Jan. 10, 2008 Well, made it through the end of December without racking up thousands of dollars in bandwith overage fees.  Since I've established this portfolio site, I've averaged about 600-1000 hits a month.  From the reports my hosting company provides, most of those are bots with the occasional recruiter doing a Google search for game industry resumes.  After a handful of sites picked up the non-news post I made about how I enjoy my job, the number of hits on my site jumped to over 40,000.  Wow.  Very much not what this site is for.

Since the month is over, I've turned back on the images in the portfolio section of the site.  Hopefully this inadvertent (and undesired) brush with internet fame won't repeat itself and I can slip back into the dark peacefully.

Dec. 15, 2007 Temporarily disabled image access to avoid (hopefully) some nasty hosting fees.
Dec. 15, 2007 Yikes.  Man - say something fairly innocent about how you've enjoyed the year and the next thing you know it's plastered all over the 'net.  As a reminder - nothing I say here reflects any position, opinion, or anything else of 3D Realms - or anybody besides me for that matter.  I'm not some spokesman, official or unofficial, for any company, etc.  All the stuff on this page is just random stuff that I jot down every few months.

I just like what I do for a living and where I do it at (and I'd like to keep it that way).

Dec. 2, 2007 Six months since I updated.  Not much has changed - everything is still going well.  Things at work continue to make me jazzed to get up in the morning.  Our team is just top-notch.  I've been enjoying working on the levels I've been assigned, and everybody is responding well to the work I'm doing.  In addition, the other designers continue to pump out work that just blows my mind.  I'm really looking forward to the day when we can start showing off what we've been doing.

All in all, 2007 has shaped up to be a much more enjoyable year than 2006 was. :)

June 1, 2007 Another half month at the new job and it just continues to rock.  I'm so glad that I accepted this position.  It's really got me jazzed to be a game developer again.  Every day - every SINGLE day, I go into work and end up doing cool stuff.  Every day when I go home, I feel like I've really accomplished something.  My answer to my wife's daily question of how my day went is always "I got a ton of work done."  I'm learning new stuff, doing cool things, and working on a project that I'm really proud to be a part of.

Just a really fantastic experience.  Everybody deserves a job they like this much.

May. 14, 2007

Four months later and I can say that my new position with 3d Realms is totally rewarding.  I work with a great group of people at 3DR, and I really feel like I bring something to the table for them.  I was able to pretty much dive into stuff right from the get go, and after a few weeks of working with the tech I was crafting some pretty cool stuff.  It's very enjoyable to see this project coalescing into something really solid and know that I'm a part of that.

As much as I'd love to talk about the project I'm working on... I can't.  I will say that I'm having a FANTASTIC time working on it, however.  Working on this project has really pulled me back into game design in a big way - I'm excited to be a part of the project.  I find myself at home in the evenings or on the weekends thinking about what kind of cool stuff I can put in my levels when I get back to work.  It's just a really satisfying experience to be involved with this project.  I have no idea when we'll be releasing any information about the project, but I join everyone else in looking forward to the day when we can show off what we're working on.

Also - not having to drive to downtown Dallas in rush hour traffic twice a day is just an amazingly nice fringe benefit of switching employers. I'm much less likely to have a stress-induced heart attack now.  :D

Jan. 14, 2007 Well, my run with Ritual Entertainment has come to a close.  After almost two years with the company, I've decided to accept an offer from another company here in Dallas.  Starting tomorrow, I'll be a Level Designer at 3d Realms.  I'm looking forward to joining the team there, I already have some friends over there and I'm really itching to have some serious work to do again.

Leaving Ritual was not an easy decision.  I have a lot of friends at Ritual, and have a ton of respect for the game developers that work there.  There have been some changes at the company recently - that I can't comment on yet - and those changes were what ultimately made 3d Realms a better fit for what I wanted to do.  I wish everyone at Ritual the very best, and look forward to seeing their success with the new direction they're moving in.

Jan. 14, 2007 Well, my run with Ritual Entertainment has come to a close.  After almost two years with the company, I've decided to accept an offer from another company here in Dallas.  Starting tomorrow, I'll be a Level Designer at 3d Realms.  I'm looking forward to joining the team there, I already have some friends over there and I'm really itching to have some serious work to do again.

Leaving Ritual was not an easy decision.  I have a lot of friends at Ritual, and have a ton of respect for the game developers that work there.  There have been some changes at the company recently - that I can't comment on yet - and those changes were what ultimately made 3d Realms a better fit for what I wanted to do.  I wish everyone at Ritual the very best, and look forward to seeing their success with the new direction they're moving in.

