I attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 1996 to 2000, and come Junior year, it was time for me to take on a proper internship. My academic adviser saw that I was working for gaming magazines and skipping classes to go visit id Software and Valve every month, and suggested that maybe I should intern at one of the local flight and maritime simulation companies, because they were making stuff that was kinda like games. I replied that I’d try to wrangle up a proper game company on my own, and wound up ringing Bethesda.
It was a smart move. Bethsoft was great — very welcoming and organized, plus close enough to my parents’ house that I could drive home to Pennsylvania on the weekends. I inherited Julian Lefay’s old workspace, sharing an office with the delightful Hugh Riley (who went on to art direct Shadow of Mordor, and took me to see “Devo” live in concert ten years later in Seattle).
While I was there, I got to see the birth of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind through an incredible crash course in game design, watching Ken Rolston and Todd Howard make design decisions that would wind up defining the massively popular franchise that is Elder Scrolls. (My internship also coincided with the creation of Zenimax, which gave me a peek into the biz side of things — most of which went over my head.)
In this picture, I am the Certifiable King of the Dorks. Visible: PC running Windows 2000 Beta & 3D Studio MAX 2 (crashed once every 20 minutes), ergonomically questionable Microsoft Sidewinder joystick, random McFarlane Quake II and Spawn toys, copies of Redguard and Battlespire; chubby ginger nerd.
In any case, the three months I spent at Bethesda were better than I could have hoped for, and I have incredible respect for the staff who put up with the clueless, talentless entity that was myself circa 1999. Working with interns is all about patience, and they had buckets of it. Thanks, guys.