Mr. Scanlon took a deep dive into his career path, experiences and some tips on entering the game development industry

More stories from Aiken Silver

Mae Linenberger
March 7, 2022

He wanted to tell stories with art so he originally wanted to be a comic book writer. Toy Story came out and Scanlon changed his career plan. He started to learned about animation, “but,” Scanlon said, “they don’t create enough story. They only design scene by scene, and I wanted to go into more depth.” He turned towards Game Development and went on with that.

He only worked for one company called Avalanche. They originally turned him down, but later they came back for an internship, and he took it. He was working for Avalanche during the development of Disney Infinity. The only reason he didn’t go to a different company was because he had heard horror stories about the high end companies. Scanlon added, “The big two problems in the higher end companies were, and still might be, mismanagement and expecting way more from employees when a lot of the times they were super busy and couldn’t fit things in.”

He worked for Avalanche for 12 years and he only stopped working there because Disney decided that it wasn’t making enough money because they were competing with other games for kids and games like “Call of Duty”. The company got shut down and he stopped working in the industry. Mr. Scanlon still had a plan though. Teaching was something he always saw himself doing one day, so when Avalanche shut down, he started teaching.

He said that something that people who are trying to get into the industry aren’t taught, but they should learn is that most companies in the industry are very, very picky. They require 5 or more years of experience, but it is hard to get 5 years of experience. Mr. Scanlon recommends working on little “projects” to fine tune your knowledge and get those years of experience. He said, “You don’t need to publish the projects. They are just so you can get the experience and reinforce what you already know.” He also recommends that people should learn a couple of the most used languages, like Java or C++. Companies vary in what they use as their main language, so knowing a couple makes you more eligible to more companies.