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What is your day job?

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questccg
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Times have changed

AdamRobinGames-ARG wrote:
...As noted earlier, it is a bit uncanny the number of computer and engineering folk who get into this.

I can't speak for all of you... The engineers, the developers, the analysts, etc. But from my own point of reference, the 1990s were a time of "unbridled" NEW hope for technical companies... The number of IPO's, Yahoo and companies offered a time with very prosperous growth. If you would the beginning of the Bell Curve and the entrepreneurs who were "early adopters". All those technical folks felt like they were a part of a "revolution" ... a source or way to a better life.

But as the years moved on and the "revolution" slowed in the 2000s... Every technical person felt for the most part that the "revolution" had ended (even thought it's still not 100% true... there have been more companies emerging from Silicon Valley). The industry (in my opinion) used to have a lot of "good people" that hoped technology would free them and allow them to live substantially "better lives". More "open", more "freedom", etc. And I talk about this is terms of freedom from "financial burdens".

But as time has progressed into the 2010s, the bell curve has moved on the people involved in the industry has "changed". In my opinion, from what I have seen work-wise (and I've seen over 20 years worth of it), people have become "dispassionate" (clique-ish), controlled (like dogs mawing for a bone), guarded (self-protection) and the worst filtrated (where your experience no longer matters... it's like a "club" and they are keeping good people from reasonable jobs).

Here's a DILBERT "example" of what I mean:

And so we've all learned that Kickstarter is like the "late 2010s" REVOLUTION. A chance to recapture the "Glory Days" which require a lot of technical know-how... Bringing "good people" together again. In the attempt to "flourish" as we once thought was possible in our "day jobs". And I'm not the only one who feels this way, my previous boss the CTO talks about how things ARE DIFFERENT.

If those "early adopters" have tried to "move on" to better pastures, I might (I say "might" because not everyone has the same motives or motivation) have to say a lot of "good" technical folks want to find "SOMETHING" which will allow them to lead BETTER LIVES.

Anyway just some "ramblings" from a person who has SEEN a lot in his years working for other people. Remember a lot of people have moved on to better lives, and are now pursuing their OWN ambitions. However there are a good many of us who were not as fortunate... And so this is like a Second or Third or many Fourth chance...! LOL I don't want it to feel like everything is so gray.

And I didn't want this post to feel "un-genuine"... And too serious. It's just one person's experience and perspective. Maybe you do associate with some of what I say, maybe it is completely foreign to you.

Note: I know I mentioned "financial burdens" and "better pastures" and you must be thinking that ALL I am talking about is monies. Actually it's only partially true, I talking about "doing things YOU LOVE!" I can't believe how I used to wake up in the morning and LOVE to go to work. And I'm a Software Engineer. Completely LOVED IT. The people have changed and well I'm not so PASSIONATE "about IT work" as before.

But I am VERY passionate about "TableTop Game Design". Be it what may be a "Hobby", it is very serious for me. I'm no Jamey Stegmaier ... but I feel I understand his ambitions. Now I "LOVE" "Game Design"... Fuck SOFTWARE... Let the a-holes and their club ... you know where they can go! LOL

So in reality it is NOT about only monies. It's about exploring ideas, sharing thoughts on "Game Mechanics"... Talking with the other "Good people"...! People who in some amount UNDERSTAND what it is you LOVE to do!

Cheers everyone... I hope I don't sound like an "Old Fool"!

Jay103
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Yeah, I'm pretty technical

Yeah, I'm pretty technical :). I wrote computer games (some shareware, some just for myself) in the 80's, started a computer game company in the 90's (3 published titles for Mac & Win95), then mostly got my gaming fix by playing Everquest for a while, followed by a sequence of other things (Kingdom of Loathing for a few years), and only recently started designing board games. I'm too far out of the computer game world to be able to program an app without a lot of study first, so board games are a better choice for me now :)

X3M
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Curious

Which company?
And which 3 titles?

Jay103
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X3M wrote:Which company?And

X3M wrote:
Which company?
And which 3 titles?

Reality Bytes

Sensory Overload (Mac only) 1994
HAVOC (Mac and Win 95, the very first native Win95 game, and one of the first to support 3D hardware on either platform) 1995
Dark Vengeance (Mac and Win 95) 1998

Sensory Overload had awesome music :). I should note that it shipped on 3 3.5" disks.

(edit: I actually applied an important lesson from Sensory Overload to Heroes & Treasure: Just because the first level should be easy, that doesn't mean you should make enemies sparse. Make the enemies easy, or you have a boring level on your hands)

X3M
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That is very cool

O man, you are a heavy weight for sure.

Sensory Overload "lets play":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHG8tMjy0fc&list=PLItPhW7oP_1UIrhQMF0Zp3...

Rabid goats on rampage?
:)
Hmmm, when you released the game. I was already hooked to many RTS games.

