Imagine being 19 years old and coveting a job at Bethesda Game Studios, renowned maker of The Elder Scrolls series of RPGs and Fallout 3. What would you do? How could you get this most prestigious developer's attention?
Alexander J. Velicky decided to make one very ambitious Skyrim mod, reported PC Gamer. He ended up pouring in 2000 hours of work over the course of a year to create Falskaar, an adventure lasting nearly 25 hours in a land a third the size of the enormous Skyrim.
Velicky organised input from nearly 100 contributors, including 29 voice actors he auditioned to bring 54 characters to life. Falskaar even has its own original soundtrack.
In order to devote so much time to Falskaar, Velicky was allowed to forego finding a design school after finishing high school so he could make this Skyrim mod his education instead.
"[My dad] was incredibly supportive," he told PC Gamer, "and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent. I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job."
Velicky's aware that Falskaar isn't perfect, but he also believes he's now on Bethesda's radar. "The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team," he believes.
What comes of it we'll have to wait and see, but it's far from unheard of for developers to pluck talented modders from the community to bolster their teams. Encouraging a modding community means developers have a passionate, talented and active pool of people to pick from when the time comes, and those studios can see directly what those people are capable of.