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18 November 2008
Tuesday, 1:30 PM

What a year this turned out to be.

Shortly after the year began, my time with the amazing team at Happy Cog ended. It was the best thing for all concerned, even if my lack of an exit strategy left me without direction. My comfort zone was toxic, so really, any direction would do.

I set out to get healthy, physically and mentally. I got my finances in order. I drove 9,400 miles around the country. I spoke to a few conference audiences about design. I participated in some story slams. I played competitive air guitar on stages on both coasts, and fulfilled a ten-year dream by writing about it for Fray.

Presidential candidates were decided, followed by vice presidential candidates, followed by an economic collapse.

Earlier this month, in the space of one week, Philadelphia’s streets were twice spontaneously crowded with rejoicing citizens. The Phillies ended the city’s quarter-century athletic championship drought, preceding an historic presidential election which gave us an inspiring new leader who inherits some truly monumental challenges. On both occasions, traffic was blocked by acres of smiles.

And during that week—one of the most joyous, unified Philadelphia weeks I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing—I made perhaps the most difficult, bittersweet decision of my life: I accepted a job in Boston, where I’ll be helping to design user-friendly interfaces for Harmonix, creator of such beloved games as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Philadelphia has been good to me, and I’m leaving behind more wonderful people than I like to think about: friends, family, and Leah, my favorite person. As confident as I am that the most important relationships will endure, and that Boston and Harmonix will have much to offer, this will be a big challenge, and I’m as excited as I am nervous. Whatever happens, I think it’s safe to say this is a time in my life I will always remember.

Some friends and I will be gathering at Tattooed Mom’s on the evening of Black Friday, November 28th. Feel free to add yourself to the event page. If you’re in Philly, I hope you’ll stop by so I can say goodbye.

Filed under: Art/Design, Music, Personal, Philadelphia, Travel, Video Games

Comments Closed (51)

1. Brian Warren says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:38 PM

Congrats on the new job! Boston's a great place, and I expect they will welcome you with open arms. I'm sure it's hard to say goodbye to a place that's a part of you now, but it sounds like a good move. Best wishes on this new chapter in your life.

2. Thommy Browne says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:39 PM

Yea Rob - awesome. I'm happy for you. Best of luck with this new and exciting endeavor.

3. laura says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:39 PM

I'm like... speechless. And a little gutted. And will totally be on post-op bedrest for going away drinks.

I hope I get to see you before you go Rob cos I am seriously crying right now.

4. Cameron Moll says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:40 PM

Congrats! Harmonix seems to be a perfect fit in terms of passion + skills. Would a "rock on" be appropriate in this situation?

5. Greg Hoy says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:42 PM

Bobby, heartfelt congratulations to you. If there was ever an opportunity custom made for you, this is it.

6. Eric Meyer says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:43 PM

Wow. Many congratulations, sir! Can't wait to see Windhammer cameos in future Harmonix products.

7. Ian says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:46 PM

I'm sure being the Philadelphia Regional Air Guitar Champion didn't hurt your chances on this one.

Congrats, I'll see you [off] on the 28th.

8. Andrew says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:47 PM

Hey, best of luck in Boston. Hoped we might get a few more stories out of you at the Story Slams in 2009 since you were *this close* last time. But how selfish of us. Enjoy Boston!


9. Jason Santa Maria says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:49 PM

Congrats, chum. This is going to be a big change in many ways, but it's the good kind of challenge. You are going to be stellar at this! I will definitely be at Tattooed Mom's next Friday to see you off.

Oh yeah, when can I expect my complimentary copy of Rock Band 2?

10. Howard Mann says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:51 PM

Big congrats Rob! Harmonix is a lucky place.

Enjoy the ride!

11. Dan Rubin says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:51 PM

Wow, that's great news Rob, congrats! New chapters are always interesting—indeed, I have a feeling 2009 will involve new beginnings for many talented people (hoping to count myself among them).

12. Scott Boms says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:57 PM

Congrats Rob! I've yet to actually play RockBand or Guitar Hero and I think I'll just wait until the Windhammer special edition comes out. The rest will clearly pale in comparison!

13. Ian Muir says…  |  18 November 2008 / 1:57 PM

Congrats on the new job! It's nice to see more talented designers moving to the area.

Best of luck at Harmonix, I'm sure that you'll have a blast.

14. Ethan says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:00 PM

Philadelphia’s loss is Boston’s gain. Congratulations again, and we’ll see you in a few weeks.

15. Dean says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:00 PM

Dude! Best wishes for the new gig...

Oh, and I know this band that would be totally stoked to have their music in Rock Band...

16. Bridget Stewart says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:02 PM

Congratulations, Rob! Like others before me have noted, this seems like the perfect fit for you.

Additionally, I'm jealous that you will be in Boston. That's an accent I want to acquire. Don't fight it if you started talking like them. Give in! Let it take hold!

17. Lea says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:03 PM

Congratulations, Rob. I think some of the toughest decisions may end up being the best. Harmonix is great and now everytime my husband fires up Rock Band, I can totally be a lame-o and name drop you.

Good luck on your new direction and Boston should be thrilled they have you around. :D

18. Tom Watson says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:03 PM

Congratulations sir! All the best! It sounds like an ideal fit.

19. Elliot Jay Stocks says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:15 PM

Congratulations, Rob! I'm sure you'll have a great time. And what a great way to finally rectify that work / air-guitaring balance!

20. Krystyn says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:17 PM

After witnessing your badass Little Mermaid cover and air guitar at "A Karaoke Apart", there is no doubt in my mind you will rock Harmonix's socks off. Good luck, you.

