Sunday, May 13, 2012

Falling Behind, Climbing Up

I've been fascinated with Steve Jobs for years; his speaking techniques, his ability to save a company from the brink of bankruptcy, his push for quality design in consumer products, etc....  From reading his biography and watching YouTube videos of him I've become both inspired and frustrated.

The inspiration stems from what he was able to accomplish over the course of his life.  The frustration stems from the comparison of what I have done in my professional life.

In 3rd grade, Gilman, taught us to program, and it was at this time I decided I wanted to make unique, fun games for a living.  This was validated in middle school where we had a rule:  no one could play video games except for ones created by students.  For a few weeks, there was little, if any, game playing.  The most proficient kids were building ascii mad lib games.  Unsatisfied, I knew enough from coding at home to put together a real-time, graphics-based, action game.   I remember looking at the class one day and every single student had my game up on their computer.  Because of that, the teachers almost changed the rule to "No games at all!"

In high school I learned the joy of compiled Applesoft BASIC (thanks to Kevin "Frostbyte" McCormick introducing me to Beagle Bros. software) which gave me a x10 speed increase.  Study halls were spent doing level design instead of studying.  The payoff: after school, again seeing every single computer in the lab with my game up on it.

Then college happened, I learned Turbo Pascal & C++, but games were never finished.  Half the time Bill and I would be making demos, or be too excited about the compiler and test-driver we were writing at our day jobs to have time or energy to finish games at home.

That was over 10 years ago.

Today I'm making AAA games for a living.  I'm teach games at a University on the weekends.  I've rebooted the Baltimore IGDA chapter.  I'm participating in Game Jams.  I've started a monthly Game Developer Podcast. I'm not satisfied...

Despite all my activities and accomplishments, I feel I could be doing something bigger.  I don't know what that entails, but I do have a "dream project" in mind for the past decade that I've been hesitant to start.  Its' the one project I won't pitch at my day job (without right of first refusal) because too much of myself is poured into it.  Perhaps it's time to climb the mountain.

... also I want kids.

1 comment:

Tronster said...

I say proceed, with a fall back plan, I just received the Steve Jobs book by Isacson and its my next read.

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