What’s your favorite side hobby? Mine has always been video games growing up. It’s very clear that I have a love for video games, especially if you found this post from my main page. It’s currently June 27th, and I have my upstairs office wall covered in gaming posters. I’ve always wanted to make games for a living or be in the industry of video games, its been the dream.
I remember growing up with an Amiga 500 playing Pluto and Firepower, while coloring things I printed out on Printmaster. Me and my brother used to go to a family friends house to play Mario and Renegade on their NES. The neighbors kid even had an NES that I used to play Excitebike and R.C. Pro Am all the time. Then one Christmas, me and my brother got an NES with Mario/Duckhunt and Megaman 2. The birth of my gamer dream started at that point. I knew I wanted to make games for a living.
When I was in 8th grade, I got a bunch of info from Digipen, which is a video game school essentially. I was reading through all of it with excitement everyday in hopes of going there one day. I spent most of my days drawing and exploring video games of all types. I went from console to a mix of console/PC gaming and had my fair share of love with Starcraft, Diablo, Red Alert, Warcraft and Quake 3 Arena. In high school, I never felt smart enough to be able to go to a great video game school, nor did i have any counselors that knew anything about how to go to school for games. They were all about doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants and other 90’s high end positions the typical person should go for in life.
My love for gaming and drawing hit a crosspath when high school was ending. I ended up going to college for Graphic Design for an associates degree and putting my drawing and design interest into a career. I spent the next 10 years in graphic design and UI design until I went back to college for a degree in coding for web design with a bachelors in Digital Media Production. At the time, the school I got my degree in also had a gaming program which was super exciting. However, I was struggling with 3 kids, 1 being a newborn. Did I do the gaming program and take 4 years? Or transfer over my credits and clean up with a bachelors in 2 years? I put my dreams on hold of finally being a game designer to do the right thing and do what I could to make sure I get a good coding job as soon as possible.
I spent the next 10 years going from a web designer to UX designer to finally a Senior Product Designer in one of the Big 3 automotive companies in the country. I’ve loved my career path up to this point! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be in the gaming industry. The same questions keep coming through my head. How can I transfer my skills from the automotive industry to the video game industry? How can I show my work, rather prove I’m doing great as a product designer when I have a strict NDA?
Rather than think of ways of how to skirt around all that, I’m deciding to just start doing it on the side. Last year, I went through a pretty fun Idle Clicker tutorial and was stoked about reskinnig it and making it my own. It’s still on my list of to do’s. I can say I’ll post daily updates throughout my process, but how often do you actually see someone sticking to it? I feel doing it that way would just put unnecessary stress to post something, anything whether I want to or not, or if its even of quality.
So here’s my current goal for this year:
- I got the year long Zenva subscription on the cheap and go through one of their Unity tracks.
- I plan on using Unity
- I plan on posting updates irregularly on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Create a game to launch as a mobile android game or steam game.
- Join a group or 2 of indie devs to get some continual feedback.
In closing, I’m not waiting on my game design dream anymore. I’m starting it now.