I've started my trek back into game development. It's been about 2 1/2 years since I really got serious about it. Here's a little background to get you caught up. I have two major game projects under my belt. My first game project came as a result of my first game programming class at the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2003. The game was called Zombie Beer Run (You can check it out here if you dare). After that class I took the 3d game programming class, which thoroughly kicked my ass! I made the mistake of pairing up with a guy that already knew way more than I did about programming in general, and he left me way behind. At the very least I learned how to absorb and integrate into someone elses code, a trait that has helped me in both jobs I've had.
I then started to create a 3d demo of my own. It turned out to be a sandbox world where I could try new tricks that I learned, like shaders, and cloth animation. In the spring of 2005 I took a special projects course with the UNT game programming professor, Dr. Ian Parberry. It was a simple class, come up with an interesting, relevent project and execute it. I choose to come up with a way so simulate wind in a 3d environment. I spent the entire semester working on it and at the end came up with a pretty cool algorithm that produced some pretty cool visuals. Parberry was so impressed that he asked me to write a paper on it to submit to SIGGRAPH: ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. It ended up getting accepted and I gave a presentation on it at the Boston confrence in front of people that knew way more than I did even about what I was talking about. You can check out the paper here.
I graduated that spring and futilly tried to get in to the game industry. I had one interview with Ritual in Dallas. It was one of the biggest epic fails of my life. I was just way too green and way over my head. I went on to work for a starup .com and learned alot about programming in general that I needed in order to really compete for a job in this industry.
So like I said, I'm back. I really don't like the direction my career is going right now. It's not that I hate my job, its that I really am not interested in what I do. I want to program video games for a living. So my plan is to work during the day, and every other day work on game programming stuff from 9-11. And when I'm not actully programming, read as much as I possibly can.
I'll keep a running update on my progress here and hopefully turn this into a device for networking with people that I haven't met yet.