Back to Work! Starting the Thesis Game.

After GDC and becoming inspired by my contemporaries, I was ready to begin the week. With the long days that preceded our two weeks away from classes, I finally felt fresh to make this final push in my first year in the EAE. Nevertheless, this feeling of being rested assisted in addressing several issues to finally begin the project. Coming into this week we had four important matters that we needed to tackle. These included what engine to use, solidifying the core design, attached a theme to our game, and finally locking down a team name.

The first priority for the week was deciding what engine to use. We built the original prototype using Unity. However, after GDC and seeing what other engine could bring to our game, we wanted to explore both the Cry Engine and Unreal 4. We decided to take a couple of days to research each engine. After researching the two engines and determining how they could impact our game, the team decided to go forward with Unreal 4. The reasoning for this was the simplicity as to potentially designing levels for our game. Nonetheless, one of the biggest challenges for our thesis game is creating the circular walls that rotate in which people would be able to walk on the walls. At GDC, one of our team’s engineers overheard that being able to utilize the circular design, and especially walking on walls, could be problematic. Taking this information, we decided to go into our weekly sprint determining whether Unreal 4 would be suffice for our game and if not, we would fall back on using Unity.

This week we wanted to solidify the game’s basic design. Going into our break after finally picking our thesis game, I began to notice that our game’s scope might need to be tuned to compensate for summer months. This occurred after playing many hours of Battlefield 4 and Titanfall. What I noticed was the problems both games had with lag. Since our game is a multiplayer game with direct combat, as the game’s creative lead, I was a bit frightened with the thought that if developers with abundant resources can’t get the netcode correct, this will be a challenge for a ragtag bunch of student gamers. As a result, I began contemplating ways to address this problem. One way is to use indirect combat to attack other players. This would allow us to possibly overcome problems with lag since it would be less noticeable. Indirect combat hence became an important aspect going forward.

Also, with the thought of potentially showing our game off to IGF and others at GDC next year, the idea of multiplayer became a bane in my mind. I thought, how are people going to experience our game without playing against other people? One solution proposed is that we could use “bots” that are A.I. controlled NPCs. But bots in my experience take away some of the fun from multiplayer games – which is one of the critiques of Titanfall. This forced caused me to think of ways we could explore using A.I. players, but at the same time make the game feel compelling. Using this idea I began to look into games such as Monday Night Combat and SMITE in addition to Titanfall to see how mechanics from MOBAs could aid in our game’s design so as to make the game feel like a chaotic battlefield. With that in mind, the AI could be used to attack while being used as a resource for the player. Thus, we are looking into how we can make the multiplayer element feel exciting even with a limited amount of players rather than merely playing against dumb bots. 

One of the biggest challenges we have faced has been attaching a “juicy” theme to our game. Since we began the idea for the game centered on the game’s mechanic, a theme was developed from it. This led to our now famous rotating, circular environment. However, our professors were not too happy with our parallel universe thematic approach. They felt it appeared like “Space Marines” reminiscent of Halo rather than something provocative and memorable.

Because of their perspective, we have had to revisit our game’s theme. But since since many people on our team come from different walks of life, different countries, and political stances, finding a controversial topic can be difficult. One of the ideas our professors proposed was to use our mechanics to reflect ideas of religion in a humorous manner. However, some people on our team do not desire to address religious themes and thus people were not too thrilled to pursue it. So as a team we have done our best to find a theme we would all be motivated to pursue, but at the same time would be interesting. And as a producer, I want my team to feel motivated to work on the game. Thus, if we can’t find the juiciest theme I know I can live with that as long as my team is motivated to make an enjoyable game for our audience. The theme nevertheless is still in progress. So stay tuned!

The last priority to tackle this week was to finally lock down a team name. Luckily, coming up with a name was smooth and easy. After a quick discussion, since our game is now using indirect combat, we thought this somehow could be used as a name. As of this week therefore our team is officially called “Indirect Games”. This will be the name we will carry forever as we make our way into the industry.

It is exciting to be at this point. For me the future is whatever we make of it. Good times ahead and as much as we have faced challenges, I know this will be a memorable experience. Tallyho!

Taking Inspiration from My Time at GDC

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GDC this year provided me with just as much inspiration as in my first year I was there. Last year my time at GDC inspired me to apply for the EAE program. And this year it has inspired me to create the most compelling thesis game we can make. Whether walking around the GDC Expo Hall, working the EAE booth, watching the GDC Awards show, or speaking with industry professionals, the enthusiasm for the thesis game grew exponentially. In this brief post, I will note specific moments that rejuvenated my passion to create a great thesis game.

