Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:16 AM
I'm from the United States, and just moved back from Hawai'i, where I lived for two years. It was definitely a beautiful place, but I would recommend visiting instead of living there. Everything is hugely overpriced, and while the scenery is lovely, the people are... not as much. My birthday is February 14th, I'm a Valentines day baby, currently dating a beautiful woman who likes computers almost as much as I do.
Sorry if this introduction seems disjointed, I'm essentially following the very helpful template provided in the sticky. (Name, DOB, etc.)
I'm an independent game designer, though I started in web design. Graphic design is obviously a hugely important component of video games, so I oftentimes use graphic design as a fallback in between game releases. Graphic design is very zen, simultaneously peaceful, creative, and intensely rewarding, so I certainly don't mind taking a break from game design to work on graphics from time to time. Game design is also an interesting field, but the rewards are much more spaced out, and harder to earn. There are stretches of sometimes months, trying to track down or fix a bug, so you don't get the near-instant gratification that you would receive from designing a logo.
My hobbies mostly revolve around computers;
I like to make mods for games, (that's a big piece of how I got into game design) particularly the Elder Scrolls series.
I like building computers and network systems, I recently finished my first beowulf cluster, which is a group of low-cost computers running a distributed operating system... basically you take a bunch of cheap desktops and hook them together to make a supercomputer.
I also do some consulting work in the offensive security sector, which essentially means that I build systems that prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to computer systems. That's incredibly fun work, since I get to do a lot of auditing to find the flaws in a system before I make my recommendation for how they should organize their new system. That means acting like a secret agent, basically, and the look on peoples' faces when they find out I'm an auditor... priceless. I count this as a hobby because it basically is; the fact that people are willing to pay me for it just makes it that much better. I would do this work for free most of the time (except writing up security reports, that's boring).
I also work a lot with general electrical and computer engineering, that's probably my favorite hobby. I have a box of Arduinos, and I'll take one out and make a complicated robotic system to solve a simple problem. Super fun. I highly recommend everyone try messing with an Arduino at least once, they're hugely educational and useful. I have two projects going with them right now, one is a kilowatt laser mounted on a roomba, I'm attempting to make it auto-target the wasps that have built nests in my rafters, basically a little robot that zooms around shooting lasers at any stinging bugs in the sky. It's having a lot of trouble with object recognition at the moment, so I have to fix that so it doesn't fry someone's pet on accident. The other project is a flying drone with a goPro camera attached, that locks onto and follows a GPS beacon. The idea is to be able to use the standalone GPS in most modern smartphones to send a signal, and then the drone will follow you from a distance and record what you do with the gopro. Perfect for snowboarders/mountain bikers... anyone into extreme sports. All the components are only like $300 altogether, and the result is an aerial camera that can follow you from 20 feet behind, even if you're doing crazy aerial stunts.
Accomplishments... I recently released my first commercial-grade game, which was a freaking blast. I had a lot of fear about how it would be received, but it actually went quite well.
Bad stuff: I have a billion projects going at a time. That makes it super hard to finish any particular one. I have like 20 plugins I'm developing for 3dsmax (3d modeling program), brush sets I've been making for Photoshop, games, those Arduino projects, I want to finish setting up my 3d printer, and I still haven't gotten my website redesigned. I had it done, finally, but then they released HTML 5, and I wanted to make it fancier... Yeah, not so great.
Well, that's me! To those who actually read all that, WOW, thanks, and uh... sorry for rambling.
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