This year I decided I wanted to write out a blog post rather than just a facebook update and a list. This way I can go into more detail on the items, as well as actually get an update on my blog for once now that I have one.
Despite years just being an arbitrary number, the new year represents the future, goals,new beginnings. This past year was a very rough year for me. The move to the West Coast was rough. I didn’t land a suitable job yet. I’ve been under a lot of stress and frustration lately. But that’s not what I do these lists for. I make them to reflect on the positive aspects of the year. Besides, complaining about my current situation and other negative experiences isn’t going to help me at all.
Onto my Top 10 of 2015. Most of them are going to be entertainment related, but the top few will definitely be things that happened to me. Additionally, I want to also state that I’m grateful for my family and close friends. They’ve been supportive with my wild journey. I’m thankful for their patience and their help. Every day I think about them, and miss the ones that I left when I moved.
10. Unreal Engine 4 Goes Free
This would be higher on my list, because it’s pretty awesome that a very powerful game development engine goes free for everyone, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to create anything this year that’s even remotely worth showing off. So with that said, I’m making it a goal to create a game this year.
9. Grow Home
I didn’t get around to playing many new games this year, but I had time to get around to this one. It was a small, simple game. You play as a robot, exploring this alien planet. You climb a giant plant, like Jack and the Bean Stock. It’s quite impressive that this game was built using the Unity Engine. I had fun with it and it’s an easy recommendation for people who like playing games with exploration.
8. Andrei Arlovski vs Travis Browne
This was one wild fight. Ten years ago, Arlovski was a beast. But then for a while, everyone was able to knock him out. He’s come back and threw down with Travis Browne, who is also a big, scary dude. These guys definitely worked hard for their pay checks. One of the craziest fights of the year, especially for two big, heavyweights.
7. Inside Out
Pixar loves toying with my emotions, and this time, it’s the plot of the movie as well. I really enjoyed this movie and felt a connection with the main character because I watched this a month after my move. So missing my friends and family was on the top of my mind at that time.
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
This movie was just crazy in the best ways possible. Lots of elements of the story makes no sense at all, but it was just a really fun and hectic action movie.
5. Daredevil/Jessica Jones
This year, Netflix debuted two of my favorite comic inspired tv shows. I keep up with other comic-based shows like Arrow, The Flash, The Walking Dead, and even watched a little bit of Powers. I’ve been a fan of Daredevil for a while because I use to read the comics. I never heard of Jessica Jones prior to the show though because apparently she’s a newer character. The quality, the dark and gritty themes, the writing and the acting were all spot-on with both of these shows. On top of all that, I love how Marvel connects everything together and they constantly make references to the Avengers movies. I look forward to more from these shows.
4. Game Design Month
This year was the first year that I’ve done a theme for my podcast, and what better topic than “game design?” For the whole month, my friends and I talked about different game design topics. I felt that it went very successful. I wrote up lots of notes for these shows and I think they ended up being very informative in the subject of Game Design. I would definitely do this again.
3. The Revamp of my portfolio
This is something that I needed to do. My old portfolio was dark, had some errors in the information, and didn’t have much room to grow. This update is a huge improvement. It’s easier for me to add new content, such as adding the new projects that I’ll be doing in the future. It looks cleaner. On top of that, I added the blog and art sections which I didn’t have before.
2. Out of Continues 4 years/Ep 200
Back to the podcast again, I’ve reached over 200 episodes and the 4 year anniversary. I’m happy to have reached this far, and my mentor, Michelle, joined me on the 200th episode to talk about what it’s like to be a Game Designer.
1. GDC 2015
This GDC was pretty big. While it didn’t lead to a job this year, I at least got one job interview. Michelle took me on a tour of Zynga, which was really awesome to see the inside of a large, game studio. Zeb’s friend, Frank, took us on tour of Pixar as well. It was a great trip, and hopefully this new year will lead to more and better opportunities.
Here’s a choose your own adventure video I worked on back in April 2012. Batman and Superman fight a giant blob. You need youtube annotations on for this. All the artwork is done by my partner, Brian VanIrvin.
First off, I want to welcome and thank everyone who’s visiting my new site. I feel that it only makes sense for me to make a new blog post since one of the new additions to my site is having a blog.
I decided to rebuild my portfolio for a few reasons. One of my online friends has criticized my old portfolio to looking like a wiki for a 90s space mmo game. I wanted to clean up my portfolio, make it look more presentable, add more personality to it, have my projects all in one unified place, and also have a place to occasionally post my art and write up some blogs.
I’m not much of a writer. I’m also not much of an artist. Although, every once in a while I’ll get the urge to do one of those. I already have posted some of my old blog posts from an old blog, as well as some old art, just to get some content in here. I likely wont write too many blog posts since I have my podcasts and usually share my opinions on those. It will likely end up that my blogs will mostly be updates on my projects.
Speaking of projects, I need to get started on one, ASAP. My last project was a Portal 2 level from Last September. I’ve been really busy searching for jobs, but I keep using that as an excuse to not work on something. Building this website as well as looking over some of my older projects, has helped given me some motivation to get started on something. Not sure what yet, but I think I’ll make it my goal to at least have something started by the end of this week.
So while I’m rebuilding my portfolio and setting up my blog, I was looking at my old projects, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this one. This is my very first game that I built on my own, Jack Attack. I used Scratch to make this game. Back when I made this, Jack Thompson was always making headlines trying to sue Rockstar and make some noise. So that’s where the theme came from. This was before I started understanding good game design. You can tell because level 3 is much more difficult than level 4. Anyways, you can play it at this url
Here are a couple of old flash games I made for one of my earlier game creation classes. One is a whack-a-mole style game for a midterm and the other is a shootem-up for the final. Despite the games called Jack Attack 2 and 3, they have nothing to do with Jack Attack 1.