HAVOC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFw_99shHWU
Seems this guy looks for more info on Sensory Overload.
But I am unsure if you like his sarcastic video.
But he liked the music in HAVOC.
Weekends: What are those?

Dark Vengeance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tVXYACAbcM
Wait, what? That music sounds like what was used in Unreal/Unreal Tournament.
http://www.mirsoft.info/gmb/music_info.php?id_ele=MTM4ODI=
And there he is, Alexander Brandon.
I really love his work.

I wonder why. Why didn't your company focus on the addictive RTS games in those times? Where you all super focussed on 3D games/first person shooter?

Jay103
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I was writing 3D graphics

I was writing 3D graphics engines, so that's what we were making :)

I really liked PLAYING RTS games in that time period (original Warcraft, Command & Conquer), but designing or coding one wasn't really my thing.

I like that HAVOC video.. I've seen it before. I'm glad he likes my fog/fade effect.. that was tricky to come up with in software rendering. HAVOC's software graphics, like Sensory Overload's, are 8-bit and include shadowing effects (accomplished by having a special palette when you can "slide right" to go to a darker shade, and the artists had to work with only about 18-20 hues per level, though they got to choose what they were). All that stuff was hand-coded assembly, which was My Thing.

Jay103
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Holy crap, that Let's Play

Holy crap, that Let's Play thing is a complete walkthrough of SO. I didn't know there was that much content. And only 20 years after it shipped!

I designed all the levels for that sucker. Oy. Though the endgame stuff was pretty good. You have a level of crawling through ductwork..

(oh, and the names "Sensory Overload" and "HAVOC" were totally mine :) )

X3M
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That is the beauty of a good game.

Even after 20 years. People still love to play them.

questccg
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Funny ... actually!

Jay103 wrote:
Sensory Overload had awesome music :). I should note that it shipped on 3 3.5" disks.

Hahaha ... Yeah the Good old days. I remember 5.25" Floppy disks too. No Hard Drive, only two (2) Floppy Drives (A: and B:). My old Intel 8088.

There were no music cards ... Maybe MIDI Sound cards (not sure) but I didn't own one. The Mouse was included with Dr. Halo Paint Program and was not a "required" accessory to use MS-DOS and play games.

Pretty sure at that time it was all CPU music! (Beep Bop)

Am I right??? Or were Mac's endowed with a better MIDI Sound card???

let-off studios
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HAVOC Fog

Jay103 wrote:
I like that HAVOC video.. I've seen it before. I'm glad he likes my fog/fade effect.. that was tricky to come up with in software rendering.
Yeah, that's some next-level runtime dithering, man. Nice work! Speaking as a retro game-making tinker, that's very impressive and a look that's not easy to pull off even today.

Jay103
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Those are all triangles being

Those are all triangles being rendered (of course), so there was a special routine for fading triangles that interpolated the depth (level of fade) as well as the other stuff I needed, and then there was a little lookup table that had the dither patterns pre-made. Slower per pixel than the regular rendering, but not terrible when you factor in that it avoided drawing many of the pixels due to the dithering itself. There were 16 dither patterns iirc, 4x4 grid. 68020 and 386 assembly, and also some MMX ;)

(Back in the good old days, Intel actually flew me out to an MMX training camp and gave me a free p55c box to take home, so we supported MMX :) )

ddiaz28
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I am a senior animator in the

I am a senior animator in the visual effects industry. I mostly do creature animation for television shows. Before that I worked on cartoons. I'm always executing the vision of others so I started designing games so I could hopefully publish something that I created on my own one day. The time I spend on design is really dependent on how busy I am at work. We had a 6 week crunch period recently where I had 0 time to design since I was doing 50-60 hour weeks and spent the rest with my family. But there has been slow times where we don't have a show to work on and I'll get to work on my game notes at my desk. I've even brought in my cards to sleeve at work before. LOL. But normally I try and put in a few hours at least 2 nights a week. More if I have a playtesting night coming up.

Jay103
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ddiaz28 wrote:I am a senior

ddiaz28 wrote:
I am a senior animator in the visual effects industry. I mostly do creature animation for television shows. Before that I worked on cartoons.

Anything I might've seen? I recommend http://newsfromme.com if you don't already read it..

ddiaz28
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Possibly. Most recently I

Possibly. Most recently I worked on Haunting of Hill House, Nightflyers, The Expanse, and Umbrella Academy. When I was back doing cartoons I worked on Franny's Feet, Trucktown, and Mike the Knight.

I'll check that out. Never heard of it.

QT Games
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I'm an artist/illustrator in

I'm an artist/illustrator in the slot game industry by day, and fiction writer and game designer by night.

Have a great rest of the week, all!

phonyamerican
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I do framing and drywall.

I do framing and drywall. Haha!

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