I've been a Game Developer and Programmer since 2003. Making games is a huge passion of mine as is being an entertainer in general. Below is some more information regarding my history in designing and developing games.
Do I consider myself a Designer or a Developer?
While I have studied and practiced both fields, I primarily have a larger history or working as a developer in my professional career. I know various coding languages and can pick up new ones rather quickly. I've developed on various platforms and with various game engines in the past. Some of those include working with GameMaker, Marmalade SDK, Native Android, custom/self-made engines, and Unity. Some popular languages I've coded in are C++, C#, and Java. Some examples of tasks I've done are User Interface Development, Level Creation, implementing general Gameplay Logic, hooking up Character Animations and models, Server/Client Communications, Game Engine development, and other various tasks. I've programmed games up to their shipping phases on Steam, Google Play, Apple Store, Blackberry Market, and various Virtual Reality devices.
I have also done design work and project management. I've drawn logo's and other various concept arts for myself, created websites, edited photos and compiled marketing materials, and have also shot and edited videos. I've also written design documents for my own games, and created development plans and task breakdowns to move my projects forward.
My current strongest development environment is with Unity and C# with a focus on Gameplay and UI Engineering.
When did I get into Game Design and why?
I first started dabbling in game design the summer after 8th grade. Back then I had a big interest in frogs, and for a few of my classes I had to write some short fictional novels and stories. I based the stories around fighting frogs (Frogfighters) also being inspired by the lore of many Nintendo games such as Legend of Zelda. I enjoyed playing many of the Nintendo series and exploration games such as Banjo Kazooie, the Zelda Series, Starfox, Mario, Metroid, etc. Back then I also started playing the browser game AdventureQuest and would spend my time talking on the forums to other players; I would draw and animate .gifs of my fighting frogs for myself and other people's forum signatures. That same year my interests in playing games, creative writing, and pixel art & animation lead me to downloading GameMaker in hopes of combining all these skills into making a game.
Through most of my high school years I spent time after school teaching myself how to program and make games in GameMaker based on my Frogfighters series. I would spend time on the GameMaker forums, asking questions, working with others, and releasing progress of my works. I prototyped and created my earliest indie titles of various game genres from platformer shooters, scrolling shooters, super smash style combat platformers, top-down real time strategy, arcade style games, and turn-based combat games. The games eventually caught a small fanbase on the AdventureQuest and GameMaker forums with a few artists and musicians joining the development of a few titles, although most of those early projects did not have a budget and I didn't release my early works for profit.
After high school, I wanted to take my game development to the next level. I was accepted into the University of California: Santa Cruz where I sharpened my skills as I worked towards a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Game Design. During my college times I took various upper level computer science courses, studied concepts about game design and development, worked as a gaming/programming tutor, and created various games in small college teams. During my last few years of college I branched out into making my own business to teach game development classes in local middle schools in Santa Cruz and summer programs in Berkeley. My final year of college I also worked an internship creating a game for a start-up company. I completed my studies the summer of 2012 and earned my degree, graduating with a senior thesis of creating a game with a group of 10+ students.
Making games and interactive forms of media is a huge passion of mine. Specifically, creating video games allows me to combine a multitude of my talents into an immersive experience to captivate others.
I'm also a professional juggler!
Yes! For as long as I've been making video games, I've also practiced, performed, and taught juggling. It's another huge passion of mine, with lots of similarities and crossovers to game design such as play, flow, and creation. Juggling is another medium in which I can express myself creatively, as well as another medium in which to entertain others. Through juggling I have learned important skills in branding & marketing, video editing, and website development.
I do various forms of juggling, my favorite prop being the diabolo (chinese yoyo).
For more information about my professional juggling career visit my juggling website at www.dracothejuggler.com
What projects have I worked on specifically?
I've worked on lots of different projects over the years, some for myself, some for college projects, others during my time in the industry. I've created a list of projects I've worked on and my involvement in each, which can be found on my projects page.Visit my Projects Page
Have more questions or want to know more?
Feel free to contact me if you'd like a copy of my resume, or if you'd like to talk and know more about me.Reach out to me on my Contact Page