Teen builds huge Skyrim expansion in hopes of landing job at Bethesda

By on July 18, 2013, 10:07 AM

If you’ve ever played Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for more than a few hours, you’re well aware of just how expansive the in-game world is. There’s no shortage of things to see and do but in the event that you’ve “been there, done that”, you may be interested in checking out a new fan-made add-on called Falskaar.

The expansion adds nearly 25 additional hours of gameplay and comes packed with new areas to explore. And by new areas, I mean a land mass that is a third the size of the original game. It’s essentially a whole new game as there are new characters, new voices and dozens of quests to complete.

More impressive than the mod itself, however, is the person that put it all together: 19-year-old Alexander J. Velicky. The aspiring teenager invested some 2,000 hours into the project since finishing high school more than a year ago. Tasks included building content, rounding up contributions (like an original soundtrack) from more than 100 people and putting it all together.

Instead of heading off to college or a design school, he used Bethesda’s Creation Kit as his own personal classroom. His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses.

Velicky isn’t shy about the reason for creating the mod – to gain the attention of Bethesda with the hopes of landing a job there. He noted the best way to show them that he wants a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their development team.




User Comments: 31

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6 people like this | Guest said:

Good for him! I hope he gets the job.

14 people like this | Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

If they don't give him a job as at least a Jr. level designer they are crazy.

1 person liked this | wastedkill said:

Now that is dedication if I was a ceo or a game dev at a company I would definitely give him a apprenticeship or scholarship.

5 people like this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They are mad not to hire him, that is extremely impressive stuff! I honestly hope he gets the job, writing a CV and going for an interview is definitely not as impressive and creating 25 odd hours onto a game that took the studio years to make!

Guest said:

I see some ppl gong to be fired in Bethesda

especially among the designers :D

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With a skill set like that, I am sure he'll get the job and very good starting pay! I look forward to playing the expansion when it finishes downloading

2 people like this | LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Yep - grabbing it now before it becomes paid DLC

1 person liked this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Kids these days are really pushing it, developers, designers and all around other professions pushing the bar on what it takes to be the "best" - So many 16 year olds who are doing free work for community projects (private servers, gaming communities and so forth). Amazing. +1

cmbjive said:

Yep - grabbing it now before it becomes paid DLC

Unfortunately for the console owners, we have to pay and can't download the mod.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yep - grabbing it now before it becomes paid DLC
I was thinking about it, even though I don't actually have the game yet. But when the link said "Please login to download", I swatted my hand at the screen and said forget it. I have enough sites I login to, and try to keep the numbers minimized. If anyone knows where I can get this Mod without logging in, I'd be more than happy if you shared the link.

Twixtea said:

That actually pretty amazing stuff for someone who's 19 and lives with his parents.

But this: "His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses."

Who pays his father for living at home? Where's this guy from actually? Because it seems like an odd thing to not pay the parents for rent where he lives as indicated in the article.

Timonius Timonius said:

Nice! I hope he's open to accepting offers from other game developers.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That actually pretty amazing stuff for someone who's 19 and lives with his parents.

But this: "His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses."

Who pays his father for living at home? Where's this guy from actually? Because it seems like an odd thing to not pay the parents for rent where he lives as indicated in the article.

I don't think it's meant to sound like it is weird, so much as it is intended to show that his parents were very supportive of his decision to do this instead of a summer job or continuing education right away... A bit of a play on the "OK, you are 18, now go out and get a job and start being an adult" mentality. I was out of the house and working full time less than 2 weeks after I graduated high school...

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That actually pretty amazing stuff for someone who's 19 and lives with his parents.

But this: "His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses."

Who pays his father for living at home? Where's this guy from actually? Because it seems like an odd thing to not pay the parents for rent where he lives as indicated in the article.

Where the hell do you live where you don't have to pay to live? Since I was 18 I've paid some kind of rent, whether I lived at home or not is irrelevant, I also live in the UK and no, I'm not the "odd-one-out" either, pretty much everyone I know has had to pay some kind of rent to their parents / Land Lord every month. From my perspective, its pretty weird you don't have to pay rent :/ Wish I didn't though!

1 person liked this | LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Clifford - if you don't have a nexus account yet and you're thinking about getting Skyrim then you might as well do it. You'll need it for Nexus Mod Manager - which is great for modding many different games and keeping track of it all. You should at least take a peak at this

This video is 1 years old but it's still very informative and NMM has evolved quite a bit since this video so it's only better. Here are the games that this app can help you mod - http://www.nexusmods.com/

MilwaukeeMike said:

He's a hero to parents' basement live-ins everywhere. We'll no longer be able to think they're being unproductive.

1 person liked this | LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

But when the link said "Please login to download", I swatted my hand at the screen and said forget it.

