Hey, everyone! Thanks for joining me for the first ever edition of #AskHuley, and thank you for submitting your questions. I’m excited to jump right in, so away we go!
Our first question this week comes from Natalie:
I’ve been a follower of yours for some time now, and you’re a really lovely person with an admirable dedication to your work – especially writing. My dream is to one day become an editor at BioWare (or writer, but I prefer the editing process!), and I’ve been thinking that perhaps a good way to work my way up is to start at QA, or become a Community Manager — which seems like an awesome job that allows one to flex and hone their writing skills.
My question is: do you have some advice for becoming a Community Manager? I’ve started a blog to write journalistic articles (reviews, analyzations, op-eds, anything and everything) and am participating on forums and community blogs to engage with different communities and people, but I don’t know where to really go from there. I guess I’m just a bit stuck at the part where you know what you want to do, but don’t know exactly how to get there.
Aww, thanks so much for the kind words, Natalie! I appreciate that more than you know. I have some thoughts about your question, but first I’d like to share the same piece of advice given to me when I started out, and that is to never look at any job as a foot in the door. The reason is because you could be in that position for a long time while waiting for your dream opportunity to open up, and if you start to feel stuck in your role, it will take a toll on you and affect your job performance. That’s not fair to you or your employer.
Instead, identify your end goal and put yourself on a path to get there. In the case of writing and editing, be on the lookout for assistant, associate, or sometimes even intern positions. Most people aren’t able to start at a studio like BioWare (especially if you’re not already living in Canada), so I’d recommend looking for jobs at smaller companies to gain some experience, build your resume, and hone your craft. It doesn’t even have to be a video game company. Any experience is worth its weight in gold. Gain a reputation as an extraordinary editor, and you’ll stand out among other applicants.
Another key component to getting where you want to be is through networking. Thanks to social media, access to professionals in your field of interest is literally at your fingertips. On the BioWare side, Karin Weekes, Ben Gelinas, and Cameron Harris are all very active on Twitter, and are three of the most amazing editors I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.
One thing I can tell you from experience is that while not impossible, it’s very hard to transition from community management to writing and editing. I’d recommend pursuing community management only if that’s a field you want to be in for at least the next five years. Community management opens many career paths to explore, but not typically in development. Again, not impossible, just way more challenging.
Best of luck, Natalie, and thanks for the great question! Feel free to hit me up anytime if you’d like to talk about this some more.
Our next question comes from Sartoz:
Well, #AskHuley, since your bio has said nothing about ME:A, there is no point attempting to ask questions about the game. So, why even bother to make the effort to communicate with the fans? So, I will ask a non ME:A question: what is your function and responsibilities?
I appreciate how excited you are to learn more about Mass Effect: Andromeda (and believe me, we’re excited to talk about it), but since this is my personal website, I’m afraid I can’t disclose any new information about it. I can tell you that we’re hard at work on it, and that we’ll definitely have more to say about the game later this year, but stay tuned to EA/BioWare’s official channels for breaking news.
As for why I’d bother to make an effort to communicate with the fans, it’s important to note that I have many interests and activities that extend beyond my day job at BioWare, as I’m sure our fans do as well. I’m a published author, I’m passionate about many forms of entertainment, and I’m a firm believer in two-way communication. I mean, we can talk about anything under the sun, so why not?
As it relates to my function and responsibilities, I’m the content manager for BioWare Canada, which means I get to work on great franchises such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age. In some ways, my role is similar to that of a managing editor for a newspaper or magazine. I work with many teams across EA and BioWare to create content for social and web that is hopefully informative and entertaining, whether we’re announcing a new game feature or debuting a t-shirt design in the BioWare store.
Even when we’re in-between releases (like right now), the show must go on, and I’m always hard at work trying to come up with new and interesting things to keep the conversation going. But my job isn’t just about talking, it’s about listening, which is even more important, in my opinion. We’re not just a company that sells products. We’re a company that strives to make our players feel like a part of the overall experience, and we evolve through your feedback. So, keep it coming!
Our last question this week comes from Derek:
Dear #AskHuley, I only have one question for you: did Steven Avery do it?
Oh, man. I can tell you one thing, I’m glad I wasn’t on that jury! It’s difficult to try and answer this question without spoilers, so for those that haven’t yet seen Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” I highly recommend it. Regardless, I’m going to do my best not to disclose anything vital.
If you’ve ever read any of my work, then you know how much I love a good conspiracy theory. The trouble is, this is very real, and is an extremely heartbreaking story for everyone involved. I think Steven’s lawyers presented a compelling defense, and if true, then it speaks volumes to the level of corruption within our judicial system. It’s not just infuriating, it’s terrifying.
Can I say with all certainty that he’s innocent? No. However, I believe there’s more than enough evidence to suggest reasonable doubt, and he should be entitled to a retrial far away from Manitowoc County. If he is innocent, I just hope the truth comes out before his entire life is stolen.
Well, hey, this was fun and these were great questions! Thanks again for submitting, and if I didn’t get to yours this time, stay tuned. If you’d like to submit questions for a future edition of #AskHuley, please do so! Here’s how.