Last Updated on Saturday, 24 October 2009 09:34 Posted by Clash Friday, 09 October 2009 14:20
Job-title: President / Lead Software Engineer
Web/blog site URL: www.rebornentertainment.com
Give us your job description in 25 words or less. To design and develop games, learning software, media, and services that are built on the foundation of God’s Word.
Describe a typical workday.
Bible Study: I spend my first hour studying the Word and praying Goals: I look through my todo list and prioritize what and when things need to get done for the day Brainstorming: I have found that I’m most creative in the morning, so this is usually when I spend several hours coming up with new ideas that seem fun, engaging, and that will positively affect users. Once a week, I try to come up with a whole new idea for a game. This often leads to ideas that I can incorporate into projects I’m currently working on or store away for future development. Storyboarding: After brainstorming and imagining what it would feel like to be inside the game playing it, I take those mental images and put them down on paper as a storyboard. Design: Next, I work through how I can bring my ideas into reality. Much of what I come up with ends up needing to be greatly simplified or scrapped all together because of how complex it would be to program. I try to break down the ideas into lots of little parts and create diagrams on how they link together and what relies on what. I start off with simple sketches, and as the design solidifies, I get more detailed with a standard method called UML. Program: About half of my day I spend programming. Research: I try to find a little time at the end of each day to research new techniques and concepts.
What led you to realize that you wanted to do this type of work? I’ve always loved playing games and coming up with new games (I pretty much made everything I did into a game). In college I found how thrilling it was to play the newest computer games but often felt let down after playing for several hours. I realized that I wanted to play these games but I didn’t want to waste so much of my time. I also saw that the violence in the games was starting to affect me. After searching for better games and finding very few, I decided that I could make a big difference in people’s lives by supplying this.
Did you have any heroes or mentors in your industry that you admired? My dad has had the greatest influence on my life and has taught me, if I have a dream, to go for it with all I‘ve got. But, as far as someone in the industry … I can’t think of any real mentors. The closest would be Will Wright. He is a genius when it comes to developing unique and creative games.
What type of education or training was required to land your job? To get to where I am now, I started with a computer science degree and focused on expanding my creative side through classes like art, photography, and creative writing. The key, though, was going well beyond this and spending time reading books to learn how to do the things that I loved and wanted to do. Along the way I would try to put what I learned into practice so I would have a really strong understanding of whatever it was (3d graphics, game engine design, AI, etc.).
What do you love most about your job? I love that I’m producing products that will help people grow in their walk with Christ. I also love that this job involves so much problem solving and uses both logical and creative thinking.
What one part of your job do you wish you could hire someone else to do? Marketing! There is a lot to running a business and marketing is at least half of it. Selling your ideas, making other people really understand and want to be part of what you’re doing is really hard and takes a lot of planning, diligence, and patience. Aside from that, I love everything else I do.
What advice would you give to teenagers wanting to get into your field of work? Start working towards your goal now! Most people love to play games, many of those people would love to create games, but few take the steps required to be able to do it. It takes a LOT of time and motivation to learn what you need to learn. Focus on taking small steps! Don’t start with trying to build Pac-Man. Start with Tic-Tac-Toe or something even easier. You will fail many times, but keep at it. Once you finish a project, try rebuilding it from scratch. You’ll be surprised how much you learn each time.
How does your job allow you to use your God-given gifts? When looking at the gifts that God has given me, I feel like He has created me to do exactly what I’m doing! God has led me to where I am now, I am doing what he has designed me to do, and that is the most satisfying part of my job. Look at what you’re good at and enjoy doing, see how this could fit into God’s plan for your life, and have faith.