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19-year-old job seeker spends 2,000 hours building Skyrim mod

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Falskaar (Credit: Alexander Velicky)

It's hard to get a job in the video game industry, but when you kick in the doors like Alexander J. Velicky, it might be just as hard for the industry to turn you down.

Velicky, a 19-year old gamer who wants to make the leap to game making, spent a full year creating a wildly ambitious mod in an attempt to turn woo renowned developer Bethesda Softworks. And it's definitely turning heads.

His labor of love -- a mod called "Falskaar" that adds over 20 hours of gameplay to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- features 9 new storylines, 17 sidequests, recorded dialogue from nearly 30 volunteer voice actors and an original soundtrack. He managed all that using Bethesda’s free Creation Kit, though it took him over 2,000 hours to put it all together.

2,000 hours. To put that into context, imagine working on a project for eight hours a day for an entire year, taking only one daily 20 minute break and weekends to recharge.

“[My dad] was incredibly supportive and allowed me to live here, paying for living expenses and charging no rent,” Velicky told PC Gamer. “I was able to not go to school and not have a day job. Meaning, more or less, that Falskaar was my day job.”

The point, however, was to parlay his work into a full-time gig with Skyrim's parent company. "Falskaar," in a sense, is one incredibly elaborate job resume.

"The best way to show Bethesda Game Studios that I want a job there and should be hired is to create content that meets the standards of their incredible development team," he says.

Bethesda is reportedly aware of the mod, but hasn't said yet whether it's planning to bring Velicky on board. If it doesn't, though, it seems a near certainty that some other developer in the industry will be willing to take a chance on him.

"I'm not an expert who's been crafting game experiences for the last 20 years, so I certainly still have a lot to learn, and I always will. I'm always looking to learn and improve, and 'Falskaar' was a huge chance for me to do this," Velicky said.

Owners of the PC version of Skyrim can download his work here.

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