I want to write this while the Junction Point studio closure is still fresh to me. I apologize to everyone reading as it’s mostly for myself.
Yesterday was a strange day for me. I can’t comment on a lot of things about Junction Point (there are PR people at Disney for that), but seeing the studio go away is a shame. This group of people was hands-down the most talented group of individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. They were to a man (or woman) committed, talented, professional, friendly, and teamwork-oriented.
My story with them wasn’t the longest. 3 years ago I walked in for my first day and, as one of my friends said, “The place is literally all puppies and rainbows compared to any other job I’ve had.” The group I was placed in already had 4 and 1/2 amazing members (one guy was only in our group half the time) and every day was a joy. Getting to work with Warren was an honor, and many of the others at the studio had worked on some of my favorite games as a teen: Wing Commander, Thief, Metroid Prime, Ultima, and Deus Ex. It was literally my dream come true. There was so much to learn and just observing them taught me valuable lessons and made me a better developer.
The bottom line is that the time shipping Epic Mickey and starting Epic Mickey 2 will be the time I choose to remember from Junction Point. I will fondly recall:
- Warren’s inspirational speeches at company meetings
- The smell of warm cookies from the break room table (Thank you Tiff’s Treats and everyone in HR!)
- Beer/Burger Thursdays
- Learning something new almost every day
- Heated disagreements from very intelligent programmers about esoteric concepts (always ending amicably)
- All the laughing/smiling/chatting between people of different disciplines
- E-mails from “Uncle Beaver”
- Tony’s Tiki
- Going to see all the latest Marvel movies as a studio at the Alamo Drafthouse
- The first time I saw Oswald’s in-game animations (specifically the one where he sticks his tongue out when Mickey turned his back)
- Reading the heart-warming letters from fans (especially the kids)
- Knowing that we were all playing a part in the history of one of the world’s most iconic characters
Now that it’s over, I could be really sad to see this studio go, but instead I’m choosing to be happy I was given a chance to be part of it. Farewell Junction Point. Thank you for the last 3 years. I will never forget them.