I love game development, even more than playing games.
I hope to do it for a living one day.
I did not go to school for game development.
I believe in professionalism through dedicated self education.
I went to college for Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
I have an Associates in Architecture.
I have a Bachelor's in Landscape Architecture.
I graduated from Michigan State University with honors.
I love learning and pushing my abilities in order to improve.
I will continue making games.
I thank you for visiting my space on the web.
Good night all...
Hi, I'm Kevin...
...I am an indie game developer. Well, that is what I consider myself as I do not have any direct academics that resulted in a formal documentation to announce as such. What is a piece of paper with fancy writing worth, anyway? I do have one of those, and the debt that goes along with it, but it is in the degree of Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University. That's right. I spent 12 years working at a Landscape Architecture firm full time, while spending 7 years of those years earning my Bachelor's in the same profession. I also have an Associates in Architecture. So, why did I abandon that professional ship? Simply put, jobs were scarce and I lost my passion for it. Though, I was always wondering what I would do if Landscape Architecture didn't work out.
During my later college years, I started tinkering around with Unity. It was fun to mess around with, but I never got into a real serious game project. I did love to code, create art and music, so I thought maybe I could make video games if Landscape Architecture did not work out. I wouldn't be wasting everything I learned over the years at MSU, after all. I learned to love code from scripting in AutoLISP for AutoCAD and just from being curious about how video games work. Art and music has always been a big part of my life, as well as gaming. So, why not venture into the realm of game developing that encompasses so many parts of my life?
The work at my firm began to slow down and I had to resort to doing side jobs to fill the gaps. I started freelancing graphic design and it so happened that a few those jobs were printed at a local printing company, Printwell. They were looking for someone full time, and I jumped at the chance. I slowly made my departure from Landscape Architecture, while working at Printwell.
Very shortly after I graduated from MSU, I went to PAX. To be specific, the very first PAX East. After missing out on so much for studies over the years, I was very excited to be surrounded by so much gaming and game related content. There were a few panel discussions on game development, so I decided to attend them. Listening to the developers and how passionate they were about their career really struck a chord with me. When I got back home, I started really digging into what I needed to learn in order to make games.
Over the years I kept my eyes on Unity, as well as other popular game engines. I started out following along with tutorials and modding those tutorial games with my own ideas and building slightly larger games from them. These, of course, were far from something that you could call releasable. Also, I still felt no confidence in my abilities to make a full game without some hand holding. So, how could I improve? Somewhere along the line, I stumbled upon Ludum Dare. I never heard of game jams up to that point, but it sounded ridiculous to me: make a game within 72 hours (for the jam). I was amazed at the amount of submissions and downloaded some past submissions to play. Then, I noticed that there were these smaller jams on Ludum Dare called miniLDs. A much more entry level game jam, it only required you to make a game within a week. So, that was it. A perfect way to test my abilities. Timing myself and only allowing myself 72 hours to create a game over the course of a week. That game was the very first iteration of Core Influence. From there on, I did two more Ludum Dares to date.
So, to test myself once again, I decided that I needed to learn how to put together a fully developed game and release it. Since Core Influence was my very first touchstone for my development capabilities, I decided it would be the first game I would fully develop and release. It was suppose to be a simple game. No game modes. No achievements. No unlockables. No options. Just a simple game with a title screen, the game view, and a results screen. What ended up happening was my tenacity for learning took over and it blew up into a game that included four game modes, unlockables, achievements, options, tutorials for each game mode, Google Play services with cloud saving, social media sharing, and video ad rewards using Unity Ads.
After I release Core Influence, I will start working on a larger project that will be targeted for pc/console. Ideally, I would like to release one or two small mobile games a year based on my game jam entries, while working on that larger project.