Before I wrote my first “Hello World!” in high school, I thought making games was a mystical, voodoo-like, dark arts process that I’d never be able to learn on my own.
Back then, Game Design schools were less prevalent, so I decided to attend my local college, West Virginia University (WVU), to study Computer Science, with the goal of leveraging my programming skills to become a Game Designer. It took a few years after high school to get there, but I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, with a Minor in Physics, in 2013.
After graduating, life circumstances pushed me into taking the first job I could get–Software Consultant–rather than the job I wanted–Game Developer. Now, after six years in unfulfilling jobs, I am determined to achieve my original goal, with one major difference: instead of designing games, I want to program them. One of the most important things I have learned since college is that I truly love programming, as much as I’ve always loved playing games.
I’ve been playing games for most of my life, beginning with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on the NES. I fell in love with RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, and my first open world game The Legend of Zelda.
On Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007 held most of my time and attention, but I also played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the very unique Blast Corps, and my favorite platformer of all time, Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
On PlayStation, I played many more RPGs, including Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, as well as some of my favorite tactical RPGs, Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena.
My aunt brought home the Dungeons & Dragons “black box” when I was around ten years old. She acted as Dungeon Master (DM) for my sister and I, and continued to run adventures for us in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition and Palladium. Around this time, she also introduced me to Magic: The Gathering, which I continued to play off-and-on for a number of years.
In my teenage years, I dabbled in a few other tabletop RPGs, like White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and the related collectible card game Rage, as well as a Tenchi Muyo! RPG made by Guardians of Order.
In high school, I was DM for a weekly Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition game for which I created my own adventures, often improvising an entire session. I skipped 3.5 and 4E, but recently started playing in some Dungeon’s & Dragons 5th edition games and creating adventures within that ruleset.