Being a video game developer is like being a mini-celebrity. The first question people ask you at social events is "What do you do for a living?" - and once they hear K's reply, he gets swarmed like the last human alive in a sea of zombies. And if the audience consists of teenagers or their parents, the immediate next question is "How do you get into the games industry?"
|Kinda feels like a scene from one of K's fav Threadless shirts, The Horde|
Once upon a time (aka 2004), K was on the forums for a newly-released game that everyone was raving about. It had originally gained popularity as a PC-only game, but this latest addition to the series was the first time they'd gotten a console release. The problem was this: die-hard PC fans were complaining that the "console tards ruined it" because the new game seemed to have longer loading waits and each level was divided into 2 zones. K set the record straight by explaining the latest version of the Unreal Engine had a visual node limit (it could only render so much object complexity in a given scene), so designing the game for PC only wouldn't have made much of a difference. Apparently his explanation was a little too knowledgeable-sounding, because one of the forum readers soon sent him a private message (PM) and asked "How do I get into the games industry?? :)"
|Who knew K would be helping out people across the globe? O_o|
Six years later in 2010, the guy emailed K back out of nowhere and said he had done it! He had finished a degree in computer science, gotten a job as a video programmer, and now ironically, was getting out of the industry because he was sick of the long work hours. But he wanted to thank K for all that he had done. How cool is that! Even more interesting, last week that same guy just emailed again and said that he's tired of working for the government. Apparently, he plans on returning to his first love after all: programming for the game industry. :)
Anyway, I just thought this was a cool little story since I've witnessed K answer the "how to become a game designer" inquiry over and over again and this is the first time I've ever heard of a payoff for his efforts. Best of luck to ya, former-freshman-turned-programmer!