Pearl Abyssians

The Story of An Aspiring Archaeologist Turned Game Developer



The first thing that probably comes to mind of an archaeologist would probably be the image of someone wearing a beige jacket and furiously digging through the earth in search of some artifact. An archaeologist is indeed a highly respectable profession, but among the members at Pearl Abyss, there’s a unique individual who decided to forgo his aspirations of becoming an archaeologist in exchange for a chance to develop games. This is the story of Terry Kim. 


How did you end up pursuing a career developing games when you were studying archaeology? 

I was really into Black Desert Online when I was working for a cultural heritage research institution, and I happened to come across an open call for entry level developers from Pearl Abyss. I knew that Pearl Abyss was a company that also hired non-game development majors, so I decided to apply. Going in, I knew I could always fall back on my archaeology studies, so you could say I probably wasn’t too stressed about not getting the job. 


What kind of work do you do at Pearl Abyss? 

When I was still on my probationary period, I was given the opportunity to do a lot of different things. I was tasked with making my own quests, writing knowledge descriptions, and designing the actions of monsters. In the end, I guess I was recognized for being pretty good at designing monster actions, because that’s the main task, I was assigned to handle. I also arrange the placement of monsters on the field and develop stages in the game. 


What do you find more challenging? Working at an archaeological dig site or designing games? 

To be honest, it wasn’t easy making the transition from the great outdoors to a desk job. I was really stumped at first when trying to figure out how to work with excel and XML files. But I got lucky as my coworkers and supervisors were all willing to help me learn. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help. 


Perhaps you could find a way of combining your archaeology studies with game design. 

There aren’t too many similarities between archaeology and designing games, but what I did find out was that the feelings I felt playing games were quite like the feelings I got working at dig sites. I felt the same build-up of anticipation as I dug through the earth in search of artifacts as I did while searching for and discovering items in games! 




What do you want to achieve at Pearl Abyss? 

I want to continue building the skills that I need to achieve a goal that I never once thought I was possible, and I think that all starts with setting small, realistic goals. Right now, I want to make games that my family, friends and I can all enjoy together. 

For me, Pearl Abyss is a company that is forever changing. It feels like the company does a good job of embracing the new. I sometimes worry that I might one day be less passionate about the work that I do and become satisfied with what I’ve already achieved, but when I think about Pearl Abyss, I imagine that day will never come. Change at Pearl Abyss feels like a constant. 

Pearl Abyss is a company that provides excellent benefits and rewards its employees for their hard work. I might even say that my wife is prouder than I am that I work at Pearl Abyss.