Clifford mate, you are truly missing out if you don't create a Nexus account. It's one of the easiest signups I've ever done, and once you are logged in, you can download as many mods as you want (at very good speeds, considering I'm in Australia).

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Simply amazing I hope he gets the job, he deserves it. Best resume.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Kids these days are really pushing it, developers, designers and all around other professions pushing the bar on what it takes to be the "best" - So many 16 year olds who are doing free work for community projects (private servers, gaming communities and so forth). Amazing. +1

You should SEE some of the young kids in my local hackerspace, it makes me feel stupid! Although, we all learn from eachother - that's the point.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Wow. That is really impressive. Almost makes me want to play! Lol.

gingerbill said:

That actually pretty amazing stuff for someone who's 19 and lives with his parents.

But this: "His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses."

Who pays his father for living at home? Where's this guy from actually? Because it seems like an odd thing to not pay the parents for rent where he lives as indicated in the article.

errrr... I assumed everyone in the world out of education would pay rent to there parents past 16-18 . Least every person I have ever known does/did.

Hope the guy gets a job with them. I've often been surprised some mod makers haven't been offered jobs (especially twallan for the sims ) .

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow this is impressive. Very impressive.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Reminds me of Game Director Todd Howard, although he didn't get a job at Bethesda until he was a college graduate.

Kudos to this kid.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

That actually pretty amazing stuff for someone who's 19 and lives with his parents.

But this: "His father supported the effort, allowing him to live rent free at home and helping out with living expenses."

Who pays his father for living at home? Where's this guy from actually? Because it seems like an odd thing to not pay the parents for rent where he lives as indicated in the article.

Where the hell do you live where you don't have to pay to live? Since I was 18 I've paid some kind of rent, whether I lived at home or not is irrelevant, I also live in the UK and no, I'm not the "odd-one-out" either, pretty much everyone I know has had to pay some kind of rent to their parents / Land Lord every month. From my perspective, its pretty weird you don't have to pay rent :/ Wish I didn't though!

While I was in school my parents paid my rent and purchased a vehicle for me. Some people are fortunate enough to have parents that can afford to do this. I did get 2 degrees and taught myself C programming though. I was also a near straight A student. The people I know that didn't receive help from their parents were people who just couldn't afford it or didn't show enough promise for their parents to give to nickels and a dime.

1 person liked this | SirGCal SirGCal said:

Unfortunately, doing something like this doesn't negate the need for the education... Sure he might have some skills but, even he admits to needing much to learn. There is no short-cut to going to school to learn how to do it. So many kids today, My 20 year old daughter included dropped out of robot science school cause it was too slow... She wanted gratification now... Doesn't work like that in the real world, sorry. You want the 'big bucks', or at least bigger bucks, and a longer term career and not just a job, you need to put in the time to become great at your job and not just another 'one' at the wheel like the others. That is actually how I've made it through all of the layoffs in the industry myself. The software engineering field especially is very evil and cut-throat and they love you today and fire you tomorrow.

It proves you have drive but, get the education. If you're lucky, someone will hire you on as an apprentice or intern for training and help or pay for your training, that will be huge... That could have been your goal. If they do, very sweet and grats. Or this might even get you some grants for school (free $$$).

But good luck with whatever happens. Just being in the field myself (software), I really wouldn't hold my breath for something huge. What I would hope for realistically right now is visibility, credibility and the simple ability to be able to put your name on that already as your work for an example. It's a step up for job interviews down the road and for school loans, etc. And it's huge! You might get a job, but I wouldn't expect it to be directly from this. But it might help you win a job in the end of everything. Like I said, this is a VERY cut-throat industry... Just short of shooting your way through the doors. VERY short...

Guest said:

Why should they hire him? He creates content for free, apparently there's no need for a salary.

De-valuation of your own job is the keyword here.

Guest said:

I don't get it. It just looks like Skyrim. The mod brings nothing new to the table, just a new area for skyrim which looks like all the other areas, this was weak.

**** this guy this isn't a good effort at all lol

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't get it. It just looks like Skyrim. The mod brings nothing new to the table, just a new area for skyrim which looks like all the other areas, this was weak.

**** this guy this isn't a good effort at all lol

I'd like to see the game mods you've designed, troll.

2 people like this | Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I don't get it. It just looks like Skyrim. The mod brings nothing new to the table, just a new area for skyrim which looks like all the other areas, this was weak.

**** this guy this isn't a good effort at all lol

Even if he just used the ingame textures, a mod of that size is impressive. He did all the placement, all the scripts,all the coding, and all the stories by himself. Imagine what he could do for the dev team.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Even if he just used the ingame textures, a mod of that size is impressive. He did all the placement, all the scripts,all the coding, and all the stories by himself. Imagine what he could do for the dev team.
And what makes this even more extraordinary is he wasn't paid for doing it. We should all consider this a well done job interview.

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