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PA Staff

FellinaFellina Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, so here's something I've been pondering for a while:

How does one become one of the few, the proud, the PA Staff? I'm assuming it's a matter of knowing the right people and knowing the right stuff.

I is a colluge stoodent! Since this is my opportunity to learn the right stuff; I'd be very interested to hear what sort of courses could be useful to pursue a position in the creative side of the gaming industry (I'm not smart enough for all those electrical/computer engineering courses folks!) Current double major of "English (Technical and Professional Writing)" and "Digital Technology and Communication."

Thanks for any random advice! :)

Fellina on

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    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I don't know much about the PA staff, but you can't work for someone who doesn't need another employee. Do they need another guy?

    Djiem on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    you could always.....email Khoo or Fehlauer?

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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    you might see if they'd take on an intern. Interning is always a good first step, no matter where you are going.

    Sentry on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    you could always.....kill Khoo and wear his skin or..who's Fehlauer?

    Fixed.

    There aren't really any PA Staff.

    There's Gabe and Tycho.

    And then there's Khoo and...Fehlauer apparently. I missed where he came in. Khoo was brought in to add a bit of business and legal savvy to Gabe and Tycho's creativity (after a publisher ripped them off and ran off to Alaska with the publishing rights to the first year's comics).

    Then there's the forum mods and admin who are all unpaid volunteers. And...what do they call them, PAX Enforcers or something, who I think are all voluntary as well.

    Then there's Hothead games who are entirely separate game developers who were licensed to make the Rain Soaked Precipice game.

    That said, the computer game industry in general doesn't consist entirely of programmers. There are lots of positions for writers, both on the development side (story writers, manual writers etc.) and on the publicity side (copy writing for press releases, adverts etc.) as well as all sorts of general management, PR etc. positions.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    you could always.....kill Khoo and wear his skin or..who's Fehlauer?

    Fixed.

    There aren't really any PA Staff.

    There's Gabe and Tycho.

    And then there's Khoo and...Fehlauer apparently. I missed where he came in. Khoo was brought in to add a bit of business and legal savvy to Gabe and Tycho's creativity (after a publisher ripped them off and ran off to Alaska with the publishing rights to the first year's comics).

    Then there's the forum mods and admin who are all unpaid volunteers. And...what do they call them, PAX Enforcers or something, who I think are all voluntary as well.

    Then there's Hothead games who are entirely separate game developers who were licensed to make the Rain Soaked Precipice game.

    That said, the computer game industry in general doesn't consist entirely of programmers. There are lots of positions for writers, both on the development side (story writers, manual writers etc.) and on the publicity side (copy writing for press releases, adverts etc.) as well as all sorts of general management, PR etc. positions.

    Mike Fehlauer has been around for a year or two now. I think they hired him after the first PAX or maybe it was their first run at Child's Play...

    Anyway I'm pretty sure Mike handles a big chunk of the business admin and PR end of Penny Arcade.

    Ruckus on
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    CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Isn't there a woman who runs Child's Play as well? But still, a very small staff regardless. If you wanted to do something creative and in writing, you could always make your own blog and/or comic. Lot of competition in that though.

    CyberJackal on
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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I know when wired did the interview with them last year they said they had a full time staff of 10 people. Don't know if that is still accurate though.

    DeShadowC on
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    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Aye, PRD runs Child's Play. It seems like, as they add new wings to their organization, they get one person to run it and a boatload of volunteers to help steer the ship. =)

    I imagine those willing to volunteer would always be welcome, particularly in Child's Play. Just a guess though. Also, you could help out immensely if you found an extremely cool/unusual way to get people to donate to Child's Play. You wouldn't be part of the staff technically, but I'm sure they'd be grateful for the help you brought in.

    VThornheart on
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    FellinaFellina Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I was assuming there was some paid staff as well, given the Wired article from August of last year mentioning 10 full time staff members.

    I assume there are some people working on marketing, copy editing, public relations, filing, coffee fetching, coordinating PAX/Child’s Play, etc behind the scenes. I’m assuming Wired got their facts straight… it’d be interesting to hear who the worker bees are and how they got there. :)

    That was a great idea to volunteer for Child’s Play! And yes, internship would definitely be on the table first. Mainly wondering if it would be good to focus on more marketing courses or copy-editing or business administration or …?

    Fellina on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Fellina wrote: »
    I was assuming there was some paid staff as well, given the Wired article from August of last year mentioning 10 full time staff members.

    I assume there are some people working on marketing, copy editing, public relations, filing, coffee fetching, coordinating PAX/Child’s Play, etc behind the scenes. I’m assuming Wired got their facts straight… it’d be interesting to hear who the worker bees are and how they got there. :)

    That was a great idea to volunteer for Child’s Play! And yes, internship would definitely be on the table first. Mainly wondering if it would be good to focus on more marketing courses or copy-editing or business administration or …?

    You could apply as an artist.
    20050406h.jpg

    Ruckus on
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    Mike FehlauerMike Fehlauer Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ruckus wrote: »

    Mike Fehlauer has been around for a year or two now. I think they hired him after the first PAX or maybe it was their first run at Child's Play...

    Anyway I'm pretty sure Mike handles a big chunk of the business admin and PR end of Penny Arcade.

    Let me jump in real quick. :)

    I joined up with PA in 2004 after I fully vested at my previous gig launching and running customer-facing content for Amazon's game store (www.amazon.com/games). My job was teaming up with Khoo to create and launch PAX, and after that first show I worked on expanding Child's Play nationally, and getting the auction up and running. We all had a good working relationship, so after all that I did the whole "let me partner up with you guys and grow the biz, and if I don't pay for myself in 2 months, fire me" thing. I had no idea Khoo had made the same pitch to the guys when he joined up with them. :) Anyway, I focused on growing PAX and the ad side of things, and it all worked out. Over the years as CP and PAX grew we added more people, as mentioned in that article. These days I still work on PAX (mostly with exhibitors) but my focus remains on site ads. It's a tough gig, because the guys have to approve every ad on the site... and repeatedly telling ad agencies "No, we're not going to take money for promoting 'Shitty Game III', and Penny Arcade doesn't do 'advertorial' content" can be an exercise in diplomacy.

    Mike Fehlauer on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    We love Mike and feel sorry for ever calling him Gay-Lauer

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    DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Mike didn't answer the questions in the OP though. How sad.

    DeShadowC on
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    Mike FehlauerMike Fehlauer Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Here's the answer to the OP: it's rare for PA to have a job opening, because it's a tiny company and we all love what we do. If there's more work to be done, the solution isn't "hire another person", it's "work smarter/harder/longer".

    Still, this tiny company *has* grown, and that growth comes about not from a job posting on monster.com, but from a pre-existing relationship. In my case, I'd known the guys for years and worked with them on occasion. So, unless you're already a good pal or trusted Enforcer...

    That said, your double major is applicable to most any game company. Throw in a minor in business management and you're an attractive candidate for an entry-level gig as PR, producer, marketing--pretty much any non-technical role. If you're really serious about working in this particular industry, then read gamesindustry.biz and gamasutra, and go introduce yourself to everyone at events like GDC and PAX. And play lots and lots of games. :)

    Mike Fehlauer on
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