Roll Call: Top Hats and Spachemin

When I met Harrumphing Nicholas Hite, he was a bit of a frowner. As a curmudgeon myself, I liked him right away.

For those of you who’ve never done it, working support can be a trying, often thankless job. If you’re not careful, and if your leadership isn’t on point, it can twist you up inside. Under the best of circumstances, that’s a pretty dangerous prospect. In a place like Blizzard, it can be heartbreaking.

From day one, my goal was to restore some of that optimism and get him back on track. It didn’t take long. We quickly waded through the obligatory frustrations with the job. Then he would talk about his enduring love of games and his desire to be a game designer one day.  I could see real promise and determination in him, and I was confident, he would be his best self if he could only see his potential the way I did.

As an exercise, I challenged him to create a board game. Something he could use as a primer when he applied for roles outside of the department. My promise was this, “get yourself back into the top 25% of the department, and I will give you an hour a week, on the clock, to be a paid game designer.”

It worked. Nicholas was coming into work smiling and engaged. A top performer. More than that, his game impressed the hell out of me. When I left Blizzard, he was working on a Pathfinder OGL setting with the folks at Legendary Games. I promised I’d be back in five years, to start a game company, and when I did, I’d hire him.

He danced with joy when I came back in three. Without his passion, talent, and collaboration, Myopic wouldn’t be on the verge of launching Proxy.

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