On Tuesday I awoke excited to receive my pass for this year’s event. As a result, I went to the Mascone Center. It was an exciting moment picking up my expo pass and seeing my name on it, especially since I was finally coming here as part of the EAE program. Now I would be here as a video game producer rather than as an academic.

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Wednesday also brought forth more GDC inspiration. I began by first walking around the expo hall and afterwards working the EAE booth. The EAE booth was located near the IGF showcase games. It was great being able to meet various people in the industry and showing off our wonderful games. It was further great witnessing some of the featured games for this year’s conference. Seeing them made me feel anxious to see our games there. And knowing that one of our own was among the mix caused me to want to continue working on our game. Later that day, we went to the GDC awards ceremony. It was great observing all the games and seeing what other indie developers were doing. It was an honor seeing the game Papers, Please winning many awards. I became inspired by the game’s message which addresses ideas of immigration. I’m glad that others embrace the game’s rhetorical message.

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Thursday was in full swing. Since I wanted to gauge potential internship opportunities for a lowly producer/game designer, I hit the careers area hard. Even though there were little openings for internships, I luckily met some great people who provided some insightful advice and even may have found a possible internship position for the summer.

In the evening, many of us went to the Intel Student Games Competition. Here, our very own Cyber Heist, which was also an IGF student showcase winner, was competing against other student games. What I found captivating was witnessing my contemporaries’ games. Some of them were amazing and really polished – in spite of the evening being filled with technical problems from the hardware and audio provided by Intel, the games still shined. These games included Kraven Manor, Hymn of the Sands, Plushy Knight, Maestros, and Museum of Simulation Technology. They were amazing to witness and in the end is motivating me to create a compelling and an enjoyable thesis game.

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For me, the paramount aspect of the entire GDC experience was spending time with people from my cohort outside of our work. It is great adventuring with others and sharing this experience together. In these moments one can only grow closer and I feel much prouder of our program and our work.

Well there you have it. I am now ready for the end of this semester and seeing where we can take our thesis game. I am very much learning from my time at GDC. It is nice to be able to escape the bubble of our studio and become a part of the larger community, and thus create an avenue in which I am better able to see what we are achieving and how we can further iterate on our ideas. Stay tuned…

 

Finally There Were Two (& Boy It Wasn’t Easy!)

Well this week we finally got our game ideas down to two. As much as it appears effortless to write or even read this last sentence, in actuality it became a daunting task. So much so that I am trying to tie down these blurred memories in order to relate the week’s events. Nevertheless, I feel that the challenge presented this week is developing ourselves as a team and me as a producer.

On Tuesday we were tasked with taking down five ideas to three. In order to break these ideas, the data gathered from last week were used to help guide us. The twist to this was that the data would not provide the name of the game idea in order to distance personal feelings from the discussion. When my team received the survey data, we noticed that two games right away were clearly ahead of the rest. As a result, we quickly decided that these two would represent the final three. There were two other games, however, that were similar while one was clearly lower than the rest. Unfortunately the game that received the lowest score was my own. It represented a juicy and interesting topic (which I will save for the future), nonetheless I guess people felt it would be an interest game (as I have been told) but not for a thesis game.

The team erupted into a short debate trying to use the data to clearly show a winner between these similar two. In order to this, I and a fellow producer Allen attempted to use what we thought was the important aspects in the data that represented a good thesis game. Using this logic, we put “gameplay” and “juicy topic” at the top of our list and as a result we were able to quickly vanquish one more.

The survivors that were included in the final two included a game that utilized a device to defy gravity and solve puzzles, one that examined the ideas of waste, memories, and reincarnation; and the final game examined the idea of visualizing to the player senses other than sight. After we had decided on the three, we were tasked with making updated game documents for the three games.

On Thursday came the moment of truth. We needed to ax one of the ideas and begin pursuing, and ultimately prototyping, the final two. However, this proved to be a very difficult decision for our team. In order to eliminate one, we would first discuss it with our professors. Unfortunately, they were indifferent with these three ideas and offered only their thoughts on each one. This information began a discussion regarding the three games.

At first, the game about senses appeared to be the clear winner and it was decided it would be one of our last two. But as we began discussing this game later, the other two began to make their way pass them. Now the discussion turned into a horse race with each game appearing like the clear winner only to have the others catch up and pass.

