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The Journey from Gamer to Game Maker : Chapter 1 The Gamer

I started gaming at a very young age in the early 90's with my dad's NES. He was big on Mario, so naturally I started there, but I quickly branched out into many more unique adventures. I think the day that sticks out to me the most when I knew I would be a gamer was when a family friend gave my brother and me a full box of NES games and 2 NES systems (one working and one broken). The box of games had to be 50 - 60 games. We had everything from Tecmo SuperBowl to The Legend of Zelda to The Magic of Scheherazade, it was incredible. I spent many hours when I was younger getting incredibly frustrated when I could not beat a game past a certain point, as I'm sure most all of us have (and still do :) ). In any case, my younger days were filled with many sports and outdoor activities, with parents who aggresively encouraged outdoor play. Thus, I wasn't allowed to play video games too much, and when I did I was more into the immediate gratificiation, as opposed to the long grind of certain games that couldn't be saved at the time. Which reflected upon my gameplay choices of the time, leading me to miss out on some EPIC stories simply due to lack of time or patience

Though gaming was necessarily encouraged, my parents did love to take road trips to see family, so when the gameboy came out my brother and I each got one. I believe Super Mario Land to be the first game I completed the entire way through with no assistance. It was also the first one I had beaten that I had never seen anyone else beat, I can still remember the last level of the game with fond memories. My gaming evolution continued with a Sega Genesis, though I was fortunate to have a friend who had both an SNES and a Sega Genesis (this kid also had a Sega CD, so that's what kinda parents he had lol). Looking back I did enjoy my time with my Sega, playing games like Top Gear 2, Street Smart, and Golden Axe II. But I will say that I wish I was able to have the SNES experience, I played games like Act Raiser II, Super Metroid, and Mario Kart that got my blood pumpin! Though speaking of blood, I was the envy of my friends when I got Mortal Kombat because the Genesis version had blood while the SNES version did not. sd

After the Genesis I climbed the ladder again to the original Playstation system. When I say ORIGINAL I mean this one had a demo disc in with Metal Gear Solid and Brave Fencer Musashi on it! I can tell you I became a Metal Gear Solid fan instantly, and the Playstation helped influence the gamer in me in a way no other system will ever be able to lay claim to. The Playstation system holds 3 of my top 5 favorite game of all time; Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy Tactics. I sunk so many hours into so many other games, from acquiring demo discs from friends to getting japanese versions of Dragonball Z games, I really loved that system more than any other. So it was a quick transition into the Playstation 2 System, with a Dreamcast and N64 planted somewhere in between (I still have these two locked away somewhere). My greatest achievements on this system have to stem from GTA: San Andreas and MGS 3 : Snake Eater. Those two games alone took countless hours out of my life, especially my freshman and sophomore years of college. But during this time I also acquired an XBOX and began my assualt on Star Wars : KotOR, an incredible game (bugs and all) that I enjoyed to no end. I admittedly wasn't a huge Halo fan, though I did play through the first two, my brother was always much better than me at that game so that was his thing.

In the meantime, I picked up a cheap gamecube and went to work on the likes of Smash Bros., Zelda Twilight Princess, and Custom Robo. You'll notice on most systems I have, I play some games that most people haven't picked up and I like to beat them. I feel a bigger since of ownership and closeness to the stories that a lot people don't know and the games that not EVERYONE has played. That said I do pick up my blockbuster awesome games as well, I'm not a hipster gamer or anything like that. Shunning the big games in favor of an all Indie lineup, but I love that the gamespace has grown to such an incredible scope that we have so many choices on types of games and platforms to play on!

Jumping a few more years, I picked up a PS3 within the first 6 months of it coming out, with MGS 4. I loved the system, but it taught me a valuable lesson about early adoption strategy and understanding where the landscaping is shifting towards. And although Playstation executed MGS 3's online system well for the PS2, PSN was destroyed by Xbox Live during the Xbox 360/PS3 Generation. Thus I made the switch over to Xbox 360, which second to the Original Playstation is one of my favorite systems of all time. I still own my Xbox360 and beat games like Resident Evil 5 and 6, Batman : Arkham City, Max Payne 3, Gears of War (Series), Rayman Origins (wife's favorite game), and the list goes on. I loved what Microsoft did with the 360, and still think it was a much better all around system than the PS3 (my opinion here, even though PS3 was more powerful spec-wise without question).

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they got a little too big for their britches in the video game space, and they began trying to dictate the terms of how we gamers would play games. Always online policies, no trade-ins, no using your copy of the game on a friends console, etc. Yes, Yes I know, since then Microsoft has reveresed all of that, but the damage was done. They basically gave their loyal fanbase the middle finger and forgot that they did not start this and their competition isn't stupid. Many of us came up on the original Playstation console, so it wasn't like we were shunning Microsoft for some unknown console. I switched back to Playstation, and frankly barring some incredibly huge misstep, I don't see going back to Xbox, though I will remain open minded. Currently I am playing Destiny, NBA 2k15, and Transistor on Playstation. I also own Watchdogs, MSG 5: Ground Zeroes, and Diablo 3. I love my system and the growing pains it's going through right now are expected. I am 28 years old and I understand how the cycles work from the experience growing up and working in the IT industry. I'm excited about picking up Dragon Age : Inquisition soon (hopefully this weekend) and looking forward I can't wait for what's to come (No Man's Sky, the Witcher 3, The Morpheus Headset, etc.). But that's it for a very quick breakdown of my gaming history. I definitely summarized quite a bit and left out systems like the GBA and the DS, which I owned and currently own respectively. If you'd like to know anything more about what games I've played check out some of my reviews, or send me a PM. Thanks for reading! The journey conitnues....

The Journey from Gamer to Game Maker : Prologue

Good day to you!

I hope everything is well! I recently decided to make the switch from a totally sales based job in the IT industry to a job in the Gaming Industry. A place I know many of you have thought about going, plain and simply because we are gamers! Gaming is in our DNA and we love everything about gaming, and if you’re like me, the only thing that could match gaming itself is collaborating with creative individuals to create one! Over the next year I hope to learn what it takes to join the gaming industry and learn the tools and skills needed to do so.

First I must decide what part of the game developing team I’d like to be a part of, I like to write so I think eventually I would like to be one of the authors who crafts the story. (I'm also writing a graphic Novel which I hope to publish and freely distribute by next year). For now I’m immensely interested in creating the 3D worlds that these characters inhabit as well as the characters themselves. From what little research I have done a lot of people are recommending learning C++ just to get a good foundation under me, which I have taken to heart and have started self-studying using CodeBlocks and http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/. I am going to continue research into the different parts of the development team, I have seen company’s like Blizzard have this split into categories such as: Art & Animation, Design, Engineering, Production, and Operations. Within each of these jobs get more granular and specific. I'm incredibly excited to be making this leap into an industry I've always enjoyed! This will serve as a mini introduction to my journey, which I will continue to detail daily through this blog.

There will be a lot of ups and downs and I'm sure bumps in the road along the way. But I know at the end I'll get to my goal!

Hope you enjoy the journey!