Like most people who are interested in computers and technology from a young age, I was the resident technical support for my family and friends. Luckily my Dad is also technically-inclined (hardware and software engineer) so he helped reduce the overall amount of work.
For my first job, I ended up working at a local, small computer store as a service clerk. It was a technical support position. I learned how to talk to customers in person and on the phone, explaining issues and walking them through steps to resolve them. I enjoyed working there and it laid the foundation for a lot of customer service skills that came to be very useful later on in my career.
Fast-forward around nine years from then. During the beta and launch of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the programming team was asked if we could join the official forums to help troubleshoot and collect information about technical issues that had/would come up “in the wild”. This was the first time Relic had launched a game with their own hosted community website with forums. Previous to this, RelicNews.com was created by fans to fill this gap. I signed up in an instant, under the handle ‘Pulse’. Read more ›
For a while I’ve been meaning to work on my art skills. I took some art classes in high school, art classes outside of school, and even a university course on sketching, but never really pursued it beyond that. My wife is an artist and I always admire the work she does. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with amazingly talented artists throughout my career so far.
My wife did a 30-day sketching challenge for herself during April, and it was inspiring to see her work every day. I thought it would be a good exercise for myself as well, so I started my own challenge in May. I didn’t miss a single day, although some days the work was rather simplistic. I was just using a simple pen (coincidentally the Google pen I got from Siggraph 2011) and drew still-life from around our home. I’ve arranged all the sketches in chronological order, click to see the full size: Read more ›
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If you plan on shipping code on some device, whether is it a PC, phone, tablet, game console, whatever – your first priority is to get some code running on that device. Any code. Even it is just a sample project, learn the steps to getting code running on your target device.
I’m going to use the word ‘device’ and ‘platform’ interchangeably here. I am referring to the thing that end users will use to run your app or game.
When I was in school I constantly saw my classmates leaving the ‘porting to device’ task to the very last minute. The common result would be: here is our project running on our PC (launched from an IDE…) because we couldn’t get it working on the device in time. In class, somehow that wasn’t a fail. In industry, that is precisely a fail. I’m still unsure why the professors didn’t insist that students get code running on device as their very first step. Read more ›