For as long as I can remember I’ve had an obsession with video games. I always wanted to know how games were developed. The questions I had back then weren’t easily answered. Today if we need to know something we can just Google it, but back then researching a career like this wasn’t so easy.
After I graduated high school in 1997, I attended…
- 4 year college for Computer Science
- 2.5 year tech school for Computer Repair
- 2.5 year tech school for Game Design / 3D Modeling
I knew for a long time that I wanted to work with computers or something in that field. I felt the best way to gain experience was to jump right in make mistakes and learn from them. I also took a huge interest in modifying game consoles, such as Sega DreamCast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It’s something I just felt very comfortable with over the years and I loved everything about it. Learning was actually fun for a change!
On November 15, 2001 Microsoft launched there first console called Xbox. I was really excited to experience something new. So I purchased two consoles, one for gaming and another for modding. I’ll admit I blew a few of them up. Practice makes perfect, right? I kept pushing myself to learn more as I worked through the rough patches, but after sometime I learned different methods on how to hack the Xbox…
- TSOP flashing: reflashing the onboard BIOS chip with a hacked BIOS to circumvent the security mechanisms.
- Softmods: installing additional software files to the Xbox hard drive, which exploit programming errors in the Dashboard to gain control of the system, and overwrite the in-memory copy of the BIOS.
- Modchip: installing a modchip inside the Xbox that bypasses the original BIOS, with a hacked BIOS to circumvent the security mechanisms.
Microsoft launched the Xbox with and exclusive title called Halo. Millions of people took and interest in the game and young minds started to dig deeper. In early 2002 I joined a community called HaloMods. At the time I was creating small cache mods, but nothing over the top. Just basic skin swaps, scenery, terrain, weather effects, injected new vehicles into multiplayer and a few other things. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of community status though. So I put together a small team of graphic artists, programmers and set out for something big. That’s when I created HaloMaps. Over the years I became very well known in the Halo community for various mods and map packs I created. I would do it all over again if I had the chance.
On another note I absolutely love to 3D Model, it’s a passion of mine. It has to be one of my favorite things to do. It’s very relaxing and I enjoy every minute of it. I’m fluent in Maya and Photoshop. I’ve worked a lot with UnrealED back in school and created a lot of mods for Unreal Tournament 2k4/III. I also got into the Unreal community as well and used some of my Halo knowledge to pull off some really cool things.
As you can see from my photos, I attend a lot of gaming conventions as well. It’s a great way to network, especially with the smaller indie dev companies. They’re always looking for talented people, it’s a growing field. Another great way is to join a mod community and become an active participant in forum discussions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, release your work, learn to take constructive criticism from others and keep focused on your goals. Eventually your work will speak for you in the long run so don’t be shy, build that portfolio. I’ve been down this road before, trust me! A college degree will only take you so far. It’s up to you to make it happen.
At night I love to game with friends on PlayStation 4. It’s a great way for me to kick back and decompress. I love FPS, Action RPGs and Indie games. I also play World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 in moderation. I love to have LAN parties with my friends once a month it’s a good time. In 2013 I got really upset with Microsoft and traded in all my Xbox systems and games that I purchased through out the years. I wrote an article based on that story, it’s called “The Final Trade In“. It was in response to a reddit post that was going around about a year ago.
Overall, I’ve worked with all sorts of groups and pulled off some remarkable things over the years. I enjoy setting goals for myself and over achieving anything I set out to do. There’s no better reward than self satisfaction. As for work I would love to be in Seattle working as a 3D artist for some game company, it’s always been a dream of mine. However, I’ve had some setbacks over the years and certain things take priority in life. Now a days I work on a much smaller scale than I would like, but at least I can say that I still do what makes me happy at the end of the day!