September2016

Who am I? A GAME DEV!

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We all know about scheduling & cost challenges involved with travelling to industry events. Coming from regional WA means we have to be super selective on the events we can attend.

Fortunately there are programs out there that might be able to offer assistance!

Let’s Make Games

GCAP Assist Program

Working through the process of an assist package, Jez (our programmer) was asked a question.  ONE question…  And he exploded.  So we thought we would share it with you.

 

“Who are you?”

 

Now let’s not get TOO philosophical but… To understand who I am (as a gamedev), you must know where I come from! LOL

Hi! I’m Jez, half of the full time indie studio Outback Pixels from Kalgoorlie (https://goo.gl/maps/MQD5NqPemXC2), Western Australia. Programmer, Unity enthusiast, game designer & every other hat that needs to be worn! Includes husband to my excellent wife Kim & owner of two awesome border collies!

Yesterday was history!

Prior to Outback Pixels conception I spent 10 years working and building a successful business in a totally unrelated industry to games, not because I loved it but because there was a space to be filled & I was finding my way. In 2014 I had enough of working in my self proclaimed loveless job & wanted to live a life doing something I enjoy. With the support of my wife & the experience of how difficult it is to establish a business let alone a passion as a business , I sold the lot to become a full time game dev. Wait… what? I got rid of my secure… established business… to become a full time game dev… knowing I have limited programming skills & ZERO industry experience. MADNESS!

Positivity in discovery!

Up to that point I had spent a bit of time chasing programming skills through online programs but found that, in my opinion, that the resources at hand where sub par & more frustrating than helpful.

Turn the negative into a positive!

This reminded me of when I created other business, JUST DO IT! Thanks Nike.
Outback Pixels was established mid way through 2015 backed up with my only real qualifications into the industry of games. These being ownership of a couple of Commodore 64s, a Sega Master System 2, a SNES, a Vectrex, a couple of PC’s, original Donkey Kong & other random hand held flip games & most other popular consoles, along with the enthusiasm & wonderment for games from 25+ years of playing.

Let the fun begin.

I attended PAXAUS in 2014 for the first time and was overwhelmed with the gaming community that was out there which I had never experienced coming from regional WA. I ran from panel to panel, dragging my artist wife along, ducking into the exhibition area when I had a chance & managing to attend 12-15 panels across the 3 days. I absorbed every bit of information I could and felt I had levelled up! Filled with passion we returned to the red sand of the outback to continue building skills.

There were (& still are) frustrations at every turn, but gritting our teeth & telling ourselves this is normal when you step into anything without an official Google “how to” we knew we would find our way. Development engines were decided. Development engines were undecided. We developed our own game engines. We undeveloped our own game engines. Directions and paths were decided… and undecided. Passions were re-evaluated. On some occasions, these things would happen all at the same time & sometimes all on the same day!

Jumping forward to PAXAUS 2015 saw me not take advantage of Unite & GCAP opportunities. It was a product of not being organised enough or being too absorbed with other priorities like personal learning time line assumptions, freaking-out, creating stuff, freaking-out, making games, freaking out, playing games and even more freaking out within the world of creativity. Attending Pax again I hit every panel that sounded remotely relevant to my self proclaimed learning experience & even some that weren’t (always try new things). I found that the 3 day panel haul was not as informative / rewarding as I found last year, this alone was fantastic! I left PAXAUS 2015 with a clear goal.

“Proof of concept. Finish something. Publish something.”

So I picked an idea from a 72 hour self inflicted Jez/Kim game jam & went to work. Our first game, Roid Rage, was published to iOS (exclusive to iPad) in February 2016. Our second game, a game born from selfish passion & inspired by games like Minestorm (Vectrex) & Bubble Bobble (Commodore 64+more), Thwart GEO was published for all android & iOS devices in May 2016.

Today is a gift!

Leaping forward to today. I’m positively stressed and excited to be showing Thwart GEO at the Perth Games Festival (600kms away in the big city!!) in 2 days time. I’m overwhelmed with the documentation & emails to be organizing our exhibition at PAXAUS 2016 and even if we’ll be accepted by the gaming & development community & I’m super excited to participate in Unite & GCAP 2016!

I learn something new every week if not every day surrounding myself with creativity,chaos & logic to grow, develop & enjoy the journey that is my life.

I hope this has given you but a small preview to who I am today!

Tomorrow is a mystery!