If you were lacking in reasons for why modding is great for gaming then look no further than Alexander J. Velicky. After spending thousands of hours creating a huge mod for Skyrim in a bid to land a job at Bethesda he’s been picked up by Bungie as an associate designer (we can only assume the postman’s poor eyesight led to Velicky’s loveletter to Bethesda being delivered to the alphabetically similar Bungie).
Even in a market where few big budget games support modding it remains one of the best routes into the industry.
“I'm very excited to announce that I've accepted an Associate Designer position at Bungie, Inc,” Velicky writes in a post to Bethesda’s forums. “I cannot express how excited I am for this. But this thread isn't about me. This is about me thanking you; The Community.
“Modding has been ~90% of my life for over four years now, and all throughout you were there to support me. I know this will sound weird since this is an open community composed largely of random anonymous people from 'The Internet', but you're kind of like my second family. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank every person who ever provided feedback on a mod, support, help, or something as simple as a "Cant wait!" or "Great job." Every single one of you made this possible. From driving me to work throughout development, to providing astounding amounts of feedback and support to help learn and improve after releases. I owe it to all of you.
“Without the incredible support of this community over the years I doubt I'd be anywhere noteworthy right now.
“Of course, all of this leaves me with one corny 'life lesson' that I'd like to extend to all of you. Never be afraid to try. I set my sights on a professional design job pretty early, I lowered my head, charged forward, and rarely looked back. Of course, I ensured what I was doing had a reasonable chance for success from time to time. But the most surprising of all, is who I've ended up with. I applied to many companies, and Bungie was in my, "Huge company that will completely ignore me." category. Well, they didn't and look what it got me. Bungie is an awesome company with an amazing team, and I'm very lucky that they've decided to give me a chance! Never be afraid to try. I spent the time it took to apply and the rewards are proving to be greater than I could have possibly imagined.”
It’s too soon for Velicky to say whether he will continue modding. He admits that it’s “unsure. It's certainly still possible.” But his “professional work will be of utmost priority”. The same goes for creating FAQs and updating Falskaar.
Still, if Fallout 4 becomes a reality then “it's pretty likely that I won't be able to resist the draw of Fallout 4 and it's modding tools.”
You can check out Falskaar by installing it from Nexus Mods.
It's great that Velicky's found a job in the industry through his modding work. Now, hopefully, he can convince Bungie to start releasing their own games on the PC along with modding tools so that more budding designers can find their outlet.