Enter: Game Designer

As this is my first blog post I figured I’d write a little background about myself and how I got into game design. Nothing important, but maybe it will shed some light on why I do the things I do!

It all started when I was 9 years old, and one of my friends invited us over to play. We did the usual things, playing with Legos, Super Smash on the N64, or trying to beat Golden Axe on the Sega Genesis. But then he pulled out a stack of square, pink notecards, on which he had drawn stick figure monsters. I do not remember anything about the game, such as how to play or what else besides the monsters were on the cards… but I do remember it being the most awesomest thing in the world. Not because of the game, but just because my friend had made it, all by himself, from his own mind.

From then on I’ve rarely not thought about making my own games. My first card game was very similar to pokemon/magic, with the theme of underwater creatures, such as sword-wielding octopuses, and plesiosauruses with rocket launchers on their backs. It was a very pathetic card game, where whoever drew the best cards won. I remember it clearly because my first play tester (Dad) never played it again.
But, like most kids who did not quite impress their parents, I vowed to do better. So I started making all sorts of crazy stuff. None of it really went anywhere though, and most are now lost to the garbage dump. My designing career went on hold until high school, where I got the pleasure of taking a programming class. I had loved computers as soon as I got my hands on one, and programming just clicked for me. For my final project in basic, I wrote Pacman. For my final in Visual Basic, I made a Rogue variant.

Unfortunately, I’m not the best programmer in the world, and nor do I want to be. I’m not a genius engine engineer, nor a graphics artist. However, ideas for games continuously flow from my head to paper, and most are eventually captured in my “personal projects” folder on my computer. Its my personal archive of ideas, and whenever I’m stuck on a design, I love to go back and grab ideas from unfinished projects.
I started designing Cannons & Cutthroats when I was a junior in high school. AP Physics was an awesome class. In any case, most of my friends through highschool and college have all played it, but it wasn’t until now that I finally got it produced. I’ve made so many proof-of-concept card/board games with notecards and home-printed boards that I’m sure my friends are sick of hearing “anyone want to try a new game”?

But all of those prototypes have paid off. I now have a game for sale and I will continue to do my best to produce as many of my projects as possible. I have fallen in love with a brilliant artist (Gabrielle Myers, who did the art for C&C) and I’m sure we, as a team, will pump out the best of our ideas for all to enjoy.

Lastly, both Gabby and I were a part of MTU’s Husky Game Development Enterprise. I led the team which put HGD’s first game on the Xbox Live marketplace, Arcane Brawlers. I also met a few brilliant people, whom now, after our completed education, have banded together to form OPifex Entertainment. I am lucky, as a designer, to have such talented teammates as Garrett Hoofman and Kirk Roerig. Our specialties mix perfectly, and we will show the world what we have to offer with our first game “Splat!”. The future holds great things for this designer, and I can’t wait!
- Ryan