Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why I Go To Extremes (Graduate Schools)

Well maybe I do to to extremes.

Anyway so I've been thinking about this for a while and I'm going to get rid of the "Just Say No To Burnout/Split-Second/FnF" pics cause overall, I'm trying to build up something (Sega racers), not tear something down (bad racing games).  I get mad, I don't like some of these things, but I think that may be going over the line (remember, take a bit of sarcasm, not pure unadulterated hate with these things).  Don't need to look too sanctimonious here.

EDIT: I'm sorry I went to extremes again.  It becomes necessary in the course of human events to "warn" users of my disdain for these games so a smaller, snazzier pic remains.  But one that is much more kind I might add.

Fine, you want to go play Burnout?  Hey, I'm just saying you might be missing out on SEGA RACERS and that's a shame.

And about the Iggy Koopa pic...well, we can't get rid of that because we know Iggy is bringing the sexy back so he's not going anywhere.  Lol, I'm just kidding.


So anyway...I am done applying to FIEA.  Read about this gaming college here.  So May 6th was the final day to apply.  If you pursued the Production track, you had to submit an essay of your own game concept within a week's time limit.  If you pursued the Programming track, you had to submit some of your best source code and that's that.

Up until two days before the deadline, I was still dead set on the Production track.  I was plugging away at this essay with which you had some freedom to come up with a game.  I'll tell you what I was planning on...I was writing about a new Monster Rancher game.  Yeah, I want a new Monster Rancher game, now that would be cool.  Maybe I'll write about my ideas soon.

But I got stuck with two days left and then I thought to myself, "What am I doing???"  I don't think I want to do the Production track after all.  So rather than write a monotone essay that they wouldn't like, I found a treasure trove of source code, comment scanned a few things, threw it in a pile, then e-mailed off as my Programming portfolio.  The recipient said, "Awesome!" and then that's that.  Considering the odds of getting into the school as a programmer was MUCH higher, I think that may have been a "gutsy" call.  Then I would be shipped off to Florida where I'll spend a year (and $30,000) staring at a computer screen twelve hours a day.

I had this idea beforehand that producers were the leaders and programmers (aka code monkeys) did all the dirty work.  Like the old "chiefs and indians" metaphor.  And then rather than play the role of subservient loser my entire career, I could call the shots then go to Sega and make new Daytona games and then save all video games as we know it.  But that is sad to pass Programming because there's a few things:

1) My skill set is accomodating to the programming experience.
2) I like programming.
3) It's a tangible job that can keep me employed.  This is contrast to producers who run around saying, "Make this, make that," and then they PAY the man for giving them marching orders
4) I wouldn't say I'm TOO creative.  My goal is mostly to revamp existing series and make them more solid and fun to play, not to come up with arbitrary games like Psychonauts and Katamari Demacy.

As a programmer, I thought I'd have no mouth and that I must scream because my entire fate was decided by a cabal of producers who want to push buggy movie adaptations upon the market that'll be forgotten in a month because that's MONEY.  Well, I do have a mouth and I'll scream at these people (politely, of course).  Like, "Hey, maybe we can do this differently and it would be better," or "I've got some ingenious ideas that would be awesome," and then there I go.

EDIT: Just read in Yuji Naka's Wikipedia entry that he started his career for Sega as a programmer.  He programmed the original Sonic the Hedgehog and then after that, it was off to the races.

It's like The Sims in that you have to get a job at the bottom of the career ladder then work your way up.  So go to school, go to work, keep applying to Sega, get a job there, go to Japan, persuade AM2 to do it, then the rest is history.

So just go to FIEA, take programming and production classes, see what you can learn, then we'll go from there.  I'd be lying if I said I was at ease over this, but you gotta do something eventually.


  1. I kind of thought about you when I did my blog post on Burnout Revenge. As a friend, any aspirations you have in school, life, love, or whatever... I want the best for you. So best wishes to you with this graduate school deal.

  2. Thanks man, that is very kind of you to say. I read your Burnout article but I didn't know how to reply. Maybe I'll go leave a comment. As for the future, I'll try to make all you guys proud!!