doing and with a company that believes in creativity, I will be very happy.


What about my private projects?

I have currently two major projects that I am working with. Both are concerning blogs and one will hopefully in the future bring profit, while the other is more of an experiment.

I will continue them both, as good as I can. Oh yes. This is IF I get the job. They will not compete at all with any of the jobs I applied to, rather the opposite. They would help promoting whatever I end up doing.

We are currently on the verge of starting up the company officially, but we need to sort out a lot of paper work before everything is ready to go. Competition for what we are doing seems to be quite low, the manpower needed from us not very high and the possibilities seems to be even higher.


This is a picture of the place where I will be going for an interview. Can you guess which town it is? 


Monday, November 7, 2011

Google+ Pages trick! Opportunity!

After a day of drafting Magic with Johan, Håkan, Phil and Fredrik I come home to watch some friends, eat some of my fantastic Spaghetti Bolognese and finally manages to perfect time the release of Google+ Pages.

What would one do at such a moment?


Taking smart names!

One smart, but risky, thing is to take smart names that would benefit you. There is a rumor though that many pages can have the same name, so I can't guarantee that this will work at all. I might come back tomorrow and totally dismiss my own blog post, who knows? :P But if this works, I will not only get fantastic channels of communication, I might also be more interesting to hire, because who ever hires me also get's the channels that I now have reserved to do marketing through.

Always make sure you are well prepared and that you do what you can to get an edge against your competitors.


Job interviews coming up

I do not want to get too much into details, but I have had one interview so far, which I think went pretty well. I am hoping to get a final one soon as well. Other than this one there are a few others that starts to pop up. After waiting a few months, the interest for someone like me seems to have spread.

We will see where I end up, but if everything goes the way I want it, I will end up at a fantastic place with some fantastic people. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Here is the release video of Google+ Pages by the way!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The perfect win-win solution against piracy

Now and then I always hear this and that about people stealing peoples work/products and others saying that it is so expensive that they don't really have an option. Many game companies has tried to get around this problem by having monthly fees for their online games, others introduce Free-to-Play. In other words, MMO games is doing really fine against piracy.

But what about the other games, movies and music out there? Is there a solution?


The perfect solution is here!

Okay, this is not as concrete as I might have mislead you to believe, but it is a solution even so: Find a good substitute. Everybody wins! Okay, let's discuss this with a few examples.

Music: 
- We got Spotify, a tool where you stream music for free, but has to endure some advertisment now and then. It's like a radio where you can choose what songs and in what order you want to listen to them.

Movies:
- There are websites like Voddler, concept similar to Spotify.

Games: 
- EMPTY SPACE HERE!

Now it is getting interesting. While solutions are starting to come up in the music and movie industry, we still don't have a _really_ good system for games. What would happen if you release your game for free, but put lots of ads in it instead. For people to get rid of the ads, they need to pay. Simple. It works for the other medias, so why shouldn't it work with Games?

The problem is always that you can edit the core files and remove the ads, if you are skilled in these kinds of things, but when the Onlive games streaming software is released, this threat is easily eliminated.

Even so, you wont lose on having this solution, since the people who downloads your games from various Torrent sites will probably only be convinced to change their way if a solution like this was available. You won't get these guys anyway, so what do you have to lose? What your loyal and paying customers will do doesn't really matter, since you will earn money from the advertisement anyway (possibly you could even profit more from this).

Finally, don't forget that piracy is not only evil. It has helped many games and game companies to reach where they are today. The viral effect.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Five steps on how to promote yourself

Since I am currently only working with freelance or personal projects I know how important it is to know how to promote yourself as a person. If you really want a job, you cannot send out a CV here and there and hope for luck to come your way. As Two Face once said: "I make my own luck".


Step 1) Figure out how you want to be perceived

What job do you want to work with? Do you want to look like a strict boss or as a laid back co-worked with a creative mind? What do you want people to think when they learn things about you? What would you like your future employer to think about you?

This is something you need to figure out before you do ANYTHING else.


Step 2) Make a list of tools & contacts you can use

Do you have any contacts that can help out in giving you some positive buzz, writing recommendation letters etc? Do you have a Facebook, LinkedIn (!!!), Google+, MySpace and a Blog Account? Most importanty, have you registered your own www.yourname.com domain yet?


