I have been making video games professionally for 18 years. My creative focus was initially in visual arts before discovering delight inherent in creating and combining all kinds of creative pursuits with technology. My favorites include (but are not limited to) digital games, board-games, visual story-telling, writing, rocketry, teaching, experiential spaces, and music (both the loud and soft kind.)
My professional career began In 1999 during my pursuit of a bachelor's degree in digital media and animation at the Art Institute of Colorado. I was recruited by Electronic Arts for their internship program (then called EA Academy) so I left Colorado to intern as a game artist at EA's HQ studio in Redwood Shores, California. Upon graduation, I accepted an offer for a full-time position.
After a few years at EA I migrated from game art to level design. Games that my teams shipped include 007 James bond: Everything or Nothing, The Sims 2 and Godfather: The Game. I left EA in 2004 to work as a level designer on Tomb Raider: Legend.
After working for many many years in the commercial game industry I made the decision to work as an independent artist and game developer, freelancing and self publishing my work.
The goal of founding CiGDA was to build an active community of like-minded creatives. What started out as six developers in a downtown Denver cafe has grown into over 1,200 independent devs from across Colorado. The group continues to thrive through thanks to our original mission and goals as stated on the group's meetup page:
CiGDA (often pronounced 'sig-dah') is a free, open and supportive, grass roots group for game developers (artists, designers, coders, etc.) We meet with the purpose of learning and sharing information about independent game development (self-publishing, DIY, bootstrapping, resources, methods, etc.)
Most importantly this group is an accessible support structure to gather artists, designers, programmers, musicians and writers to make self-expressive interactive content for fun and profit.
This group is truly independent. Our topics and events center around content sharing solutions to the challenges faced by independent developers.
We never charge money to attend our meetups nor to play-test games. It is our honor to have you! The Meetup dues are entirely optional, to help us cover the cost of Meetup fees.
NOTE: We have no ties with the much larger IGDA (International Game Developers Association) but many of us are members and also attend IGDA events and conferences.
In 2012, I left Colorado again and accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Division of Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College's Game Studio in Burlington, Vermont. Teaching aspiring developers to develop their own practice is rewarding. My years at Champlain were fulfilling and contributed significantly to my own growth and practice.
The Game Studio program at Champlain is excellent and prepares students for a career in the commercial game industry.
I have worked on a wide variety of teams, collaborating on game projects. My professional development experience includes 2D/3D artist, environmental artist, world builder, level designer, systems designer, level scripter, systems scripter, narrative designer, lead designer, creative director, feature producer, occasional grumpy badger and music composer. Over the years, I've had the chance to work in multiple game development roles, acquiring a unique range of perspective from within production teams.
I am fortunate to be able to collaborate with exceedingly talented developers in various capacities on teams all over the world. To stay up-to-date on my creations, projects and endeavors, follow me on twitter or subscribe to my blog. Feel free to contact me here.