DeVV Diaries: Elijah Dixon, Production Intern
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a recent graduate from Champlain College with my degree being in Game Production Management. Most of my game development experience has been through my education and my own indie projects, but I also have a background in video production where I made music videos and tech demos in the Austin, TX area. I’m a lifelong learner and I fall in love with my work, but when I am not working I like playing fighting games and MMOs, camping, swimming, writing, and eating burrito bowls. I’m always working towards self-improvement, a happy heart, and a calm mind.
How did you find out about VV’s internship program?
Vicarious Visions has been visiting Champlain College for years now and when my career advisor told me VV would be running production internships for the first time ever I jumped on the opportunity and made sure my resume found its way into the pool of candidates. A week later I had an interview and a week after that I got an offer!
What has your experience at VV been like so far?
Working at VV has been exciting and educating! It is quite the production feat developing for such an expansive game as Destiny 2; it has been illuminating to see how my previous production experience has been able to be applied to this AAA environment. During my time here I’ve been able to work with the weapons, bosses, and world teams. I’ve helped build out backlogs, set up playtests, run rituals/meetings, and even organized a project wide sprint review!
What’s your favorite aspect of working at VV?
There is a fun and family-like culture here that got me invested early on. When problems arise people jump on the issue, band together, work through the problems, and figure them out. There is very much a can-do attitude that helps drives collaboration and doing the job right. It’s a rare to find determination, focus, and care all in one place especially when faced with unideal situations– I am glad I have gotten to experience it for a time. Also, free donuts and bagels every Friday definitely doesn’t hurt!
Do you have any advice for a younger student looking to attain an internship?
Among having a polished resume and practicing for interviews, a lot of getting your foot in the door involves grit. This is the fourth internship I’ve had and certainly not my first job, but it is the first time I’ve gotten to work in the game industry. In the past, I’ve iron bed sheets, made who knows how many paper copies, been sent out for coffee runs, etc., Gradually, I have built up the experience and taken on bigger responsibilities to prove to people that I am reliable and that I have the skills to get things done: so never give up!
Additionally, don’t be afraid to make your own experience! It’s important to practice your skills in school and to treat your education like work experience, but even more important is showing that you can use those skills outside of a school environment. In my free time throughout college I released 3 indie games which beefed up my resume, allowed me to further practice my skills, and gave me more context for different types of development environments.
Has there been anyone at VV who has been a mentor?
My manager, Kara Massie, has guided, coached, and advised me immensely during my time here at VV. Seeing her care and strong will has inspired me. She has pushed me to grow both professionally and personally, has been a friend, and has cool kooky hair!
What’s your dream job?
One day after I accumulate a bunch of experience that I can later call upon– I want to start my own studio, lead the vision of the company, help foster the culture, and make fantastic games that push this industry to grow.
Our DeVV Diaries feature exclusive interviews with our developers and include highlights of their work as well as tidbits about recent games. Be sure to check back for more DeVV Diaries.