University and Beyond
There’s not much to mention about my video gaming life in University. Now in Halifax, I couldn’t very well bring up all my systems (especially in my little dorm room). I had a PS2 that fulfilled my needs throughout my Bachelor of Commerce and it did the trick. A lot of my first year could easily be divided into the 3 games played after dinner. The Star Wars: Battlefront months, the Super Smash Bros. Melee months, and the DotA months. By 4th year (having moved into an apartment after 1st year), I had managed to slowly bring my TG 16 and (what was now my) Atari 2600 from Toronto. I now had a multi-tap and 3 controllers for the TG 16 and played Bomberman just about any time there were more than 3 people in the apartment. There was a time Keith and I logged about 5 hours of consecutive Bomberman time during the Summer of 3rd year. With the advent of Rock Band, it was not long before Bomberman was replaced as the de facto multiplayer game of the household.
Having realized that my dream (and as far as I’m concerned, the dream of anyone who played video games as a child) of being a video game guy (read: designer) wasn’t going to happen, I figured I needed to prepare for a career in something else. Not sure what to do, I decided to go into my next interest, Commerce, and bank on the fact that everything has a business aspect to it. The theory being that I could find my way into the company I wanted to work for by entering through the business side. Progressing through academics, extra curriculars, and internships, I learned more about what I didn’t want to do, than what I wanted to do. My favourite business-related activities at the time were brainstorming entrepreneurial and business ideas with friends, but without any solid and respectable experience to back it up, I’d have a tough time being a new-grad consultant.
Upon graduation, I headed back to Toronto with the hopes of finding work. As a graduation gift for myself, I purchased an Xbox360 (which I also have no attachment to), After a few possible prospects drying up, a standing offer from an Investment and Insurance firm to work as an adviser (read: salesman), a standing offer to work as an equity day trader, I came across a job posting for a Nova Scotian game company, HB-Studios. Realizing that this was once my dream, I applied to the position of Game Designer. I was incredibly impressed with the company’s portfolio, what was being said about them, their facilities, and was eager to remain in Nova Scotia. After completing the company Game Designer test and going through a phone interview (I was still in Toronto), I was lucky enough to be invited back for an in person interview at the studio. It’s now been 4 months and I love having the opportunity to brainstorm, problem solve, and create. There’s still lots to learn, but I’m up to the task. And my TurboGrafX-16? It’s still close by, hooked up to the TV at my desk.