Game Front 1-on-1: Natural Selection 2′s Hugh Jeremy
“It was basically, one day, I was at work and I noticed that one of my videos did not have five views, it had 3,000,” he explained. “I said, ‘What the f–k! How did that happen?’ And it was because (Game Director) Charlie (Cleveland), I think, had tweeted, ‘Hey check this out — this is okay. This is an okay video.’
“And I was like, ‘Oh my god! They saw it!’ From then on, it just kind of built up. They were kind of looking at the videos and going, ‘Hey this is all right,’ and “why don’t we tweet him a bit,” and eventually started talking to me about it and showed me the internal chat that they use to communicate with all the people offsite, and it sort of brought me into the family.”
He’d been on the job for only three months when I met Jeremy at E3; he’d picked up his life and moved from Sydney, Australia, to San Francisco to take the job.
“Honestly, the only drawback is the fact that I had to leave home,” Jeremy said. “There’s three things, right — what does Clint Eastwood say? What is it, a car, a girlfriend, and a job — and to come here, I had to give up all three of those. And obviously family and all that, and your home. And I love Sydney, it’s awesome. I was there just last weekend, but having to give all that up to come to your very nice country — and I thank you guys for having me in your very nice country – that’s the tough part. That’s the only, only drawback of doing this.”
It was a choice Jeremy said he just had to make, and while leaving home was hard, he felt he had to jump in with both feet.
“It’s tough to make that choice and go, well, you’ve got all this awesome stuff here, but there’s something even awesomer over there,” he said. “And you meet girls, and you can always buy a new car, maybe, one day, if you’re really lucky, and you’ve got the job. So it’s like, just get out there and do it. You’ve gotta engage, and go full force, and go all out, because if you try to think about it too much I think you just end up a blubbering mess at all the stuff you’ve left behind.”
A new community manager isn’t the only thing Unknown Worlds has drawn from the community surrounding Natural Selection 2. In fact, the developer has drawn a number of people from the community and hired them on in full-time positions. Jeremy explained that when the small development team (it consists of six people in total) sees passion, it looks to recruit those people.
And because Natural Selection 2 has such a robust, dedicated community, a number of people who have worked on mods or built maps for the games have been pulled up to work on the game in a more official capacity.
“We have mappers who have just been out there making maps, and they’ve just been doing a really good job — or coders who have been doing a really good job,” Jeremy said. “…It’s just finding people who have taken up their own initiative to just make awesome happen in NS2, and then taking them on board. Our most recent hire, a programmer, was because he was just doing it. He was just being awesome. And he’s on the team now. He’s off site, but he’s on the team officially, he’s a full-time employee. So that’s how Unknown Worlds rolls.