21. Dan Mall says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:28 PM

Congrats Rob! Harmonix won't know what hit them. See you at Tatooed Mom's!

22. Mike Stickel says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:41 PM

Wow! This is amazing news. Congrats! I too look forward to the Windhammer Special Edition of Rock Band. *rock fist*

23. Jared Christensen says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:44 PM

Woo hoo! \m/

24. Nancy Beaton says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:53 PM

Congrats Rob (or shold i say Windhammer..?), can't wait to see more of the great work you do in this new form.

25. bearskinrug says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:56 PM

This is my last ditch effort to get you to stay...

Marry me.

26. Sarah says…  |  18 November 2008 / 2:57 PM

Seconded about Boston's gain. Fittingly, I think this is the only picture I got of you at last SxSW.

27. Malarkey says…  |  18 November 2008 / 3:11 PM

Good luck pardner, and well done. Do me a favour? Check out the best karaoke venues for when I come to Boston ;)

28. Jason Beaird says…  |  18 November 2008 / 3:19 PM

I can imagine the conversation in the Harmonix HR department now:
"I know we have a lot of resumes of highly qualified applicants for this UI position to go over...but it's F*ing Windhammer! Burn the rest!"
Congrats, Rob!

29. Dan Cederholm says…  |  18 November 2008 / 3:52 PM

Congrats Rob! Selfishly, I'm excited you'll be just down the road now. Cheers, sir.

30. zeldman says…  |  18 November 2008 / 4:01 PM

Miss you already. Very, very happy for you. Rock Harmonix hard and exploit Boston. See you in Beantown and around the web. Congrats!



P.S. Classy write-up.

31. Steven Ray says…  |  18 November 2008 / 4:09 PM

Congrats Rob! Sounds like your middlegame has begun. I wish you continued success in your future.

32. Jenn says…  |  18 November 2008 / 4:15 PM

This is all so you can go to Red Sox games isn't it? A selfish sigh and a sincere congratulations - this is gonna be totally rad for you.

33. michael says…  |  18 November 2008 / 4:15 PM

Philly takes one on the chin...congrats and best of luck nonetheless!

34. Joshua Lane says…  |  18 November 2008 / 4:50 PM

Congrats Rob! Were I still in Philly I would totally join you for pharewell drinks :)

35. Breandán says…  |  18 November 2008 / 5:17 PM

Journeys and loss and changes make for some of the most potent art on the planet. I think and hope that your own emmigration will prove a fruitful ground for your creativity. But bittersweet, indeed.

Be well, and let us know if you need any help with the first edition of Session: Irish Edition.

36. wayne says…  |  18 November 2008 / 5:27 PM

i'm sorry that i'll be out of town for the pharewell, but i'm glad to have been with you for such a large portion of your philly-area time (and the cross-country trip). tell the harmonix people to cram their non-disclosure agreement

37. Naz says…  |  18 November 2008 / 5:49 PM

Joining the choir: congrats Rob and may Boston be kind. It sounds like a good mix of your passions.

38. eric strauss says…  |  18 November 2008 / 6:02 PM

Charlie's Kitchen in Harvard Square :-)

39. Isaac Gierard says…  |  18 November 2008 / 7:04 PM

Best of luck at Harmonix. As one web centric guy that just jumped ship into the video game industry to another best of luck. Maybe we can compare notes, on the culture differences.

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

40. Ms. Jen says…  |  18 November 2008 / 7:22 PM

Congrats, Rob! Have fun and love Boston.

I lived there for 3.5 years and really enjoyed my big adventure in the North End. Change can be very good.


41. David Sleight says…  |  18 November 2008 / 7:51 PM

Congrats on the big move, and very best of luck to you!

42. Lydia Mann says…  |  19 November 2008 / 9:29 AM

Yay! a fantastic, courageous decision. I look forward to seeing what this next stop along the Northeast corridor brings.

Sorry to miss the going away festivities, but hope to make it to some in Boston.

43. Rob Weychert says…  |  19 November 2008 / 10:09 AM

You kids know how to make a guy smile. Thanks for the encouraging words!

44. Stephanie Sullivan says…  |  20 November 2008 / 2:02 PM

Congrats on making the decision finally. It sounds like a match made in heaven... ;)

Will you be in Boston by Dec 9/10? Greg and are are coming into town to do WDW. Would be great to have a drink or two again.

45. Olivia Zinn says…  |  24 November 2008 / 10:35 AM

Congrats, Rob...rock on and enjoy Boston!

46. John Riviello says…  |  24 November 2008 / 10:55 AM

Sounds like an awesome opportunity! Congrats Rob, Philly will miss you.

47. Jon Tan says…  |  24 November 2008 / 5:46 PM

What a roller-coaster year, truly. Windhammer is a definite golden moment of 2008, and it could be said you're living in the most interesting of times. Long may it continue, Rob, and all the best in Boston!

48. Lori says…  |  28 November 2008 / 8:37 PM

Oh, I'm bummed that I never met you here in Philly (though ironically we met briefly in Boston at AEA last year). This sounds like a great opportunity for you, and I'm sure you'll be rockin the geek hangouts after working hours, too. :-) Best of luck in Boston!

49. Kirk says…  |  29 November 2008 / 1:47 AM

Big congrats Rob, not only on the job but for taking the leap. Good things will come.

50. Patrick Haney says…  |  01 December 2008 / 3:55 PM

Wow, somehow I missed the news of your big change. Sounds like Harmonix is the right place for you. I'm looking forward to hanging out here in Beantown when you're not busy making their UI even more rockin'.

51. Catherine says…  |  03 December 2008 / 4:44 PM

Boston wins! It's sad that you're leaving such a beloved place, but all of us up here are looking forward to having you nearby.

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