Alexander J. Velicky wants to work at Bethesda.
Over the last decade or so, Bethesda has produced high-quality, AAA games that have placed it at the top of the list. The company strives for excellence, and there's no doubt that many aspiring game developers would love to be a part of those creative juices. Velicky is one of those individuals, wanting in. To prove this, he has created a mod for The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim that might as well be official DLC straight from the studio itself.
The new Skyrim mod is called Falskaar, and it was released over the weekend to the Skyrim community for free. It doesn't just add special weapons or a house, but almost 25 hours of new content. No lie. That includes 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 have 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.
“I organized everyone involved, but the voice actors themselves recorded all the dialogue and submitted it to me," he told PC Gamer. "I had some people help me out with a few models and textures, someone wrote a book or two for me… But otherwise all content was implemented, written and developed by me."
Instead of performing most of the voices himself or just pulling in friends to lend a hand, Velicky said he held auditions. Eventually he landed 29 voice actors playing 54 characters, and said each one surpassed his expectations by "leaps and bounds". He also built a massive dungeon called Waterwine Chasm that took three weeks to build. Players reportedly claim that it takes an hour or two just to complete.
The 19-year-old developer said he graduated from high school over a year ago. Instead of going to design school, he instead 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. How did his parents feel about that?
"[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."
With the mod now out for public consumption, he admits that it's not perfect – he's not an expert who has been developing games over the last twenty years. There's a lot he still has to learn, he said, and he will always seek out something new to learn and improve his skills. Falskaar then, it seems, is a huge accomplishment for Velicky on several levels: to learn a new skill by hands-on trial and error, and build something to near-perfection using those skills. He proved to himself that he could do it, can showcased to the Skyrim community his mod-creating capabilities.
So that leads to the topic at hand: did he land a job at Bethesda?
He's gotten the studio's attention, at least, and the press likely keeps reminding them of his efforts each day. "The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team," he added.
If I was a hiring manager at Bethesda I would probably hire him. The most important thing for any new hire is to demonstrate they can match the companies look and feel. There are many talented designers, but not all of them are capable of capturing the feel of Elder Scrolls.
Bethesda needs to hire this guy!