A brief history of things:
- 18: Portrait Photographer
- 19: Learn QBasic, make a text based adventure game, freak out comp sci boyfriend.
- 22: Move from the Midwest to the lovely San Francisco and begin my bachelor’s degree in Film Visual Effects
- 24: Turns out I’m a far better film editor than effects artist. Switch majors.
- 26: Graduate with a BFA in Motion Picture and TV with an Emphasis in Editing, and all the fun visual effects classes.
- 26: Move to London
- 26-32: Freelance editor. Mostly documentaries (BBC, Chan 4) and interviews (The Box – a now dead music video channel)
- 31: Move back to the states.
- 32: Apply to grad school for Video Game Development (programming).
- 32: Classes begin and I find a 9-5 graphics job.
As of this writing, I’m about 2 years into a seemingly endless grad program at Depaul University in Chicago. Master of Science in Computer Game Development. With the prerequisites and starting out as a part-time student, it’s going to take awhile.
As a good long time friend said when I told him about the drastic change:
It just gets to the point where modifying models/textures/animation isn’t enough, is it? I imagine it went something like this: “Fuck it. If nobody else is going to make a successful MMO, I WILL!”
Pretty close. It was a long and weird winding road that brought me to this moment, but “Fuck it. If nobody else is going to make an MMO that I want to play, I WILL!” sums it up.
It was 2010, I was sitting there struggling to find paying editing work during a recession and I randomly started looking into grad schools. I wish that I could say that there was some grand plan of it all, but there really wasn’t. It was the only program I had applied to and it was completely on a whim. I think I might have been drinking, but I’m not certain.
The acceptance letter showed up and that’s where the thinking really came in. I’ve always been techy and good at it. Check. I did take apart the new Apple IIe when I was 4. Check. I love playing games. Check. Math was always pretty easy for me even if it’s been a while. Check. I started coding HTML via notepad in the 90′s and that was fun. Check. I spent an odd summer trying to break Linux… 1995 I think. Check. Roughly around the same time I was dating a comp sci major who explained QBasic briefly and I went off to make a text based adventure game. Check. Late 90′s I worked in a computer shop upgrading and fixing computers. Check. I had a bit of fun learning enough php to be dangerous. Check.
But… I love art. I love art and hate artists – the ones who use “artist” as an excuse for being crazy or an asshole. I hate the film industry. I hate that anyone with Final Cut Pro and an ability to talk out of their ass can call themselves an editor and drive rates down.
But… I love tech and hate techies – the judgmental, arrogant, misogynistic, man-child, assholes. The misogyny is incredibly stifling and I don’t know how much fight I have left.
In the end it was just a gut feeling. As soon as that acceptance letter came in the wheels in the back of my head started coming up with ideas. Ideas that I didn’t even know were back there started coming up and I decided to take a chance.
I’m happy I did. Turns out coding comes easy to me, but is also a challenge. I also love solving the puzzle of getting a machine to do what I want it to do. Total nerdgasm. I love how it is part art and part logic. I love the moment of clarity I get when I couldn’t something to work and then I just… figure it out.
- Buddhist – life is pain, suffering is optional.
- Snarky – A cheeky, dry sense of humour that is combination of sarcasm and cynicism with a mild, playful irreverence or impudence.
- Martial artist – Wushu and Sanshou
- Cyclist – haven’t owned a car since 1999.
- Gamer – been playing since I was 4.