So that is not really a pun ("Let the Games Begin") because I am currently pursuing a MFA in Interactive Media and Game Development through Savannah College of Art and Design. I am very excited about the first class that focuses on developing a Thesis; Studio 1. I have a few ideas for a Thesis floating around in my thoughts, and it is time to throw them to paper (or pixel) and start to see which ideas seem to hold the most value.
Well, I'll save you the reader the long story about how I've been playing games my whole life, and when I was a kid I always dreamed of making games...blah blah blah; pretty much every kid that got into games has the same story. Where my story became different was around 2001; I met this pretty nurse at the doctors office where I facilitated the lab and the blood draws (yes, I am a vampire, professionally). My now wife and I started dating, and in my free time I would do sketches for her. I had been drawing for years, but I had lost site of art as a career. Sarah, who loved Disney films (we still have all her VHS tapes) encouraged me to take my skills and go back to school for an art degree. I enrolled and got interested in the game program that was just starting up at the Ai in Schaumburg IL. I did very well in school, I won Artimation 7, an industry judged art contest, for best level design. The next year my team and I won Best Team Game, and then in 2010 we also won Best Team Game of the decade for our work in Artimation 8. Needles to say things were looking great and I was looking forward to graduating and getting out there.
I graduated in summer of 2007 and through a contact made at our portfolio show I was given an art test for Midway Games. I interviewed and was hired as an art intern! I worked on Blitz the league 2 mostly on modeling and texture work, but I also had my hands in lighting and rendering some of the team captain intros. I stayed at Midway for a year, and though I wanted to work full time there, the days of the company were numbered, and I was let go shortly before the company went under. I used my contacts to get an interview at High Voltage Software, and I was hired full time! I spent over 5 years at HVS, and I will always remember all the great people I worked with who are still my friends. I choose to leave HVS in order to get a Masters Degree, and to plan my next step in my career. To see some of the work I did during my 6+ years working in games you can check out the portfolio page: Portfolio
Beyond my aspirations to create innovative and beautiful art, I also study photography, and have professionally shot a few weddings and engagements; here are examples of my Photography work . I plan to continue to hone my photography skills, as a hobby. I have a great interest in martial arts; I am a one of the coaches for my sons wrestling team, and have practiced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, and Kickboxing for some years now. One of my goals has been to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I love feature animation, in fact I would say it is my favorite medium right now, and I have always dreamed of working at Pixar, Disney or the like, so this is something I would like to pursue.
Interests in Interactive Design and Game Development
I started out playing games like I mentioned before, that was what led me to consider the study when I enrolled in school. I think one of the most interesting things about games is the immersion factor I can achieve while playing them, especially when competing. Though I find myself drawn to film as a main pass time these days, I still enjoy the artificial confines and rules of the "game". I will fully admit that I consider myself an artist above all other career titles; whether "game" is tacked on before "art" or not, I am still a student (and teacher) of art. Game art is unique and intriguing to me because it is efficient, and the end user gets some control over what you create; I am Geppetto in a sense, and you are the puppet master controlling my creation. This is a unique relationship, and it is all in the name of fun, how cool is that? Inspiration is a great topic to bring into the subject of interests in interactive design and game development; I was, and am still inspired by games, and now I hope to be a part of inspiring others. The list could go on and on, but I think it is suffice to say that these two topics of interactive art and inspiration top my two reasons for being here pursuing this topic.