One of the games that we were unsure of as a team during the day was the game Wasteland – i.e. the game about waste. Mark, our artist, took the idea and evolved it to the point where we began to formulate an interest game mechanic and idea for the game. The team began riffing off the idea to the point that no game was safe.

At this time we decided to administer a revote per se to see which game we felt would be safe. The game that made the list was the game, now named Inverse World, with the teleporting-type device. The game, as Bob our professor put it, sounded fun. It is a game that could easily be a game that could explode on Steam or on a next gen console. Plus, it would be easy to prototype right way. The game however did not have a clear hook that could extend to an IGF audience. Inverse World nonetheless made the cut since many felt it was fun, interesting, and could be iterated on to possibly make it worthy of an IGF finalist spot.

Because of this vote, the senses game, Out of Sight and Out of Mind, was no longer safe and it was between it and Wasteland as the second game. Our discussion of the two games continued for some time. Since it appeared the team was still divided, we decided to ask for our professor’s input. This proved to be similar to the earlier when we spoke to them for the reason that they were both split in the middle. They proposed, since us as a team liked both ideas, we could possibly work on three prototypes simultaneously and see which of the games we would eliminate based on the prototypes.

I, however, argued to my team that this could possibly hurt us in the long term since we would be focusing our energy and resources on three prototypes. I also expressed my fear that it could divide the team and further polarize us by dedicating our time to one of the three. Thus, I proposed that we should go forward with two and make the difficult decision to kill one. After a brief discussion, the game that appeared safe was no longer moving forward. Wasteland’s last minute surge because of Mark’s brilliant ideas for the game, helped propel it ahead. And at this moment we finally had our two.

I know I am very happy to have it down to two in spite of the fact that I really wanted Out of Sight and Out of Mind to move forward. The reason I am happy is that the team appears to be eager to begin work and the process of eliminating games appeared taxing on everyone. We have spent the last three weeks creating 100-games ideas and quickly working to slice them down to two. Exhausted and eager to work, we are now ready to move forward. And I am ready to move forward. It’s time to prototype!

Reflecting on the First Semester: What I Learned Along the Way

I know I am a bit late bringing this post to the world (I was planning to write this at the end of the semester, but got caught up in all the holiday fun). Nevertheless, in this brief blog post I will cover five aspects I learned after my first semester as a video game producer. Enjoy!

Scope
One lesson I definitely learned is the importance of controlling scope. If you have followed my blog since its inception, you will have noticed how scope has been a challenge for me. I tend to think big, and as a result, I end up delivering small. Scope can adversely affect a prototype to the point that it can negatively hurt a team’s performance. As a result, I have come to learn that as a producer I need to be conscientious of scope and do my best to control it. This will make our game and our experience more solid.

Showing is Better than Telling
I have been fortunate to have taught public speaking for a number of years. Coming into this course, I believe that I had this area covered as a producer. However, what I did not expect was the differences between what I learned and how I presented as an instructor with the tech industry and speaking to executive producers. My initial presentations were focused on content and with telling our instructors and clients what our game entailed. This caused several of our presentations to come away with little effect.

With that, I began to notice how much more showing the prototype and design impacted the presentation. Rather than merely speaking about the game, showing the work to the audience helps them to visualize the idea and mechanics of the game. This was apparent in our last presentation in which we were able to show off our game we were publishing in the Windows App Store. By demonstrating the game itself, its mechanics, and thus the experience playing the game, in the end it made our presentation much stronger and impactful.

Cohesion is Greater than Talent!
In our program, talent is apparent everywhere. Many of my fellow students entered with wonderful skill-sets that I know many people in the industry will eventually salivate for. However, if a team is unhappy with each other or the direction of the prototype, the team suffers and as a result the game itself. For this reason, I have found that team cohesion has the greatest impact on the experience and final product. Cohesion for me does not necessarily regard liking each other or being best mates at the end of the day, but instead a team maintaining a strong professionalism that is needed to work well together. When team cohesion is high the product reflects this idea. If it is low, the game will reflect the lack of cohesion with the team. Hence, team cohesion is an essential aspect for producing a good game.

Importance of the Backlog
During the semester, we created and maintain a huge list of backlogs. Consequently, I have noticed the benefits of a backlog. It is for instance the most efficient way to maintain organization of the team. It helps the team during the semester to prioritize work. It also aids in preventing “feature creep” from affecting the final push to complete the game/prototype. And it finally provides an avenue for ensuring people deliver what they promised. As a result, the backlog becomes the producer’s best friend. In difficult situations or during crunches, I have found the backlog to be a godsend. And I know this will be essential as we move forward into our thesis games.

