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Showing posts from July, 2017

Fantastic Streams and How to Film Them

I'm not a professional streamer. I don't know if I ever will be, assuming that "professional" means anything other than "I stream on a somewhat regular basis because I enjoy doing it and once in a while people toss me a couple of bucks on Ko-fi. I'm completely fine with that, but I'm the type of person who likes to put the extra effort into any project regardless of profitability, popularity, or anything else.
In the past, I streamed mostly for Extra Life, a charity gaming marathon where participants stream for 24 hours and supporters donate funds to benefit Children's Miracle Network hospitals. I didn't know much about lighting or sound outside of its theatrical applications, so my "streaming rig" consisted of XSplit and a secondhand webcam. I used a gaming headset and whatever lights happened to be on in the background and that was it. It did the job, but it wasn't the greatest viewing or listening quality. I tried a couple of tim…

The Sun is Shining and I'm Depressed

Note: This post talks about depression, self-harm, substance abuse, and suicide, which may be upsetting or triggering for some. If you are one of them, please go here to look at some cute pictures of zooming puppers and kitties instead.

I remember wanting to die for the first time in fourth grade.

I knew exactly what death meant. I've been able to understand death as well as any adult can since I was in preschool. I also knew that I was tired of being sad all the time and I just wanted it to end.

All through school I was bullied mercilessly, until I discovered black lipstick and stompy boots and aggressive-sounding music in junior high that I bore as a shield against the rest of the world, which always seemed to always be trying to hurt me. I won't get into too many details about my home life here, but let's just say it was not ideal. My sadness wasn't terribly surprising to anyone who knew these things -- although sometimes I also flew into an irrational, uncontrollab…

The First Anniversary

This weekend marks one year of many more to come spent with the most incredible man I've ever met. I always wanted to have a cute and clever love story to tell, and I'm ecstatic to say that in him I have found a better tale than any romantic comedy writer could come up with.

My previous marriage was over with the exception of some paperwork to be filed and fees to be paid. I had finally reached a point in my life where I felt I was really better off alone, taking myself on dates to the luxury movie theater, going to my favorite restaurants, spending time with myself doing the things I wanted to do.

One of those things was jumping into the world of programming. Things hadn't worked out with the guy I'd been sort-of-seeing, but to his credit, he made me believe that I was indeed smart enough to learn to code. He'd always mention his boss, Ben Deane, and what a great resource he and his frequent engineering talks were for the novice programmer. "When Ben Deane ta…

So You Want to Work in the Games Industry

Usually when I mention having worked in the games industry, I'm met with envy. Once again, a slightly paraphrased version of that line from The Devil Wears Prada pops up -- "A million nerds would kill for your job!" So when I announced that I was leaving Blizzard, I was actually delighted to get a different response.
Do people still think working in the gaming industry is a dream job? Seems like a nightmare to me, from the outside looking in. — Pete Smith (@pasmith) June 8, 2017 The answer is complicated, and certainly too complicated to answer in 140 characters on Twitter. In short, yes they do, and the industry as a whole can be a nightmare if you go into it completely unprepared. It takes a very special kind of person with a certain amount of dedication and comprehension of exactly what they're signing up for to thrive.

Disclaimer: These are my experiences in the games industry, and are general statements only based on the studios that I have worked at -- but I…