deutsche_woche.jpg My name is Crispin Frosch, and today, I will have been an intern at Schadenfreude Interactive for ten years.

There will be a small celebration later. Ulrike (our VP of sales) has a special cake planned. Hopefully I will not even have to stay late to make up for the time spent at my party, or the time spent writing this blog post because Karsden is busy today.

Whenever I tell someone about my job here, they are jealous -- everyone wants to work at a game company. They want to be game designers. They always tell me of the dream game* they want to make.

also Snape dies

This dream game is always an RPG about an orphaned boy who is given a special magical sword and goes out to fight an evil man and meet a wizard and rescue a princess. Sometimes the evil man turns out to be his father. Sometimes the princess is in another castle. Sometimes the wizard turns out to be gay. There is nothing wrong with this, it is just not very original, no?

These same people imagine an internship at a game company to be very exciting. You must have a big desk, a huge flat-screen monitor, and a foosball table! Most of the day must be spent tightening up the graphics on various levels and eating delicious pizza while playing Xbox.

In all reality, here is what I do:

I answer the telephones. I make coffee and tea. I take notes in meetings. I am the only one who understands the insides-workings of the projector, the facsimile, the copymachine, and Lothar’s PowerMac. I am the one to ask if they need extra toilet paper, an original copy of M.U.L.E., an explanation of an American "joke" in PC Gamer or a 3-foot glow-in-the-dark USB-cable. They always make me go to the Leipzig Game Conference because they are all too busy working, or they want to go skiing.

Indeed, my co-workers are a strange group -- they are not all the glamorous, elegant types like Jade Raymond and Cliffy Bleszinski.

Let me describe the office to you as it is right now. Someone is listening to Kraftwerk very, very loud. Karsden is trying to decide what ski sweater to wear for an interview with a magazine (right now it is down to "red with white reindeer" or "blue with yellow reindeer"). It is only a telephone interview, of course, but he always says, "Wenn Sie gut aussehen, Sie sprechen gutes". So very loud, the Kraftwerk is. When I last walked by his cubicle, I saw that Otto, our lead programmer, is making a scale replica of the Matterhorn on his desk out of mashed potatoes.


How did I come to be here in such a place, you might ask? Well, I have loved games since a small child, especially board games. My hero is Reiner Knizia. My mother says I was playing chess as soon as I could be trusted not to swallow the pieces, and I have been the chess champion of Ludwigshafen since I was five years old. I also am undefeated at Cooking Mama.

And I do love my job. Where else would you get to see a game grow from a mere idea to gold master -- especially when you must sleep under your desk until that gold master is burned so that you can rush it to the shipping office when it opens the next day?

Perhaps, one day, I will be a game designer. But until then, I must go – Otto needs me to get more potatoes.

-- Crispin

*My dream game? A cross between The Incredible Machine and Balance Of Power.