Playtesting
The user experience is key to making a fun game. If the user is frustrated, bored, or unhappy with any aspect of the game, it prevents the game from being fun. For example, I experienced this in my course work in the Virtual Worlds course. In this class, our final project was to create a level utilizing what we had learned regarding level design throughout the course. When Joe Bourrie (level designer for EA and works on the mobile game, Tetris Blitz) played our level for the thesis game Cyber Heist, we could visibly see his frustration because of the difficulty in our level. Since we are designing our level and become experts at it, there is a tendency to forget how the user will experience the level. For us, it was difficult, but we subconsciously knew how to successfully navigate through the level.

However for Joe, it was a frustrating experience since he was unfamiliar with it and thus needed to learn how to beat the level. As a result, the playtest allowed us to tone down the difficulty with the level and therefore create a better experience for the gamer. For such reasons, playtesting is an integral part of game design.

In conclusion, I learned so much in my first semester in the program. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to grow in order to make the best thesis game possible. I am glad to have picked up these essential ideas as I move forward into the program and a career within the game industry.

Postmortem of Prototype #2: A Slow Start Leads to a Strong Finish

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As noted in a previous blog, for our latest prototype we were tasked with selecting a late 70s or early 80s arcade game, take the arcade game’s core rule set and add additional game mechanics in order to ultimately make it an improved game. The requirements set forth for this prototype proved to be a challenge and at times pushed our team to its limits. In spite of this, I am happy to say it turned out to be a very rewarding experience resulting in an enjoyably fun game. Therefore, in this postmortem I will reflect on how the challenges associated with this project are helping me learn better approaches to becoming a more effective producer.

The first week working on Prototype 2 was a difficult one. We spent most of our time first trying to define the parameters of the assignment, afterwards attempting to lock down a late 70s/early 80s arcade game we could use for this project, and finally determining a theme to build on this core rule set for our game. This caused us to fall behind the rest of the teams in our class. This initially led our team to become unsure of where to go and how to complete this project. The laborious start also caused a bit of tension within our team. However, after realizing the importance of moving forward, we used the pressure to band together. It was at this stage we finally selected the game, Time Pilot, and conceptualized an additional mechanic to add to the core rule set of the game.

Original Time Pilot

Using my love of the game Geometry Wars as inspiration, the additional mechanic we used to build on Time Pilot was to add limitations to the game world. Since Time Pilot is a free-flowing shooter with no limits with where the player is able to, we felt that adding limitations to the level would create additional strategies for the player. We also decided to add obstacles that could act as cover, or even trap the player if not used well, to further generate new tactics. As a result, what we found is that the game experience changes given that now the player needs to consider the limitations to the game space as well as learn to use the obstacles to his or her advantage. As such, the new mechanics we found through play-testing made the game more enjoyable for the player. This became our starting point and from there we were able to add several new mechanics and features.

From these turbulent beginnings, I was able to notice a couple of things. To begin, the other producer and I did not start by mutually working together to focus the team. Instead, we spent a bit of time working out the dynamics of the assignment and what direction to take the prototype. This slowed us down since we stubbornly stuck to our designs and desires for our chosen game. Nonetheless, after recognizing we were leading our team to a crunch, we realized that in order to move forward we needed to work together in order to effectively complete the project. This led to the second aspect I accomplish during this time: focusing the team’s efforts to complete the task at hand. I was able to help refocus the team on completing the assignment. As a result, after this first week of stagnation, we rapidly moved forward and created an exceptionally viable prototype.

Screenshot #1Once we were able to move forward, I was able to work more successfully with the team in a variety of ways. One way I assisted the team was in performing what Amy Adkins suggested the role of a producer is: to make the work easier for the engineers and artists so that the game can be on budget and on schedule. Using this philosophy, I began finding ways to aid everyone on the team. I took it on myself to compose ideas for the puzzle elements for the levels, create new ideas for features and mechanics, and lastly gather arcade sounds for the game. By taking on these tasks, I was able to support the engineers and artists as well as the other producers focus on their tasks and consequently complete the project on time. Furthermore, I implemented the production software, Trello, in order to help spotlight and prioritize our tasks. Trello allowed the team to understand what the team needed to accomplish every week and in what sequence we needed to perform these tasks. Using the software made it easier to keep ahead of our work, especially when not in school. This allowed us to become more efficient in our work.

