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Skyrim Falskaar Mod Maker Gets Job at Bungie

By - Source: Alexander Velicky | B 23 comments

Never be afraid to try, he says.

Remember the Skyrim mod created by Alexander J. Velicky that landed news coverage in July? Back then this monster of a project, called Falskaar, just launched for free to Skyrim players, and promised more than 25 hours of new content. That included a new land mass a third the size of the original game, new characters, new voices, an original soundtrack and dozens of quests. Over 100 people contributed to this mod in some form which Velicky took and plugged into Falskaar himself. However, he produced almost all of the content on his own.

Crazy, we know, but the mod was more than content generated by a faithful fan; it was basically a demo to show his modding and management skills so that perhaps Bethesda would take notice and give him a job. Bethesda took notice alright, but it wasn't Bethesda that finally caved in to his talents, but none other than Bungie, the studio behind the Halo series and the upcoming Destiny game.

In an open letter posted on Bethesda's forums, Velicky reports that he has accepted an Associate Designer position at Bungie. He then thanks the community for supporting the development of his massive mod, and even thanks those who did the "simple" things such as liking a video, endorsing a mod, providing feedback and so on. He also provides some advice for budding developers.

"Never be afraid to try," he writes. "I set my sights on a professional design job pretty early, I lowered my head, charged forward, and rarely looked back. Of course, I ensured what I was doing had a reasonable chance for success from time to time. But the most surprising of all, is who I've ended up with."

"I applied to many companies, and Bungie was in my, 'Huge company that will completely ignore me' category," he continues. "Well, they didn't and look what it got me. Bungie is an awesome company with an amazing team, and I'm very lucky that they've decided to give me a chance! Never be afraid to try. I spent the time it took to apply and the rewards are proving to be greater than I could have possibly imagined."

The 19-year-old developer previously said he graduated from high school over a year ago. Instead of going to design school, he made Bethesda's Creation Kit his own classroom. He then spent 2,000 hours over the last year building and populating Falskaar. That's a lot of dedicated time, especially when he's done with high school and still living at home.

"[My dad] was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent," Velicky said. "I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job."

Now he works at Bungie. Dad must be really proud!

Display 23 Comments.
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  • 15 Hide
    ddpruitt , November 27, 2013 9:08 PM
    Two important notes that I think are important:

    - First he basically did nothing but this for a year, most of us don't have this luxury. And while I haven't played it myself most of the reviews indicate that it's just a reskinned version of Dragonborn.
    - Second he said he created it when he really just brought a bunch of people together to build the pieces. Just look at the credits, other than voice actors and bit pieces he really doesn't acknowledge anyone else other than voice actors. Last I checked people who take credit for someone else's work don't last long.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , November 27, 2013 12:27 PM
    Nice. Love it when talented bacon 'n eggers get recognized for their efforts and bring their creativity into the commercial gaming industry.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , November 27, 2013 12:36 PM
    Congrats buddy. Looking forward to see your work in the future.
  • 0 Hide
    msdss , November 27, 2013 12:48 PM
    Grats him on a low paying job in an unforgiving and unrewarding industry.
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , November 27, 2013 12:52 PM
    Quote:
    Grats him on a low paying job in an unforgiving and unrewarding industry.


    His first job; had to start somewhere. Tough industry? More power to him.
  • -2 Hide
    vedeyn , November 27, 2013 1:19 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Grats him on a low paying job in an unforgiving and unrewarding industry.


    His first job; had to start somewhere. Tough industry? More power to him.


    Start somewhere lol.... I wish my first job was at bungie.
  • 0 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , November 27, 2013 1:22 PM
    For 19, he's accomplished more than most people his own age, and more than a lot of the country as a whole. Best of luck, buddy - hopefully fortune keeps smiling on you. Glad to hear all the work paid off.
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , November 27, 2013 1:54 PM
    I'm not surprised he got hired. His commitment and hard work is a better resume than anything most designers could have put together. I am surprised it wasn't Bathesda.
  • 0 Hide
    tleavit , November 27, 2013 2:44 PM
    I was asked to a job interview in California to work on Never Winter Nights 2 based on the presistant world I had created and run in Never Winter Nights for years (adventure Island). I had to pass since they were offering something terrible like $35K a year (in southern California).
  • 0 Hide
    tleavit , November 27, 2013 3:06 PM
    I was asked to a job interview in California to work on Never Winter Nights 2 based on the presistant world I had created and run in Never Winter Nights for years (adventure Island). I had to pass since they were offering something terrible like $35K a year (in southern California).
  • 0 Hide
    thor220 , November 27, 2013 5:11 PM
    He needed the job. If you read his story, he was carried by his family that entire year. I don't know many families that would let their son spend endless hours creating something that might not work out without contributing something to the house.
  • 4 Hide
    mangomango999 , November 27, 2013 5:59 PM
    Wait, should I be charging my teenagers rent?
  • 0 Hide
    d3seeker , November 27, 2013 6:35 PM
    Oh wow! Congrats. That is so awesome.
  • 1 Hide
    hasten , November 27, 2013 8:41 PM
    Quote:
    Grats him on a low paying job in an unforgiving and unrewarding industry.


