Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Humble beginnings

So hello there. Name's Nathan, but you may know me by another alias if you've followed me on the web in the past, namely fishtrek or kowbrainz.

I'm currently a design student at Curtin University of Technology, based in Perth, Western Australia. My long term goal is to break into the videogame industry in some big way, whether it be through joining a well known, pre-established studio or creating one of my own and making a game that actually sells more than a couple dozen copies.

I didn't always know I wanted to become a game designer, but I think it's been something stuck at the back of my mind for a long time. Games have been a big part of my life since I was about six years old - some classics I fondly remember from back then including Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong Country and Wolfenstein 3D. There are many others but I don't feel like wasting your time listing them all.

May not look like much now, but this game was a-freaking-mazing back in the day

When I was in primary school, at about eight or nine years old, I would often draw up concepts for games. Character designs, level layouts, ability lists - a whole heap of stuff that goes into making games. Back then I borrowed heavily from my favourite games so I probably wouldn't be able to make anything without having my ass sued to death. But it was the creative process that counted.

Throughout the rest of school I would often try to convince myself I wanted a "proper job". One I could actually talk about with others without getting smirks or being told to grow up. Dentistry, writing, architecture, graphic design, programming - all this kind of passed through my head at one point or another, but they weren't really things I wanted to focus on completely. Some of these opportunities had money behind them, but money was never something that I wanted to follow either. Give me enough to feed myself and a roof over my head, maybe enough to buy a new game every now and then and I'd be more than happy.

Now that I'm studying at uni, the worry of not having enough money for the bare necessities creeps up every now and then. There are a lot of people in my course who'll say negative (yet somewhat realistic) things about how slim the chance of getting hired for a games company is. Maybe it's naive for me to think otherwise, but I feel like if I really want this I just have to keep going at it. I'll get a job to fall back on if need be, but losing sight of these goals isn't something I want to happen any time soon.

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