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Living the Dream

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Sorry for the lack of updates. As it turns out, living the dream is hard work. I'll make up for it with a really big post instead. smile.png

Personal Update:

So, we rented an apartment really close to work and my daughter's school. Car shopping has been terrible. The first car we went to go look at stank. And I'm not talking old-car smell. I thought I was in the Seinfeld episode with the stinky car. The next three we looked at also had a smell and a fourth had a rattling engine sound. Luckily my mom wanted to get a new car so she's selling me hers. That should get shipped to us sometime this week.

Our apartment is starting to shape up after weeks of it being jam-packed full of boxes. We bought a ton of furniture from IKEA and most of our stuff now has a place. It's still a little bit crowded so I'll be giving away some more of my stuff. We FINALLY got everything straightened out with Comcast and have our computers connected to the interwebs. It's been about three weeks since I've played anything, but with the unpacking nearing its end and the car due in soon, I should have some free time soon.

Home stress levels have been much higher than I thought they would be. We had a good family cry about missing our friends, family, and home a week ago. Normally, I don't have to deal with those pesky things called feelings, but this was a significant enough event to register in my robot heart. We're all feeling much better now though. Stupid feelings. tongue.png

Oh, and last week my daughter and I went to space camp which was awesome! My mom bought us tickets when we were still in Tennessee. What should have been 4 hours worth of driving turned into over 11 hours of flight and 2 hours of driving. (Still worth it!) On the way down, we spent the night at my mom's and I got to see a couple of my gaming buddies which was fun too. I'll post a link to my Facebook album when I get around to uploading my pics.

Development Update:

Week 1
Work has been a little bit stressful, pretty hard, and very cool. I had a computer waiting for me on the first day which was nice. At my last job, a guy waited over a month for his computer... And yes, he was a programmer. >.<

Anyway, they threw me in the deep end but so far I'm doing fine. I fixed a few bugs, and added some features to a couple of 3rd party terrain tools we're exploring: Gaia Stamps, Relief Terrain Pack, and Terrain Composer. The main thing I worked on this week was writing a New Map tool for Mike Hines the Technical Art Director. Basically it copies a source scene in Unity, does some automatic setup for new levels, and fixes all the references in the new scene. If you've ever tried copying a complex scene in Unity, it can do some weird things.

Harebrained Schemes helped launch a new twitch channel named HyperRPG. The launch event was a 48 hour charity stream and they needed warm bodies to fill Sunday 5am-12pm so I volunteered. They just told me we'd be playing board games and talking, but I felt like I was in a fruity-oaty bar commercial. But I got to slap a guy at least. biggrin.png Internet personality Goobers said that if anyone donated $200 someone on the show could slap him. He hadn't seen all of Firefly so I tagged him pretty good. smile.png


They have some interesting content with a MechWarrior campaign where they RP on Tuesday and play on a custom board with large scale mechs that they mangle as they're damaged on Friday. There's also a Shadowrun campaign and other nerdy goodness there. Check it out.

Week 2-3
Mike came up with a cool way to use Terrain Composer to switch between painting Art and Game Design features so I worked on a tool to automate switching between those modes. I also worked on extracting the different game design masks that get painted down. For example, a level designer paints down an area of forest and I'll save out the mask to a PNG that can be read by the game logic. Then as mechs move through the forest areas, it slows them down and affects their targeting numbers.

General Coolness:

Being a Battletech fan boy, it's been pretty awesome in general. I get to hear the story writers talk about different characters and paths of the story. I get to see the concept art for different characters, buildings, and environments take shape. I get to play the prototype and feel how the game mechanics work out. Not only that, I get to help guide the process. smile.png

The team is awesome too. They're nice, smart, and fun to be around. It very much feels like a family. Most teams I've been on in the past there's been some less than stellar talent or even some dead weight on the team. But everyone I've been exposed to has proven themselves to be very useful and highly skilled. Plus, the leadership of the company is honest, forthcoming, and they're just great guys.

And to top it all off, when Jordan Weisman comes into the office, he sits at the end of my row. biggrin.png

I can't believe how lucky I was to get this job.

  1. It's a game development job
  2. For a game that I love
  3. For an out of state company
  4. And me without any professional game development experience
  5. Without knowing anyone in the biz
  6. And it turns out the job rocks
  7. And the team rocks
  8. And even the new city rocks.

It's ridiculous. smile.png Thank you God. I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this, but I sure do appreciate it.

Tip from your Uncle Eck:

Living the dream isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It's hard work, it requires sacrifices, and making the transition can be more than a little stressful. It's definitely not for everyone.

Lucky for me I didn't throw away my amazing life for a shitty job that I just thought I wanted. Now... to find a new gaming group.

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Congrats, you worked hard to get there!  Definitely sounds like a fun place to work.  Also, was funny watching you slap someone.  Serves them right not having seen all of Firefly. =)


Totally envious of that custom mech board, that sounds like fun.

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Man, Battletech... that brings back memories.


My first wargaming expieriences were with the battletech starter box.



Anyway, congrats on your new job and I hope you continue to enjoy it!

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