At this point, he realized that he wanted to do something else, but it had to fulfill him. He went with another of his lifelong passions: video games. Binkowski started playing games at the age of five with an Atari with games like River Raid and Pole Position. Looking around for game companies in his city, Binkowski discovered Techland. “They had an open position for an Associate Producer,” he says. “I applied, and then that’s it. I didn’t get the job. Again.” Binkowski is nothing if not resilient to rejection. But rather than roll with the punches, he sent Techland an email that basically told them they made the wrong decision because he knew he was valuable to them. He waited for a few days with no response, until one day they called him saying that he got the job. “They were thinking about putting me in the entry level position in Quality Assurance, but looking at my resume, they figured I was probably going to quit, so they just gave me the Associate Producer position instead.” He joined Techland on the Dead Island project, working directly with Game Director Adrian Ciszewski, the man that taught Binkowski everything he knows about making games. He kept putting in hard work until he landed a position as the Lead Game Designer for Dying Light, where he currently invests all of his energy and love.
Techland announced the upcoming expansion The Following on July 25th with a $14.99 price tag. The plan was to include it under the $19.99 season pass, but on Wednesday, Nov. 25th, they announced that they were raising the price from $19.99 to $29.99. I asked Binkowski what ultimately warrants that monetary increase in an age where season pass prices breed more contemptuous rapture than a newly converted sith lord. “Well, if you have a season pass, nothing changes for you,” he says. “You paid your money, you get it. We want to play it fair. We started developing and testing it, and it just started to grow. The design people are our ‘bluebirds,’ where if you don’t stop them, they just keep doing more.” With all of this newly formed content, business representatives felt it was only appropriate to reward all of that extra effort while still being as transparent about the changes as possible, informing players of a 13-day window where you could still secure that lower price by Dec. 8. “It’s not the perfect way, but I hope people understand. We believe in staying close to our community. Building a relationship of trust… [the word] ‘necessary’ doesn’t give it justice.” In regard to their presence at PlayStation Experience, Binkowski says, “How could we not be here? We feed on that energy. It’s like putting Red Bull right into your heart combined with honey and love. It just keeps you going.”
With a new map that’s bigger than the two locations available in the main game, an upgradeable zombie murder-mobile and more, I can’t wait to dive in. I believe hard work deserves proper compensation, especially in an industry rife with career instability. You can expect to see the massive expansion in next year’s first quarter.