Rick Pierce, self-described "mid-level designer moving into senior-level roles," was recently invited to Valve's offices for a second-round interview. He didn't get the job. "You're fantastic, but let's give it a little more time," was Valve's parting encouragement.

Rick's story doesn't end there, though: He sent a nifty card (pictured above; full size here) to Valve as both a "thank you" -- Rick says he "loved every minute" of the interview -- and a crafty reminder to the company that he's a talented designer. His generally uplifting account, as told in comments on Reddit, underscores a tough job market and inspires positive creativity in spite of the down economy. As Rick says, "Hang in there, it gets better."

In that spirit, we'd like to point you to Rick's Quandry texture pack for Minecraft and encourage you to poke around the site of his indie studio Retribution Games. We'd also like to invite you to share links to any of your own game design-related work in the comments section of this post.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.