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Stay the course...

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a_insomniac

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Well my goal for getting back into game development has been two fold with one being because I love doing it and secondly because I want into get into the industry more than ever now. Currently I'm functioning as a software engineer for one of the big three automotive companies and frankly our business sector is dying financially. After spending seven years in the biz and learning several programming languages along with new technologies it's just finally time to get out. The only reason I even feel like I can make the switch to the game industry or that it's even plausible is because I've been a graphics hobby coder since day one off and on.

Although, I tend to have some unique issues....I'm very good at CG graphics such as high / low poly modeling, character animation, and texturing but I prefer to write code. I truly believe deep down that if I sucked at graphics I'd been in the game industry right now writing code. But I did dual duty for some years honing both crafts equally. That essentially caused my growth to remain steady but not as fast as one would like or should have been.

So wtf does this have to do with my current game project. Well see I had an ephiany...actually I humbled myself. My coding partner is basically soup to nuts a kick ass programmer graphically in his own right. He is where I should be now so I have decided to yield to him on this project and basically function as the 3D artist. In doing so, I can focus on developing the skills necessary for creating a 3D engine and start the path on becoming a solid graphics programmer overall. The nice part about this is that there really isn't anything left for me to learn CG wise that a simple tutorial here or there wouldn't cure for this particular game project. Don't get me wrong now, Im no Syd Mead but for what were are going to make....Im alright. Plus I'm fast too, I can model about a character and a half in a day bsing around. Not to mention making a game level in under 3 days....ok enough of the selfish plugs :)

The issue though is time, I have a day job, kids and this project. What it boils down to is manageable chunks and developing the right game plan to get to where I need to be to become a legit graphics coder. First things first though because I've been putting it off. My primary goal is to refresh my math and get back to linear algebra at least followed by a list of books that are basically real time rendering based and software architecture related in nature. In total I'm looking at 11 friggin books to start and 1/3 of which I already own.

So back to the time issue, to satisfy everyone and all the necessary requirements I created a spreadsheet breaking down how long its going to take to finish each book and what times of the day to actually read them ( note: several I have read before already...but need to reread). I also I had to organize a set amount of time to dedicate my artistic skills for this current project.

Actually on paper it looks good....implementing it will be something else in itself. But based on my calculations it is going to take me about year to get to where I need to be. And im hoping my seven years of production, programming and design experience should pull through the rough times but it isn't like I'm new to hardcore schedules or learning new materials either. I'm not saying when I'm done I should be able to write a AAA engine and pull off Unreal, but knowledge wise I should be in the ball park theoretically with a few open source engines that are out there. Plus by that time the project im currently working on should be done and that will go on my demo reel to show case some expertise in art.

But in the end if I've learned anything from the past. You can get more done if you just dedicate two hours a day to something productive then spending 10 hours a day on the internet looking up bullshit trying to get motivated to code. What I'm saying is this....every productive hour you spend towards a goal is one step further towards its completion, surfing the web wastes your life and your time. Focus, code....get own with your life.
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