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!