Problem = Steps to Solution

Apologies for the lack of posts lately! Been very busy at work and spending lots of time out enjoying life and having friends.

Work so far at NCsoft is completely kick ass. For this game, I am the art department. We’re outsourcing all of our game’s art, which is terribly exciting for me since that’s been one of my biggest interests for my whole career. So lately I’ve been looking at artists of all kinds, sending out art tests, art directing, building a budget, scheduling, organizing data, putting new art into the game, writing documentation, etc.
It’s an incredible amount of work, and I’ve never done *all* of this at the same time before, but it’s an absolute blast. Learning to go from creating hands-on art from a micro level to starting to manage, lead and direct from a macro level is an INCREDIBLE perspective shift for me.

EVery day I come up against interesting and difficult problems that I have no idea how to solve. Finding the solutions to those problems is a thrill for me. I’ve found that, ultimately, all it comes down to is looking at a problem, breaking it down into easily digestible chunks, prioritizing those chunks and blazing through them one by one.

So far it seems like a skill, like riding a bike. I’m getting better at breaking down problems and solving them bit by bit. I’m even learning to apply that to my personal life… like how to improve upon things I wish I was better at.

I’ve never really seen this type of problem solving as a key life skill before, but it really is. No problem is so big that it can’t be broken down into smaller, more discrete elements and solved. The bigger the problem, the scarier it looks until you disassemble it into easily understood bits, and then it’s just like anything else.

It’s been a thrill to train my mind to look at a problem and start seeing it as a series of steps to a solution. And the fact that as many people rely on me as they do, and that I’m responsible for all the art on the project, is that much more incentive to get better at it.

So in short, yeah, NCsoft is kicking ass. I’m learning so much, so fast, that I barely have energy at home to read or kick ass on personal projects, just because I feel like I’m going 120mph all the time at work. And I LOVE that!

And the best part of all? No crunch!

I’ll get back to posting more soon, stuff like details on how I’m doling out work, organizing the project, directing artists, developing my tasklists, etc. I think I have a really great opportunity here to provide a unique perspective over time of how a mere artist ascends into management and figures out what the hell to do and how he’s doing it. Because if there’s anyone else writing from this perspective, I’ve yet to hear about him. 🙂

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