Who am I?

Before I start my project, I thought it would be best to tell you all who I am and how I got to the position where I want to make a game at the ripe old age of 23.

I’m from England, I’m 23 and I graduated last year from the University of Manchester with a degree in International Management. As you can already tell, I don’t have a computing background. I did ICT in college for 1 year, but dropped it as soon as I could because it was one of the most boring subjects I’d ever learnt. Back then it wasn’t really even computing, there was no code. What it did do was completely put me off my childhood dream of being a computer game designer.

The first game I properly played, and was totally addicted to, was Tekken 2 for the Playstation. That was back in 1996 and I was 9 years old at the time. Before then I’d played a number of games on the Amiga such as Rainbow Island, Bubble Bobble and Zool (I loved Zool). So I started young, especially for the time. However, I didn’t get into PC gaming until much later.

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Tekken 2 - My first real game

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I started around a year after Half-Life was released. I never had my own computer and I was frequently banned from the Internet for being a.. erm… bad young man who was trekking to sides of the Internet he wasn’t allowed to! Therefore my proper PC gaming preferences began much later, my first proper game being Team Fortress Classic. What an incredible game I thought. I loved the classes, picking your own unique playstyle and then working with others to capture the flag or take zones. Back then it was pretty much my goal in life to play TFC. I had to stay round my friend’s house in order to do so. He’d play Counter Strike all night (I was terrible and didn’t like it), then when he went to sleep I’d play TFC until 8am. Those were the days!

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Team Fortress Classic - The cause of many sleepless nights

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When I finally got my own computer, I found the first game I truly got in-depth with; Age of Mythology. I was part of a casual clan (The Orion Clan represent!), I wasn’t really very good but I read forums, I read guides, I tried to be the best player I could be. AoM completely changed my gaming life, it turned me into what some would call a ‘Hardcore Gamer’. It was also AoM that inspired my first foray into game design, when I designed a new Japanese race for the game. It was very successful and I was featured on the front page of Age of Mythology Heaven. A very proud moment for me, but I thought nothing of it. At the time I didn’t really relate it to game design, that was all about writing in binary and creating 3D models.

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Age of Mythology - My introduction to clans

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When I got my PS2, I was more focussed on console games. I particularly enjoyed Timesplitters and Timesplitters 2. One of my favourite memories was on my 13th birthday. I went Go-Karting with 3 of my friends and then the 4 of us plugged in the Multi-tap and played Timesplitters for hours. I created a map using the mapmaker; very simple, just a corridor of death. It was a last stand, we’d set all the bots to the hardest difficulty and then hole ourselves in a room, defending ourselves from the attackers. My post-AoM in-depth love of games continued with titles like Vagrant Story (I was a late bloomer with that) and Tekken 5.

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Timesplitters + Multitap. Fighting with friends is best.

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Then I got to the age when I left home. I had my Xbox 360, my reasonably powerful PC and lots of free money from the government to help me with my studies! Suffice to say, I played games a lot. Dawn of War, Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft were my main timesinks (the latter being the obvious leader). In WoW I helped create a guild on the roleplaying PvP server EU-Defias Brotherhood; the Second Gurubashi Empire. My character was Morrigan, a Troll Hunter who’d been left for dead and picked up by a husband and wife from the Forsaken and raised as one of them. I wrote stories for her, I played stories with her with my other guild mates. It was a brilliant time, and I was truly addicted to the game.

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World of Warcraft - Fighting with 100 friends is better.

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Eventually my time with World of Warcraft ended and I went back to regular games, focusing most of my time into Team Fortress 2 and Dawn of War 2. At that point I finished university and headed to China to work for a pseudo game company. And that’s where I am now! I’ll explain more about what I do, and what my company does, in a future post. But there is just a little explanation about how I got to be 23 and how my love of gaming has inspired me to take on this project.

Sam

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