Design Flash Games for the Ceeb

The latest job posting of interest for Flash game developers comes from the CBC. The post is MIA on their site, so check out the FlashInTO boards for the CBC Flash game dev posting. It looks like they need an artist to pair up with a programmer.

i interviewed with the CBCKids department a few years ago, and at first blush was impressed with their people and their facility. i’ve heard a criticism that the CBC is a big government-run bureaucratic behemoth filled with stuffed suits stodgily adhering to strict process. At the same time, certain departments (like CBCKids) were described to me as creative islands in an otherwise regimented outfit.

Have you worked at the CBC? Post a comment here and let people know how it went! (The organization is very large, so we’ll take your comments with a grain of salt.)

CBC building Toronto

Cee Bee Cee for me tee vee

One thing i really like about the place is their job application room. i’m not sure if it still exists, but here’s the idea: you go in there, fill out a cover sheet and drop your resume or CV into a box. Then you leave, thinking “what a gigantic waste of time and taxpayer dollars.” (By law, you have to throw in the bit about taxpayer dollars – it’s a requisite complaint whenever anyone talks about the CBC. Believe.)

After dropping my resume in the box many years ago, i wrote the CBC off as a no-go. But months later, when i had completely forgotten how to even spell “CBC”, i got a call inviting me for an interview. You see, when you slip your resume into that mysterious slotted box, it travels a series of brightly-painted and striped penumatic tubes until it reaches the Land of the Employment Fairies. The Fairies hold very serious council meetings about where the resumes should go. These meetings are all very stern and serious, which is adorable because the Fairies are only the size of a dumpling, and just as chubby.

After much bickering, the Fairies decide where in the vast organization your CBC resume submission should go. Then you get a phone call from a man who wants to know if you can come in and interview.

i was fresh out of school when the CBC Employment Fairies gave my resume to a producer. He worked in an office high up in the building. He sat in front of a window in a swivel chair like a Bond villain. My memory might be cloudy, but i’m pretty sure he was bald and stroking a cat. He also rode in an electric wheelchair like Professor Xavier from the comic books, and – again, i can’t be positive – but i think he had a metallic, mechanical hand like Dr. Claw.

Perhaps i’ve villainized him too much, but take a look at our conversation and you can decide for yourself:

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Him: (twirling his long, waxy black moustache) So we need someone proficient at Adobe Illustrator to design props for Air Farce. Signs, posters – that kind of thing.

Me: OK – sounds good! (resisting the urge to add “everything but the Air Farce part”)

Him: (drawing in smoke from a long, thin cigarette holder) You’ve brought a demo reel, have you?

Me: Yeah … but it’s mostly 3D stuff that i did in college. i don’t have many 2D examples from Illustrator, but i’m definitely capable. 2D design was one of my strongest subjects.

Him: (flicking the lid of his lighter made from elephant ivory) Well, let’s take a look.

(At this point, we watch the demo reel. The reel is not very good. Aside from that, it’s not very appropriate for the position – CBC did not give me any indication of what the position entailed before i showed up. Otherwise, i would have brought more 2D work.)

Him: (running his tongue along his diamond-studded front tooth) Hmm. Well, it seems that what you’re really interested in is 3D work.

Me: i’d really just like to start working in the industry to discover my passion! This job sounds like a great opportunity. Eventually, i’d love to get into video game design. But i’m fresh out of school, so i’d like to get some experience somewhere.

Him: (cracking his knuckles) Well, have you thought about taking courses at Sheridan?

Me: (crushed) Uh … i already have taken courses at Sheridan. i’m a graduate. i’ve just come out of school. i’m looking for work now. i’m not going to go spend another four years in school.

Him: (tying a lady to a railroad track) Well, usually sit prospective employees down at a computer to see how well they can use Illustrator …

Me: That sounds great! i’ll do really well. i’m very good with the program.

Him: (murdering a baby) … but we’re not going to do that in your case. Despite what you say, i don’t think you know how to use Illustrator.

Me: … WHAT?? How … how can you even say that? You haven’t even seen any of my 2D work. Just take me to that computer, and i’ll show you how well i know the software.

Him: (launching a surprise nuclear strike against a defenseless polynesian island) i don’t think that will be necessary. Thank you and goodbye. My henchmen will show you the door.

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We form perceptions about people, places and institutions based on singular experiences. After that interview, i wasn’t the world’s biggest CBC fan. i’ve been more at ease about the place lately, though your mileage may vary.

3 thoughts on “Design Flash Games for the Ceeb

  1. Emma

    Bwahahahaha – this interview is hilarious. Although…uh…I guess it wasn’t so hilarious while you were doing the interview and getting your soul crushed. I’ve never worked at the CBC, although I do have a friend who works there as a programmer on cbc.ca. He really likes it and though there is some bureaucratic crap you have to deal with (mainly about unions I believe but I could be mistaken) – overall, he finds working there a very positive experience and he says the people are wonderful.

    Reply
  2. Laura B

    I didn’t work at the CBC but I went to school there. “How is that possible?” you say, well let me tell you. Apparently a lot of CBC employees don’t realize that the International Academy of Design and Technology has literally a thousand students taking over the 8th floor of their building. I went to school there for a year and a quarter where we were told that in my genre (Digital Film and Television Production) that the CBC would be very receptive to hiring students after graduation. Not so my friend. Not only were there no jobs or internships, they didn’t even know a school was in their building.

    Long story short, that interview (aside from murdering defenseless babies) doesn’t surprise me…although it does make me laugh.

    Reply
  3. Ryan

    i have heard nothing but nonsense about the International Academy of Design and Technology. i’ve never attended the school, nor could i scrounge up the tens of thousands of tuition dollars if i tried. My personal experience with them has proven them to be slipshod and disorganized.

    The guy who sold me my bike was taking their game design course, until he learned that due to a mass exodus of industry-involved instructors, the school lost its regional accreditation. He packed his bags and left.

    A friend of mine went there and, after promises of job placement and internships, recevied zilch at graduation, despite frequent trips to their “job centre”. He wound up doing the graveyard shift as a security guard in a dodgy part of town.

    Here’s some more information from jilted IADT students.

    Reply

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