The last three months have been a bit of a roller coaster regarding how I plan to spend my future.

After leaving Bungie last September, I spent a good amount of time just being with my family again and taking care of things around the house that I’d been putting off for a while. In the process, I started the hunt deep inside for what I really want to do next. For me, that process can often times be painfully slow, and it took a toll on my longtime friend, Joe, who also left Bungie at the same time and was eager to get up and running with a new company immediately.

The two of us met regularly and discussed our primary goals and ultimately found that what we each want to do will lead to very different paths. As such, we decided that we should each maintain the strong friendship that we both have for one another, but consider doing our own thing independently.

That lead to what seemed to be an open can of worms with a bunch of job opportunities that I had been deflecting for months. I finally opened up some conversations with a few recruiters and quickly had a number of very real and very big job opportunities to consider. It was humbling to discuss these possibilities since I haven’t been on the other side of the interview table in over 16 years! Ouch.

All of the opportunities required relocation, but a few were more palatable than others, so I continued discussions beyond recruiters and into the dev teams behind the open positions. Creative Directors with experience are hard to find and the studios I talked to were aware of how difficult it is to bring a leadership figure onboard from the outside. But, these studios develop some of the largest franchises out there – bigger than Halo, so they were well prepared to deal with making the transition a good one.

Trips were made, many interviews were had and lots of good connections were developed. I had a ton of fun hanging with the teams, getting to understand how they worked and what their culture was like. It was a fascinating experience. Then the offer packages arrived. They were handsome and most any fool out there would never pass up these kinds of opportunities.

Maybe it was just serendipity that about the same time these interview discussions kicked off was about the same time that a vision for what I really want to do next started to crystalize in my head. It took over my every thought and overshadowed all my interviews elsewhere. With every day that passed, more of the pieces for what I believe to be the right path kept falling into place, and ultimately the answer was sitting right in front of me.

In the end, I turned down the offers – all of them. I think that was the hardest part, because I saw how I could help these studios build great games and strong teams. I also couldn’t deny that actually making money for what I do again would be a nice change of pace. But, following this dream of making something from scratch with my own hands is what trumped everything else. I wish I could predict if this was the right decision or not, but I know for certain that the journey will be exciting.