Step 3) Make a plan on how to spread positive buzz

Now it is time to make a plan on what you want to put on your sites, your blog and what to put in your CV & Cover letter. Be aware of that now when you are more "official" than before, harmful information such as Politics and such things might be something you have to try to hide. Choose carefully what you put in the web and make sure it fits the person you want your employer to see you as.


Step 4) Make yourself visible

Use all channels you possibly can to expose yourself to the public. The more pages you have info about yourself on, the easier it will be for someone to find you when googleing or surfing around. The best way of making yourself visible is to have a serious blog, with a www.yourname.com URL and using the different Social Media channels to promote it.

Who would notice the smart kid in the back if he never puts his arm up in the air once in a while?


Step 5) Alertness and quick responses

Now when you are up and running. Make sure you keep everything up to date and that you answer your emails and requests quickly. After all, the weird guy Mr. John Smith that keeps trying to add you on Linkedin.com might indeed be your future employer, trying to contact you for an interview.

Every unanswered mail is a possibly missed opportunity. Be out there, all the time! Ironically, being unemployed is actually hard work, if you do it right!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blogger vs. Wordpress, who would win?

After discussing blog tools with my friends Johannes Thorén and checking out other nice blogs, like Joakim Nilssons blog about Social Media Management, I decided to do some research to figure out which blog tool that is best for me... and for you.


Three reasons to go for Blogger

Blogger seem to be a more beginner friendly, and actually 100% free, blog tool. It is very simple, user friendly and to a degree you can customize your blog quite a bit. Blogger also offers an easy way for you to earn money  on your blog.

Here are the three top reasons why you should choose Blogger:

1. Simplicity. Easy to use, free and it has a very good interface.
2. Everything is free! You don't have to pay anything for any of the tools!
3. Simple Advertising from Google. It is easy to set up a way to earn money.


Three reasons to go for Wordpress

Wordpress is a tool that can be used by new bloggers as well as more advanced. The problem is that the tool itself is more advanced and could thereby confuse some users. The more options and services you want, the more you will have to pay. For $100/year you will get all special features, but will still have to pay separately for special themes.

Here are the top reasons why you would choose Wordpress:

1. Full customization possibilities. If you pay, you can edit/change pretty much anything.
2. If you are a new user, you can easily set up a free blog without much problem.
3. If you are an advanced user, you can still get a kick ass blog without paying anything.


And the winner is?

If you don't wanna get much into detail with your blog. You just want it up and running and don't care for anything fancy, then Blogger is for you. Although if you want to have full control over your blog and don't care to pay a bit extra for it, then go "pro" with Wordpress, my personal favorite.

Comparing the two tools, not caring about the paying aspect, Wordpress beats Blogger by a long shot.

I do feel the irony of me blogging on Blogger still, but a little bird told me that this might change very soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Psychology in Design Choices for Games Part 2

This is the second part of my thoughts on "Psychology in Design Choices for Games" (Read Part 1). Remember how I said in the previous part that many developers tend to use statistics to find out what people like the most? Well, today I will discuss about if going main stream is really a good idea.


Is the Main Stream path good in the long run?

Yes and no. Everything is good in moderate. People need choices, variation - different kind of games! In movies we eventually get tired of the classic "girl is annoyed by hero-to-be-character but learns to love him during the course of the movie and eventually the hero gets the girl" scenario. The same applies to games. You cannot repeat a winning concept so much that you will end up in the "main stream" folder.

There are always indie games, but they rarely got the same financial support as the big titles. What would happen if... Blizzard (!!) decided to do something completely new, not a main stream game at all!? Imagine a the movie "300", where the hero already was married, the wife got raped and the hero actually died in the end - never seeing his wife ever again. Still, a lot of people like this movie. They find it to be something different than most similar movies with a lot of action, but with the classic romance.

People like different. People like surprises. People like riddles, questions, mysteries that you can't figure out from the start!


Main stream is dying, darlings needs to be killed and games needs to be made. 


Here is a video of Star Wars: The Old Republic, a game that was originally marketed as a game much different to World of Warcraft and very little about grinding and the classic "tank/healer/dps" shebang. But what does it look like today? Well, let's take a look!

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