Monday, September 29, 2008

Games I've worked on

When I tell people I make video games for a living, they often ask if I've worked on any games they've heard of. I've listed them below. For a full list of games my company has made, visit or

  • Tom and Jerry Tales (2006, Nintendo DS)
  • My Spanish Coach (2007, Nintendo DS)
  • My French Coach (2007, Nintendo DS)
  • My Chinese Coach (2008, Nintendo DS)
  • My Japanese Coach (2008, Nintendo DS)
It's not a lot yet, but it takes time to get a lot of titles under your belt. I was lead programmer on My Chinese Coach and My Japanese Coach, so if you have any suggestions or complaints, feel free to discuss them here.

Speaking of My Japanese Coach, it's very encouraging to see the buzz it's receiving on forums around the internet. Chinese Coach is doing well in it's own right, but My Japanese Coach isn't even out yet, and it's ranked higher on than the Chinese version. So, let me know what you think of those games. If you have specific comments, or questions, I'm open to discussing as much as my boss will let me.

These games have been a lot of fun to work on. The DS is a pretty easy platform to work with, considering it's all done with C and C++. Unfortunately, I can't tell you about any future titles I may or may not be working on, but as soon as I can talk details (meaning, when future games are announced), I'll be sure to post them here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Story...

Obviously, I love my job. My wife always tells people (when they ask what I do) that I got my dream job right out of college. I get to work on games all day long, then I go home and play games at night.

So, here's my story. I've always loved programming. I used to write games on my TI-85 calculator back in high school. I also played around in QBasic back then. I took computer classes throughout middle school and high school. I remember learning HyperCard (anyone used it?) on a Mac Classic in 7th grade. But it wasn't until I got to college that I finally started learning real, useful programming languages. I'd always loved video games, but it didn't quite occur to me until about halfway through college that I could really, actually go into the field of game development once I got my Computer Science degree.

I eventually graduated, and I applied at some 20 or 30 different companies, some game-related, some not. I had several interviews, and even some job offers. But I decided I would only fall back on the non-game-related jobs if the game programming ones didn't pan out. I was flown out to Phoenix, Arizona, for an interview, and almost flew out to San Rafael for another, but eventually I decided to accept an offer at Sensory Sweep, even though the pay was less than some non-game-related job offers I had received. For more pay, I could have been a Java coder at some newspaper publishing company. Or I could have been a database programmer in a large corporate environment.

Sure, I could've taken the money, but would I have been happy? Probably, to an extent. After all, I enjoy programming, no matter the nature of the task. But would it have been this fun? Definitely not. The great thing about working at a video game company is not just the games you get to work on. In my opinion, the best part of working at Sensory Sweep is the atmosphere. Everyone you work with loves video games just as much as you do (and some probably more). Everyone talks about games all day long. You can't find that at Microsoft, or some web development company. It's a pretty casual environment too. Our break room has 2 ping pong tables, a foosball table, air hockey, and 2 arcade machines. I can honestly say that if it weren't for my job in video games, I would not be as good as I am now at foosball and ping pong. But of course, those are just perks.

Welcome to the blog!

Thanks for visiting this new blog. I work in the video game industry at a game company called Sensory Sweep in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before I joined this company, it was always my dream to work in video games. I know there are a lot of people out there that want to know about the video game industry, and how they can get started. So the point of this blog is to give you an insider's view of what it's like to work in video games, and also what you need to do to get a job making games. I'll also discuss common issues I encounter as a video game programmer. If there is anything you'd like to know about the game industry, post your questions here and I will do my best to answer them. And if I can't answer them, then I will find someone I work with that can.