Systems Intern @ Raven Software
My Time With Call of Duty: Warzone
I spent 9 weeks of Summer 2020 working remotely as a temporary intern at Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision. Internships at Activision are normally 12 weeks, but the interns of Summer 2020 were given 9 weeks due to the studio having to adjust to the pandemic.
I was on Raven's Systems team, with my daily duties consisting of performing research and creating documentation to match. I can't go into much detail due to my NDA, but I can loosely give an idea of what I did over my nine weeks.
I had the occasional task of creating the documentation to pitch a feature or to perform a data-driven analysis on balancing decisions. At one point, I was asked to use spreadsheet software to create an analysis of how much lowering the price of the in-game item used to resurrect a fallen ally would alter the rate at which it was purchased by players. This writeup led to the implement of an in-game balance change.
My largest task was a lengthy research project which I unfortunately cannot talk about. This project was estimated to take me the duration of the internship, but was completed in about five weeks. I spent the remainder of my time generating documentation on which gun attachments were utilized the most often by metagamers in order for the team to reference when creating pre-built blueprints for the online store.
It may be worth mentioning that prior to this internship, I had effectively zero experience with FPS games. To me, being hired was a complete surprise, and I'd be lying if I were to say that imposter syndrome didn't plague my mind during my internship.
I spent all of my free time during that summer playing Warzone to get as good at it as possible. It only made sense. If I'm going to be on the team balancing the game, I should probably get good at it, right?
I went from screaming when shot at by an NPC on any difficulty to being able to get a killstreak of ~8 players at least once per sitting. It's something a little frivolous to be sharing here, but I think it shows my dedication to the games that I work on, and it is something that I am proud I learned to love playing.