Working in Games: The Person That Took a Chance on Me, David Martinez
Landing a job in games might not always be that easy but there will be someone who takes the chance on you.
My first role in the games industry was as a Marketing Creative at Raw Fury in 2018. The person who took a chance on me was David Martinez.
First, I want to talk about David. I never get tired of hearing his own story. Turning his life around from some hardships, he started working in PR in games and went on to meet Jonas and Gordon. Eventually, he helped to found Raw Fury. David led the efforts in finding the audience for the company's first published title, Kingdom: Classic! Raw Fury now has a portfolio of over 30 games, with fun and artistic titles such as Sable, Townscaper, and Call of the Sea.
As for myself, my first jobs in marketing were for a mobile app and later, biotech. On the side, I led mid-scale LAN events, served on the board of my IGDA chapter, held tournaments and viewing parties at my local Microsoft Store, furthered my education, and always wanted to do more. However, the more I did the more I felt like actually working in games was a mountain I could never reach the top of.
One day I saw a listing for a Community Manager position at Raw Fury. I decided to apply and found myself getting all the way to round before the final decision. I went on a call that was a rollercoaster of emotions. While the CM position would go to another candidate, they wanted to offer me a position that focused on graphic design because they were impressed by all the things I had made, in my portfolio and for the test they gave me. They bestowed upon me the interesting title, Markreative, a combination of Marketing and Creative that would represent the creative stuff I would make for the marketing team.
It changed my life. Not only was I able to work with games, a medium that had a huge impact on me, I was given a chance to do something that I loved. I’m a self-taught graphic designer. Since I was 12-years-old, I’ve had a liking for fonts, colors, and placing elements in a way that is pleasing to the eye. I had always looked at it as a hobby until I started using it for my marketing jobs. Over the years, supervisors noticed I had an aptitude for it but I thought of it as just that, an extra skill that would just help me over the years. However, even if I treated my design skills as an edge I had at work, I still always felt so much joy and fulfillment in creating the things I made.
Joining Raw Fury in this graphic design-focused role helped me see that this is something I can do as a career.
Okay, now back to David!
He was the one to make the case to have me come on for this newly-made creative role. Having one of the original Furies and a person so well-revered in this industry go out of their way to get me on board meant so much to me. It still does to this day and will always.
Plus, David didn’t just stop at taking the chance on me. He taught me so much more about the games industry.
My first event that I attended as an exhibitor was PAX West 2018. It was also the first time I met my American colleagues, David included. He taught me the best way to explain our demos to attendees, introduced me to his friends, some of whom became my own friends, and always made me feel so welcome and comfortable in what was a new, honestly intimidating, industry.
Even across the world, David showed me the way! Raw Fury is based in Sweden and for the first company conference I went to, he taught me everything I needed to know about navigating Stockholm. He taught me how to get around the city and always gave me his best travel tips. There was even one time I just had crippling anxiety over traveling internationally by myself again after all the years of the pandemic. We traveled together and he listened to all my worries over a ten hour flight.
He taught me a little bit of what he’s focusing on now, scouting. I learned how to better vet pitches sent to publishers.
He even encouraged me to officially learn Japanese, which I now take classes for with him and another colleague, Carly.
He became my career’s champion, helping me advocate for myself.
I really did love working at Raw Fury. It was a joy to work with all the developers RF has partnered up with. All their games are so special to me. The last few years have been an adventure and David has always been there for me.
After four years, I’m moving on from Raw Fury to start a new adventure.
David told me that he’s proud of me.
It's sad to leave him and the rest of my colleagues but I’ll never forget what he’s done for me.
I hope I can be someone’s David Martinez one day!
If you’re having a tough time breaking into the games industry, just know there will be someone who takes a chance on you. In the meantime, it’s always good to be prepared. Opportunity is when preparation meets luck.
If you keep trying, your efforts will find luck and someone will believe in you just like someone believed in me.