    Hate to agree with him, but its true. I've been there, done that. If he doesn't want to have a social life, significant other, accumulate wealth, or be in good health he obviously has what it takes. Its really unfortunate that's what it takes to succeed in many of the the most powerful entities in the industry.
  • 15 Hide
    ddpruitt , November 27, 2013 9:08 PM
    Two important notes that I think are important:

    - First he basically did nothing but this for a year, most of us don't have this luxury. And while I haven't played it myself most of the reviews indicate that it's just a reskinned version of Dragonborn.
    - Second he said he created it when he really just brought a bunch of people together to build the pieces. Just look at the credits, other than voice actors and bit pieces he really doesn't acknowledge anyone else other than voice actors. Last I checked people who take credit for someone else's work don't last long.
  • 0 Hide
    AndrewJacksonZA , November 27, 2013 10:31 PM
    Quote:
    Now he works at Bungie. Dad must be really proud!

    I bet he is, and I'll also bet that Dad would still be proud even if he didn't get that job.
  • -1 Hide
    hasten , November 28, 2013 12:13 AM
    Quote:
    Two important notes that I think are important:

    - First he basically did nothing but this for a year, most of us don't have this luxury. And while I haven't played it myself most of the reviews indicate that it's just a reskinned version of Dragonborn.
    - Second he said he created it when he really just brought a bunch of people together to build the pieces. Just look at the credits, other than voice actors and bit pieces he really doesn't acknowledge anyone else other than voice actors. Last I checked people who take credit for someone else's work don't last long.


    You must not work in the corporate world. That's exactly who last long in business...
  • 2 Hide
    n3ard3ath , November 28, 2013 5:07 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Two important notes that I think are important:

    - First he basically did nothing but this for a year, most of us don't have this luxury. And while I haven't played it myself most of the reviews indicate that it's just a reskinned version of Dragonborn.
    - Second he said he created it when he really just brought a bunch of people together to build the pieces. Just look at the credits, other than voice actors and bit pieces he really doesn't acknowledge anyone else other than voice actors. Last I checked people who take credit for someone else's work don't last long.


    You must not work in the corporate world. That's exactly who last long in business...


    Doesn't make it right or applaud-able.
  • 1 Hide
    beayn , November 28, 2013 6:20 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Two important notes that I think are important:

    - First he basically did nothing but this for a year, most of us don't have this luxury. And while I haven't played it myself most of the reviews indicate that it's just a reskinned version of Dragonborn.
    - Second he said he created it when he really just brought a bunch of people together to build the pieces. Just look at the credits, other than voice actors and bit pieces he really doesn't acknowledge anyone else other than voice actors. Last I checked people who take credit for someone else's work don't last long.


    You must not work in the corporate world. That's exactly who last long in business...


    This. Happens all the time. I have a manager who does nothing but deflect blame for every problem he causes, take credit for every good idea, and he makes double to triple those under him. So irritating.

  • 0 Hide
    johnwck , November 29, 2013 2:25 AM
    What is described here is pretty general for all young people who are led to aspire to prestigious positions they have little chance of accessing. Many young people work alone on projects outside of any context and their work goes unrecognised and unremunerated, it's part of the excessive numbers of unemployed hidden by educational reclassification. Free time is a prerequisite of mastering anything, as, too often, is exploitation of the labour of others to derive credit.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , November 29, 2013 9:23 AM
    Making mods is not trivial, a huge mod like this one is a giant undertaking even if he didn't himself produce everything. Sounds like credit was given though, he thanked just about anyone and everyone for contributing and allowing him to get this job. This is not trivial, he's a 19 year old who landed an awesome gig due to hard work. For the naysayers, try and do the same thing, you'll find out it's very difficult to break in.
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