Alumni Stories: David Flint

After a long career as a young superhero, David Flint decided to trade in his cape for a backpack full of books and notepads. He spent three years at colleges trying to figure out what he actually wanted to do with his life before coming to Saint Rose.

David walked away with an English degree, a backpack-full of new skills and experience, but only slightly closer to knowing what he wanted to do with his life. After graduating Saint Rose in 2007, and watching the movie Grandma’s Boy, he fell into a position in video game development as a tester at Vicarious Visions, best known as the company behind Guitar Hero and, most recently, Skylanders Giants.

David lives in Scotia, with his “amazing girlfriend” Celtae and his pooch, Pooptongue. He maintains a website where he’s written a “very short story” for 214 straight days. “As much as I want to, I just can’t make myself stop.”

Describe a memorable moment, professor, or course from The Saint Rose English Department?

Three moments immediately come to mind:

-During my senior seminar class with Hollis Seamon, I published my first creative story. It was this little tiny 70-word thing that was published in just another online literary magazine. Since Hollis had also been my professor for Creative Writing the semester before, I thought she might like to hear one of her students published a piece born from the time in that class. I couldn’t believe when I saw she’d taken that news and posted it in the English Department’s newsletter. I kept a copy of that newsletter and I still have it in my desk at home.

-Oral Interpretation of Literature with Brian Katz. The class was what you always kind of imagined college to be. There was this structured freedom, I don’t really know how to explain it. Brian really embraced the creative, literary element.

-My last semester, taking Multicultural Wellness. We walked down to Washington Park for class. We got to the park. It started raining a lot. We walked back.

What specifically from your experience at Saint Rose helped prepare you for your job at Vicarious Visions?

In a situation where I don’t know people, or I don’t feel 100% comfortable, I usually keep to myself. My time at Saint Rose really taught me how to communicate even when I’m not totally at ease. Because English courses are so discussion-based, you really learn how to come out of your shell a little bit.

Can you tell me about what you do at Vicarious Visions?

As of pretty recently, I’ve moved into a design position. Without getting into too much detail about what that means, I’ll say that my main responsibility is to write bits of flavor text throughout the game. It’s a lot of fun, but a big challenge coming up with how to say a lot with a small amount of space, and how to keep things fresh for the player.

I’ve been able to learn a lot, doing something in an industry that is exciting, and I get to participate in an industry that I’ve been a consumer of for, well, a long time. As I grow and learn even more, I find myself being able to be more creative at my job, as well as more creative with my own personal projects.

As an alum, any advice you would give current English students.

It’s the stuff that you aren’t really aware that you’re learning that is really going to help you. Sitting in a job interview, you’re probably not going to be asked what symbolic characteristics does Hamlet’s father’s ghost embody when viewed through a deconstructive lens. What’s important is that you know how to look at things from lots of different perspectives. Nobody will ask you to give a presentation on sentence structure to your coworkers, but you may have to give clear and concise feedback to a coworker that is really easy to understand. You finished Ulysses? What that means is that you’re able to stick to a project, see it through to the end, finish a project you started.  It’s the unsung stuff that you aren’t being tested on that is going to really come forth in the future.

Is that advice? I don’t know. Keep an open mind, you never know what skills might help you.

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