It was during high school that I discovered my passion.
Yes, yes, I played games an enormously inappropriate amount, but that wasn’t all I did! Actually, I worked extremely hard during high school. Just not towards making good grades. Sophomore year I discovered an amazing love for songwriting; I spent countless hours after school working in recording rooms where I taught myself to sing, play piano, and guitar. Junior year was my own little creative renaissance. Thanks primarily to Calculus class, I filled notebook after notebook with the creative concoctions of my daydreaming: rough character sketches, elaborate plot outlines, and hundreds of songs. I took a bus to another school just to take a course about 3D Studio Max, and then spent many afternoons creating my own weapons, armors, and other cool things I wanted to try importing into my favorite games.
Instead of crappy FM radio, I listened to video game soundtracks. I imagined and composed epic scores of my own. I played daily, and not just to lollygag away the time! I studied other players until I could beat them, learning every intimate detail about one game, then moving on to the next. I invented new ways to use in-game mechanics and dreamt about the ways my own game-mechanics would work some day. Nowadays, I can’t play a game without meticulously analyzing all of its nuts and bolts.
I’m really not trying to toot my own horn here, or convince you I’m anything special. When I finally graduated, I placed near the bottom of my class and had nothing to show for all the work I had done. Totally unfortunate!
My sheltered closet-nerd lifestyle imploded very quickly after high school, yet this burning passion for all these hobbies stays with me even as my focus shifts towards the “next step of my life.”
I’ve spent the last three years on a path very different from most guys and gals my age. I wasn’t meant for college after graduating. Instead, my love for music led me to tour with a music ministry band. I traveled with 5 other volunteers and played nearly every day for the best type of audience a musician could ever hope for: Christians. Even if you’re terrible, you’ll never get booed off a church stage. Gretchen was our band’s beautiful drummer, and rather predictably, I fell totally in love with her as we worked together that year. In two months, I’m marrying her. Since finishing our travels on the road, Gretchen and I have been working full time, planning our wedding, and trying to figure out where we’re going to live for the first years of our marriage!
Somewhere during that year I became a grown-up. Crazy. My laziness and lack of discipline? I threw those out to prepare the way for my new dream.
I’m ready. I’m ready to take all of my passion for games and make it my profession.
This is no pipe-dream, my friend.
This is a calling, emboldened by my all-consuming passion for music, for art, and for design. I see endless opportunities to use those talents as a game developer. They are part of what is going to make my work stand out as my career begins.