Jul. 3, 2006 So almost fifteen months in Dallas so far.  SiN Episodes: Emergence shipped on May 10th - and we've been getting decent reviews so far.  Not as high as I had hoped - certainly not as high as I think the game deserves, but still better than Men of Valor.  I think that people aren't quite catching the concept behind episodic gaming right now.  Give it a couple of years and a few more shipped titles by Ritual, Valve, and a couple other companies, and I think people will start to get into episodic gaming more.

So it's the day before July 4th, and going into the middle of my second summer here I can say with absolute certainty that I never want to live anywhere hotter than here.  For someone who grew up in Ohio the weather here is just brutal in the summer.  Not quite as hot as last year (we had 6 weeks where the high each day was over 100), it's still nasty.  Just walking from my apartment to my car makes me bust out in sweat.  Ugh.  At least the winter here is mild - all six weeks of it.

Jan. 28, 2006 Coming up on ten months here in Dallas working for Ritual Entertainment.  The project I've been working on, SiN Episodes: Emergence, is starting to get some really good press.  It's a very nice change from the press we got on Men of Valor, and I'm pretty excited to see what all this hard work is going to get us.  I've worked really hard - some really long hours - on a number of projects for different companies, but this is the first time that I really feel like all the effort is going to pay off.  I can't wait to see how SiN Episodes is received.

I've been digging working at Ritual more and more as things go on.  There's a great group of people here - very, very talented guys who are really passionate about crafting good games.  I'm looking forward to the development of Episode 2 now that we've got the learning curve for the Source engine out of the way and we've developed our own internal pipelines for getting different assets, etc. up and running in the game.  We've done the game where we learn the tech - next episode we really get to push the boundaries.  It'll be fun.

Dallas is growing on me a bit.  We've made some friends that live in the suburbs and spending time out in places like Plano, Irving, etc. is much more what I'm looking for in living arrangements than the apartment we currently have that's only six minutes from the heart of downtown Dallas.  If SiN does really well, I think we'll end up in one of the suburbs - hopefully in a house - sometime in the next twelve months or so.  That'll be nice - after spending all but 14 months of the last sixteen years doing either dorms or apartments, I've just about used up all of my tolerance for apartment living.

Oct. 18, 2005 Six months in Dallas so far.  Dallas is ok, but I guess I'm not really a city boy at heart.  It's nice to have access to good shopping, and having a gourmet grocery store a mile from our apartment is great.  I don't know that I'm cut out for 3+ million people all living in one location, though.  I miss the countryside.  It's odd to not see fields on the way to work every day.  At least the neighbors have finally quieted down - it only took two plus months, over twenty complaints from us, and the threat of eviction to get them to understand this isn't a DORM.

The project I've been working on at Ritual is shaping up pretty well.  I've been spending the last six months working on SiN Episodes, and while we still have work left the game is shaping up nicely.  It's been fun to do more of the single player side of things - I've really taken to scripting quite well and I can see why some of the guys I used to work with at 2015 preferred straight gameplay design to the artistic side of level design.  The only bitch about it is that I haven't worked crunch hours like this since I was on the America's Army project three years ago, and I'm not as young as I used to be.

It's going to be interesting seeing where the next year takes us.  I have several different paths I can choose from, and only time will tell what we end up doing.  After having no choices earlier this year when I was laid off, having a wealth of choices is a nice change.

June 26, 2005 So, we've been in Dallas for over two months now.  The house finally sold last week - only cost me $9,200.  YAY!  Besides that, things are going well.  Work at Ritual is very cool.  I can't wait till we announce what we've been working on.  Bits and pieces are starting to slip out already, but nothing major yet.  When we do, however, it'll be great.

We've been spending time on the weekends getting to know the Dallas area better.  It's nice to live in a real city, there are definitely perks to it.  I miss the quiet of the countryside, however - especially in the evenings.  Our neighbors are a tad noisy - we've already had to call and complain twice.  I imagine that we'll end up getting these people kicked out like we did the people that lived above us in Tulsa.  Oh well...

I'll be sure to post a link here when Ritual announces my current project.

April 22, 2005 Well, a lot has certainly changed for us.  Mid January I was laid off from 2015, and I spent the next three months in a combination of trying to help 2015 stay afloat and looking for a new job.  I interviewed at several places - Rockstar Vancouver, Day 1 Studios, and Terminal Reality as well as conducted phone interviews with several others.  In the end, I received several job offers, but ended up accepting the offer from Ritual Entertainment.  It wasn't the biggest salary I was offered, but Ritual - by far - was the best fit for me.  I met some really great people while I was interviewing all across the continent, but the atmosphere at Ritual's offices was the best suited to me of every place I visited.  I'm lucky to work with great people in a place where I can really contribute to the development of great games.

