William David, a Ubisoft developer, decided to quit his job in the same way he did it: by making a game.
Leaving your job is always a tricky business. You’re happy because you’re hopeful to move onto greener pastures, but at the same time you’re afraid of new things. It’s an experience full of optimism and apprehension, and, undoubtedly, awkwardness. How do you tell your colleagues that you’re saying goodbye to them without inadvertently saying you’re leaving them behind? For William David, a Ubisoft developer, the answer was to do it the only way he knew how: by making a game.
In Leaving, you control a character by scrolling from left to right, as you move away from a giant theater with the Ubisoft logo on its marquee. As you pass across black-and-white screens to a graceful Frank Sinatra soundtrack, you encounter other figures. They’ll ask you why you’re going, they’ll tell you not to go, they’ll urge caution. Some will express encouragement, though they’re not exactly cheering you on. When you reach the final screen, you have to make a literal leap of faith. Easy enough to do in a videogame, maybe not so easy in real life.
It’s really a very touching experience, not as much of a “f**k you, big company” as you might expect, probably closer to Jason Rohrer’s popular “art game” Passage, though obviously it’s not nearly as grave as that. Mostly it seems to be David’s way of communicating to people why he decided to go, why he needs to go and what it’s been like for him. I found myself empathizing with the player character in a surprising way: I would stop moving when a person talked to me, as if I were hesitating myself, and when I got to the final “leap of faith,” I tried to make the character turn back. “No way back,” it said, the only thing it seems to be able to say in the game.
David is apparently starting on a career as an indie developer. I wish him good luck, though he seems to be off to a decent start already.[Via IndieGames]