A Deluge of experimentation
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a programmer, designer, composer, narrative writer, and teacher - and you've never heard of me. I don't have big titles or victories to my name. Not yet, anyway. Maybe they'll come and maybe they won't. But I don't dabble - I experiment. I'm curious, and I like making things. How do I choose something to focus on when there's so much cool stuff to do?
I designed my first video game when I was six. It was a progressive shooter in which a grinning stick figure astronaut fought off aliens with lasers. My design tools were a pencil and two pages of dot matrix paper. In later years, I discovered the magic of scotch tape and started creating larger levels and games (which may or may not have looked an awful lot like whatever NES title I was playing that month).
I wrote my first line of code when I was five (lucky in my education). But I didn't try to actually create a video game until I was sixteen, when I wrote a text adventure in Basic during my senior year study hall. In college, after one semester and two weeks as a math major, I switched to computer science. Since 1999 I've experimented with game development in one way or another, and by no means just digital games. I've designed two board games as pet projects, and written plenty of tabletop and live-action RPG campaigns.
I've never been a professional game developer, in that I've never been paid a salary to develop games (not counting Flash games written for clients during my many years as a programming contractor). But I've done quite a bit. I like math, I love mechanical systems, and I deeply love story and interactive experience. I love working on teams with smart, creative people and making tools to help them bring their visions to life. Most of all, I love giving people experiences that they enjoy and that give them something of value. Everything I love steers me, continuously, toward game development.