2013 Post Mortem

2013 has been a big year for me in a lot of ways.

In January, I did Global Game Jam and made a game outside of class for the first time. I had never heard of a game jam or thought it was possible to just sit down an make a game before GGJ. I went on a whim, joined a group with people I'd never met and worked really hard to make something great. After two days of hilarious, stressful, sleepless, amazing days our game got second place at the jam and the feedback we got was really inspiring. I was hooked.

In March, I used Unity for the first time and learned how little I would be able to do as a game designer if I couldn't program. In a class on game production, my professor Patrick got everyone to open up a game engine and prototype a simple game mechanic. He let us pick our poison, but recommended everyone learn Unity since it was (and still is) exploding in popularity. I followed his advice, and made a small game where you click endless dots that fall across your screen. It took me hours and I'm not ashamed to admit it. That experience showed me how useless I was at making a game by myself.

In May, I went to some late hours event at school, and happened to meet some upperclassmen students who were as passionate as I am. The difference between us at the time was that I had no skills. I had nothing I could write down on a resume that would get me a job, but they all did. It was humbling, but encouraging. I still had time. For a while after, I was really scared for my future and worried that I didn't have what it takes to make games. Regardless, after school ended for the year, I started my summer off determined to learn as much as I could. 

In June, I started making my own games and participating in every game jam I could find. I've made a 3rd person platformer, a first-person horror game, a spherical tower-defense game an endless runner and several others. None are perfect or even all that good, but I made them all and I learned an insane amount in the process. I'm still very much addicted to game jams, and now I'd even say I've got skills that will get me a job.

In July, I started as an intern at Robomodo, designing levels and programming stuff wherever I could. The guy that hired me was the same professor that initially advised me to learn Unity. I've had the opportunity to work with and learn from experienced developers on a daily basis, while helping work on commercial titles for college credit. It's been a lot of fun, and I've learned a great deal in my time there.