Walkthrough Writer – 2002-Present
Offering a little guidance.
My career in video games began a few years before I was hired on at any company. It began when I joined the GameFAQs message boards in late 2000 to discuss games such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron with other players who needed guidance or just wanted to chat about the games. The site was ideal for building these types of communities because it was, in fact, a massive database of every video game ever released, and each game received dedicated sections for message boards and FAQs. The titular game FAQs were far more than documents with lists of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers. They were detailed guides and walkthroughs written for free by members of the GameFAQs community, many of which rivaled the professional printed guides from companies such as Prima Games.
I joined simply to chat about these games, but one of the communities that planted a foundational seed in my brain was the message board for Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo. The community rallied around discovering a set of hidden platinum medals that required players to achieve certain statistics in each level. Those stats were completely unknown to anyone outside of the developer, so it became both a joint effort and a race to be the first to find them and post strategies to unlock the medals. I posted one as well when I discovered my one platinum medal before anyone else. The walkthrough bug bit me at the same time that I was becoming invested in online communities for The Simpsons, and I posted my first walkthrough in 2002 for The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World. From there it was a decade of feverish and prolific output as I contributed walkthroughs to GameFAQs, as well as commissioned guides for outlets such as IGN and GamesRadar. I wrote over eighty walkthroughs in that period. The discipline I learned from this work was essential to my later success in the video game industry.