Postmortem

Postmortem Board

One element that I will change for the next prototype as a producer is to focus less on polishing our prototype or more on experimenting with additional game mechanics. Towards the end of our prototype, even though we added new mechanics to the game, we wanted to provide our professors and cohort with making a vertical slice of our game. Hence, we moved forward with making the game appear like a complete game. This took away resources that would have been best used for crafting new and enjoyable game mechanics. Thus, as this assignment attempted to promote, I will on the next project focus directly on rapid prototyping instead of creating a finished product.

In spite of our start, we created an entertaining and fun game. So much so that one person who play-tested our game during our presentation to the class remarked that he could easily see himself continually feeding quarters to play it. Nevertheless, the time I spent creating and completing the second prototype with our game are helping me to become the producer I hope to be. Now onto the next challenge.

The Scrummage: Learning the Value of SCRUM

We are finally reaching the end of our first prototype. It has been an exciting adventure for all of us. A group of five people who never met before this course have taken an idea and worked hard to make it their own. And what’s amazing is witnessing our vision come to fruition. Therefore, our little wooden boat is ready to launch.

Despite my excitement for the culmination of our first prototype, this week I would like to focus on how much value I have found in the SCRUM process for software development. SCRUM is an Agile development process that helps teams efficiently complete projects. SCRUM has become an important practice in the video game industry for helping development teams create and maintain the product as well as evolve it through rich feedback. Additionally, what makes SCRUM so appealing is its simplicity in implementing and using the system, as well as its cost benefit since there is no need for in-depth training. Although I have only recently been introduced to the system and thus beginning to absorb the facets of SCRUM, through my time working on our first prototype I am appreciating the value in using the process. I can therefore see how the system will empower me to become a much more efficient and stronger producer.

In week 2, our professor, Robert Kessler, familiarized the class with the SCRUM development process and its advantages for our prototypes. The first aspect we learned are the brief 15-minute meetings, aptly named Stand-Up Meetings since the team stands during the duration, detailing what each team member is working on, what s/he has completed, and what s/he hopes to complete. When our team first employed this brief meeting, to be honest it felt awkward. In my mind I had an idea of what I wanted to discuss, but the notion of succinctly recounting my work for the day was foreign to me – especially when we had so much still to do. Furthermore, the subsequent brief meetings (mainly before we concluded the day) led some of us unaware of what else to add. In other words, I felt as if I was repeating what I had earlier recounted. Because we were working on some long-term individual projects, I consequently did not know how to relate my work status.

However, the more we practice using these short meetings, the more I began to see how much they helped us visualize everyone else’s work, keep us on task, as well as address any immediate problems. What the Stand-Up Meetings allowed us to do was to be in constant communication. This enabled us to evolve the project and more directly keep it on task. Moreover, the Stand-Up Meetings enabled us to easily transition into a longer, more formal meeting. Since the brief meetings gave us an opportunity to understand what each team member was focused on and if there were any problems, they eventually brought up topics that warranted further discussion. As a result, the short meetings helped us clearly determine how we could better focus our work.

Another great aspect is SCRUM forces the producers to keep a backlog chart. The backlog displays the progress, prioritizes, as well as depicts the timetable for the project. For me, initially it was difficult making a backlog for the prototype, especially since we were recently introduced to it at the end of the second week. And honestly I am still struggling implementing and maintaining an appropriate backlog – which is something I want to strengthen for the next prototype. Nevertheless, as a producer I see an unambiguous benefit to utilizing a backlog. Backlog helps the team focused on specific tasks and on the priorities of the project. During our time working on our prototype, there were several instances where we needed to take a moment and ensure we focused on our main concerns and aspects of our game. It is very easy to become sidetracked by working on low-priority items. Therefore, keeping a backlog ensures the work of each team member centers on the goals of the project and emphasizes clearly what needs to be completed first.

Thus, SCRUM has facilitated our work and ultimately our project. Even though I have yet to fully grasp this development process, I am very much excited to observe how SCRUM will assist me in my future work. I know I need to be more active in implementing SCRUM, especially the idea of the backlog. Nonetheless, I can already see how it is going to positively impact my future work as a producer.

“Fulfill Your Destiny”: My Long Road to the EAE Program

My path to this program is unique like many in my cohort. The road that led me here has been a bit unconventional, but in the same instance, has shown how becoming a producer and a game designer is my calling. Personally, I do not like sounding fatalistic or appearing as if my life is one linear fantasy game. Nevertheless, after you read this blog post, I hope you will see how much gaming is not only a part of my life, but truly a part of me.

