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Old 07-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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19 Year Old Spent 2000 Hours Creating Skyrim Mod To Apply For A Job At Bethesda

I noticed this mod a few days ago while browsing the Nexus, as it's become a huge hit, the current top file and 2,114+ endorsements. Anyway, just now saw this article about it and thought I'd share it for anyone here who's interested. Pretty cool if you ask me! I have a hard enough time just making a quick patch in FNVEdit for Fallout, so that kind of dedication is really impressive to me. I hope Bethesda hire him!

Behind Falskaar, a massive new Skyrim mod, and the 19-year-old who spent a year building it

We love Skyrim mods. A new, noteworthy one for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Falskaar, was released over the weekend, and it is quite a doozy. Falskaar adds almost 25 hours of content, a land mass a third the size of the original game, new characters, new voices, and dozens of quests. As impressive as it is, though, it’s nowhere near as impressive as the creative force behind it: Alexander J. Velicky, a 19-year-old gunning for a job with Bethesda with his first try at modding Skyrim.

“I organized everyone involved, but the voice actors themselves recorded all the dialogue and submitted it to me,” Velicky told me. Though over 100 people contributed in some way, including composing an original soundtrack, Velicky took their contributions and plugged them into Falskaar himself. “I had some people help me out with a few models and textures, someone wrote a book or two for me… But otherwise all content was implemented, written and developed by me.”

So how does a 19-year-old take the helm of a creative project of this size? Velicky wants a job. He graduated from high school over a year ago, and instead of finding a design school, he turned Bethesda’s Creation Kit into his classroom, spending 2,000 hours over the last year building Falskaar.

“[My dad] was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent,” Velicky says. “I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job.”

The mod is fully voice-acted by 29 voice actors playing 54 characters (Velicky held auditions), and the quality is much higher than most community-made content. “I’m still kind of shocked at some of the talent I got on the project… and every single one of them surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.”

A massive dungeon, “Watervine Chasm,” may be Falskaar’s crowning achievement. It took Velicky three weeks to build and players report it takes an hour or two to complete. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Falskaar isn’t perfect,” Velicky says. “I’m not an expert who’s been crafting game experiences for the last 20 years, so I certainly still have a lot to learn, and I always will. I’m always looking to learn and improve, and Falskaar was a huge chance for me to do this.”

According to Velicky, Bethesda is aware that he’s out there, and he isn’t shy about putting his goals right out on the table. “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.”

Falskaar is available now on Skyrim Nexus, and I encourage you to check it out. Have a gander at our list of the 25 Best Skyrim Mods, too.

Link to the mod, for those interested.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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That's awesome. Good on him

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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Wow now that's dedication. I hope Bethesda give this guy a shot! Really impressive.

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Old 07-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Sounds very cool and interesting. Has anyone played it?

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Old 07-25-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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That's more than impressive, hats off to that guy!
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:05 AM   #6
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y played it yesterday, and i must say that it is way better and bigger then any DLC bethesda made o_O, it is more then it seems to be, believe me lol
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:44 AM   #7
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Good for him. Chase your dreams young fella.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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Just thought I'd update this little thread. All of this guy's work has paid off! Well, kind of. He got hired. But not by Bethesda. Bungie, of all devs, decided to take him on board after seeing the work he did in his Falskaar mod.

Alexander J. Velicky has accepted an Associate Designer position at Bungie.

Remember Falskaar, the massive, DLC-quality mod for Skyrim from ambitious modder Alexander J. Velicky? If you'll recall, he poured over 2000 hours and a year of his life into the mod in order for it to serve as a portfolio of his work, in the hopes that someone would hire him as a level designer. Well, I'm glad to report that this story has a happy ending. Velicky has announced on the Bethesda forums that Bungie, Inc, of Halo fame, has offered him an Associate Designer position.

"I'm very excited to announce that I've accepted an Associate Designer position at Bungie, Inc. 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."

Velicky used his forum post to express his gratitude to everyone who had supported him over the years, and answer a few questions over what this means for the future of Falskaar, and his other mod projects. "[It is] still entirely possible [that I will update Falskaar]. I still have some plans that may very well come to fruition. It all depends on after I settle in if I have the time and will to continue," he said.

He added that while most of his modding projects will be put on hold for now, Fallout 4 may tempt him to get back into modding as "I got my serious design start in Fallout 3, so it's pretty likely that I won't be able to resist the draw of Fallout 4 and it's modding tools.

Velicky leaves us with a "corny" life lesson: 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."
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:03 AM   #9
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Bethesda could use someone this talented and gifted at what he's passion.

Hire this guy!
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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Holy balls, Bungie hired him? Bethesda missed out on a devoted game developer; glad Bungie is growing with talent though.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:53 PM   #11
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From both of those sources, the thing I mostly picked up about him was his attitude. He has his head in the right spot. If you want a job why keep applying and talking yourself up, prove that you can do it, like he did. He isn't arrogant either, and also thanking everyone involved haha. Bethesda missed out, but congrats to Bungie.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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Now thats dedication. Great job on Bungies part.
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