But, that meant leaving Tulsa (which wasn't terrible), and selling our first house (which was).  We've gone from our much-loved three bedroom, three car garage home to a two bedroom townhouse that's about 2/3 the size of our house (plus no garage).  That's caused some interesting storage problems for us, but we decided to save the $100+ a month it would cost to rent a storage area and just make do.  After a week of unpacking, we just about have everything organized and we're starting to focus on learning more about Dallas.

Dallas, from what we've seen so far, is a pretty cool place.  We got used to having mediocre grocery stores and lukewarm restaurants while we lived in Tulsa - it's a welcome change to be within a three mile radius of some excellent stores and restaurants.  In addition, the area where Ritual's offices are located (Dallas' Historic West End) has a LARGE selection of really excellent restaurants within a 10 minute walk of the offices.  The days of deciding between the food court at the mall or a trip to Kim Long's are OVER.

We expect to see more of Dallas on the weekends, and this weekend we're planning on checking out some of the malls in the area as well as trying to check out the art museum.  It's been a hell of a change, but we're going to weather this well, I think.

Jan. 27, 2005 I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome any prospective employers to the site.  I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

The portfolio section of the site has been updated fully.  The levels portion of the portfolio has shots from most of the work I've done for the last four years, plus some really old amateur stuff just for kicks.

Jan. 24, 2005 Updated the portfolio section of the site to include screenshots (some) of the work I've done since I've been with 2015.  I'll probably add more at a later date, but what's up there now is a decent selection.
Oct. 7, 2004 Wow.  Over a year between updates.  Originally I built this website for an online portfolio, but with things going so well at work I haven't really needed it.  I've been mainly using the site for email, but still... over a year?  For shame. :)

I got to come home early today because after more than two years, Men of Valor has gone gold.  For those of you not in the game industry, going gold means that the game is done, has passed publisher approval, and is on it's way to manufacturing.  The Xbox version of the game went gold about a month ago, but we just finished the PC version. 

With the exception of a few months where my team at 2015 was trying to get another project up and running, I've been working on Men of Valor for over two years.  Looking back at the last two years, it's amazing how far I've come.  Since I started working at 2015, I've been promoted to Lead Designer, I got engaged, I bought my first house, and a couple of months ago I got married.

Never dreamed that I would have had so much happen to me when I first moved here.  It's been an absolutely fantastic couple of years and I can't wait to see what's coming up in the next two!

Oct. 5, 2003 Small update.  Things have been progressing well on our unannounced project, and I've been given the opportunity to do some really creative (and amazing) things.  I (and the rest of the team) can't wait till we announce what we're working on, but I imagine it will be some time yet.  It's fun to be a part of this.

Oh yeah, I probably should announce this as well:  On May 28, 2003, Carryn Johnson graciously agreed to marry me when I proposed to her.  I've been remiss in mentioning it here, and I am indeed a fortunate man.

Jun. 8, 2003 More news - I've been promoted to Lead Level Designer for 2015's other project.  I can't say what the project is, but there's a small blurb about it here.  I'm very excited to be working on this project.  The team 2015 has assembled to work on this title is amazing - the guys have a lot of skill.  It's going to be a great game.  When we release more information on the project, I'll be sure to link to it here.
Jan. 25, 2003 Our publisher went public with information about our new title last week - so I can now say that I've been working on Men of Valor - a Vietnam War FPS game that we're developing for the Xbox.  It's my first console development experience, and it's been pretty interesting.  The system resources on an Xbox more limited than I've been used to with PC development - mainly in the memory department.  That's been an interesting challenge to deal with so far - it's really forced me to hone what I do, really streamline the construction process to maximize the efficiency of my designs.  The game is going to rock when we release in 2004. ;)
Sept. 22, 2002 I'm in Tulsa, Oklahoma now - have been for over a week. Tulsa has turned out to be quite nice, and working at 2015 is very enjoyable.  I've already started getting into the swing of things at the new company, and the people I'm working with are top-notch.
Aug. 30, 2002 Ok - finally get to post the big news.  I'm leaving the America's Army: Operations team and moving east.  I've been offered a position as a Level Designer with 2015, and on the 16th of September I'll be at my new job.  Leaving Monterey will be hard, but most of my friends have either gotten laid off or are planning on getting new jobs, so it's not as hard as it could be.  Tulsa seems nice, and it's certainly nice to be back in the midwest again - even if I will miss the ocean now.
Aug. 25, 2002 I finally got around to putting together the page.  Still haven't finished the portfolio section of the site yet, but I did put up the resume and links sections of the site.  Enjoy.

Update:  I spent a few hours this afternoon and ended up finishing the portfolio page anyways.