The adventure began in the summer of 2004. It was the summer that I started playing games after a 5-year hiatus. Even though I did play games before this summer with friends on occasion, and religiously when I was in my adolescence, this summer awakened the sleeping giant that had slumbered for half-a-decade. What created this renaissance was after my wife and I purchased the Nintendo GameCube from Costco. They had a wonderful bundle deal at the time, and even though I was tempted to buy an Xbox, the GameCube was just the right price for this struggling graduate student trying to make ends meet in Hawaii.

It was because of this purchase that I began researching the latest games and information about gaming. But where could I turn? To ascertain the information, I began watching X-Play, Attack of the Show (before Olivia Munn spoiled it for me), Cheat, and any show G4 generated. I still remember waking up early before going to my summer job tuning into G4 to catch up on the latest development in gaming and in tech.

It was in 2005 that I finally purchased an Xbox. This allowed me to play great games such as the Halo series. But what I really enjoyed was experiencing my first RPG, and one of my all-time favorite games, Knights of the Old Republic. Even though I had been playing video games since my brother sold his mini-bike to purchase an Atari 2600, I had never once really played through an entire RPG. And boy was I in for a treat. I remember playing the game hoping not to disturb wife while she slept. It made those hot, Hawaiian summer nights something to look forward to. I still recall how shocked I was to learn the game’s twist (I won’t spoil it if you haven’t played). My jaw stayed open for the rest of the night and into the morning. And I also remember playing for more than two hours fighting the game’s antagonist over and over in order to finish the adventure. I teared-up when the game came to its conclusion. I never knew a video game could be so moving, that video games could touch my soul in such a way. KOTOR showed me how far games had come in the decades in which I had been playing games.

Later that year the Xbox 360 made its way to the market. While coming home to visit family in Southern California, I did my best to locate one of these marvelous gaming machines. I recall searching through forum posts for the hope of determining the nearest shipment. Luckily, I discovered that a local Best Buy close to my parents’ home would have a limited shipment of the console. And I came away with a new, shiny Xbox 360 before many people had the opportunity to purchase one. It was a dream come true.

The next year I spent it composing and completing my master’s thesis. When the summer came rolling along, it was difficult obtaining responses from my professors since during the summer most professors escape the university campus. Because of this, I purchased Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to fill the void between writing a book and waiting for my professors’ replies. Oblivion is still one of the greatest gaming experiences I have had to date. After spending the day writing, I would play deep into the night and early morning, spooking myself through every dungeon crawl, trying to hold my screams of delight when finding that special loot. It was a great time and one I will never forget.

After I had completed my thesis, my wife and I returned to California in order to help care for my ailing father. It was at this time that video games became my escape. In May of 2008, my father eventually was overcome by his illness. To cope with the loss, I spent that summer playing through the entire Metal Gear Solid series as well as FIFA. Video games were not only entertainment for me, but it also became a great comfort throughout this gloomy time in my life.

Games helped me to move on from my loss and my focus eventually returned to my future goals. My aspiration at this time was to obtain a Ph.D. Consequently, I began applying for doctorate programs around the country. Since I love video games, I decided my emphasis would be examining how video games reflect culture. The University of Utah accepted my request, and in the fall of 2011, I began my doctoral studies.

But as time moved forward, I started to feel confused. I began to sense that my calling was elsewhere since the more I studied gaming and played games with my wife on the weekends, the more I wanted to be a creator rather than an observer. I yearned for becoming a part of the art, but since I never thought that I could ascertain a job in the gaming industry as a producer or designer, I didn’t think it was possible. As a result, I had to suppress this notion as hard as I could.

This desire came full circle when part of my doctoral studies, I enrolled in the EAE’s Game Design I course with Roger Altizer. The course introduced me to game design, the EAE program, and others who shared my deep passion for games. When the course was coming to its quick end as great classes often do, I was very depressed. I kept telling myself that if there were a program like this when I was younger, I would have jumped at the chance in a heartbeat. The time in the class activated an obsession to join the program.

This past spring, I acquiesced to this longing, and I resolved to take the leap and apply for the EAE program as a video game producer. When I was accepted to the program I was ecstatic. Even though I had already completed two years in my doctoral studies, I had little reservations leaving the program. I felt that I was finally on the right path for my life. I knew that something had brought my life to where I am supposed to be.

It has definitely been a long road to get here, but even though it’s been quite a journey, I am happy to reflect and see how fate, how destiny has taken me home. I am excited to be a video game producer as well as designer. And I hope through this post you can appreciate my love and passion for gaming as well as why I desire for a long career in the gaming industry. I hope you will continue the journey with me through my blog posts here.