Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Cryptic Visit

Monday October 16th Chris and I visited Cryptic Studios in Los Gatos, CA. If you don't know already, Cryptic Studios made one of the most popular online MMO's on the market today "City Of Heroes." The follow-up "City Of Villains," has also done very well, and boasts one of the largest fan followings in the online gaming industry. Cryptic is currently working on "Marvel Universe Online." An MMO based on the popular Marvel comic book universe.

One of my fellow classmates at Animation Mentor is Stephen Stacy. He's an animator at Cryptic, and he was gracious enough to invite the local students to his place of work for a tour.

I have to say our visit was great from start to finish. Everyone at Cryptic was friendly, and more than willing to answer any questions we had about their company and the industry. Stephen was gracious enough to even give us a few pointers on how to build a successful demo reel for a game company such as theirs.

We were wined and dined, not to mention both their art director Shayne Herrera, and CEO/President Michael Lewis took the time to stop by and field a few of our questions.

I was thouroughly impressed not only with how we were treated, but also with their mentality and working environment. Cryptic usually has a 40 hour work week which is pretty good considering most studios ask atleast 50 hours/week. That's not to say they don't have crunch times, but they are a family oriented company, and it shows by the number of employees who are actually very awake.

Probably the most impressive point of the day was learning that City Of Heros was their first game, and it was a smash hit. This has allowed them to be in the position of already obtaining large properties and franchises for their next games and they are in the process of tripling the size of their company in the next year. Needless to say things are looking up for Cryptic, and I know i'm going to be submitting my demo reel once it comes time. Why not? I've already been invited to do so by their staffing manager.

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