Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm starting a new Game Industry blog

I am launching a new game industry blog site, unlike my usual rambling + whiny blog this journal will be concerned only with the business I work in and related affairs (and try to maintain a somewhat professional attitude).

if you work in the field and have a website (or relevant blog of your own) and you'd like a link, send it over and I'll add it to the list.

There's only an intro there for the time being, but I hope to fill it up with lots of info soon - stay tuned.

You can access it easily thru the blog button on my website


Welcome to my first post! I have been meaning to start a videogame industry-themed
blog for some time now. For various reasons, I have held off, but I must say that now is as good a time as any to get of the ground with this thing. So I might as well get started and introduce myself.

I am not one for long drawn-out introductions, so I will keep this relatively short and sweet.
My name is Ron, and I am a level artist for a major game developer working in Orange County, California. I live in Hollywood, and I have 10 years of professional game art experience to my credit. Like many of my peers, I have been all over the map studio-wise, and I have been fortunate enough to have worked on a good few well-known games in my day. A quick glance at my resume should give any industry vet an idea of who I've been working alongside during my tenure in the business, and what type of work I prefer to do.

Born and raised in Boston, I was lucky to get my foot in the door with a relatively small Sierra outfit shortly after I wrapped up art school, and it wasn't long before I'd set my sights on the land of milk and honey (Los Angeles) and packed up to see what success I could pursue out here. Well, it's been a long and exhausting, yet rewarding path - and it's a long way to go, yet.

Anyway, I sure didn't start up this journal to gush on and on about the trials and tribulations of working in the field.. that is bound to come out, but in due time. For now, I would prefer to address the matter of "why create another game developer blog?" This is simple, really - i haven't seen much of them online! For the armies of devs out there, I have only passed by a handful of honest-to-goodness gamedev blogs in my day, and of those, many are mixed in with a bunch of personal stuff. That's all well and good, but perhaps it is better to keep things straight and to the point without going on about the stuff no one cares about. At least, that's what I'd like to read from a dev's blog (anyway, I have another blog where I can ramble on about partying in LA and what's the point of life and all of that, but it won't be rearing it's head within here.. at least, unless it's pertinant to the subject matter).

And further, why is a guy like ME writing a blog like this? Again, it's simple.. sure I have a decent amount of experience, but I am really just another grunt in the game industry at the end of the day. Outside of my circle, I don't think anyone would know my name, and that gives me the perfect anonymity to tackle something like this. No one in particular cares what the everyman has to say, but they can at least relate to it, and in that vein appreciate it.

Lastly, I will be honest and say that my purpose is absolutely to raise my visibility in this field. I have been a behind-the-scenes guy for awhile, and that's fine with me.. but for my future plans, it would definitely suit me well to get a move-on with developing some kind of a voice. This is asbsolutely an easy way for me to do this. So long as I don't mess it up too badly, it ougt to serve me well.. at least provide me with an interesting experience, to say the least.

So there you have it. I have a lot more to say, but for now I will sign off and call it a night. If you're starting out with me, I am glad to have you along for the ride. If you decide that you enjoy what you're reading, please pass the website aong to your buddies and help me get some exposure. Likewise if you think I am completely full of it, you can let me know if you feel like it. Anything in between is cool too.

Until next time, then...

- Ron

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

sadly no pride

alright well i really don't feel like typing so much, but then, i have lots of days where i really don't feel like doing damned much of a lick of anything. fortunately i am a workaholic so that settles that.

today flew by at work, things seem to be going better here for me generally. i am sketched about certain things which i'll not mention in this public forum, but i am generally sketched about anything whenever the honeymoon is over, so take that as it is. in all regards, things are alright although i do feel somewhat lethargic.

i went to beauty bar last saturday night, there was a time in my life some years ago when going to that stupid place assured that i would be having a blast. it's not as glitzy as several other places that are wayyy more comfortable (and, i assume, welcoming feeling) but it's warm in it's gross throwback-do it yourself-homely manner. it just feels a little scrappier than the other clubs in town, but the people there can be warm and friendly. anyway it was nice to glimpse back at those days, and honestly it makes me want to get home and put on my torn jeans and go dancing at star shoes, all of a sudden. sigh, maybe in a few weeks.

my health hangs in just fine but my exercise regiment has died and been belly up for.. well, for so long that i'd rather not mention it. i should be in worse shape right now, well appearance-wise, i guess i have a stubborn constitution. But i do feel it inside, in my energy, in my enthusiasm. Standing up and leaving my desk suddenly feels draggy, of late. I just want to melt into it, flop on the floor. it ain't that bad, but i have been exposed to the opposite which makes the days of lethargy that much more noticeable to me. i need to find someway to kick my lifestyle into a more active gear, to say the least. instead, i just complain about it - a lot - but in so doing i hope to inspire myself to affect some change. hey, it's happened before!

alright, well there you have it. i didn't want to write, and it shows. at least now i can get outta here. Pasadena HO! Bye...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



every once in awhile i feel like i am waking up from a dream. it happens at the oddest times.

i look at my life and my mind and where i have been and what i have done

and i feel like i have been pretty hard on myself and i don't appreciate it, and i should feel better about it. but instead i choose to write about it in a stupid online journal so that hopefully, i will look at this message on some other random night at some other random point in my life and remember just what it was i was trying to decide that i felt.

and now, right now, i have to go and close my eyes and pass out and go back into that dream, wherever that actually is.

there, then, was my point.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


sigh. a little typin'.

tired.. the past few days, a whole lot of running around. work is busy (as usual) and my social life has been actin' up. thursday todd w was in town, so i met he + the gang for some drinks (disregard in my previous entry where i noted that i'd be going home to chill that evening). friday night may and i went to the grove with edwin, for a little pizza, a little wine, a little whine, and some ratatouille. the movie was quite well-done actually. cute story, beautiful visuals. Saturday marvelously followed Friday, as it often does - I got up and out early to visit mr Long Lin and his Auto Mechanic shop. He got my ride all oil-changed and stuff. then i headed over to just tires where my poor car sat for several hours as i hoofed around town. i am putting tons of mileage on my vehicle these days, so i don't want to slack to badly in maintainence - i really don't want the thing to belly-up on me at this point in my life right now. Wel the thing sat in the shop i walked a block over to pink's hatdogs, rather hotdogs (but a hatdog would be an interesting thing to have, as well). I seldom go there, ever (uh.. maybe once or twice a year?) as there's always a retardedly super-extendo line reaching aorund the building. i musta waited about 45 minutes to get my dog, but that was fine, i needed to kill some time - and i had my friend bryan's book to finish reading, to keep me occupied. I finally got my quarry, i always order an Ozzy Dog at this place - they have all sorts of crazy combos - this one is a super-spicy polish dog covered with onions, nacho cheese, and guacamole. it's the biggest hot dog i have ever seen, condiments envelop my hand as i try to hold it and devour it with my gapin' maw. yeah, it's messy (even for ME, who was apparently raised in the jungle by wild animals).. and the tin is so spicy it always makes my nose get runny ad my eyes extremely teary. "So why do you eat the damned thing!" what can i say, sometimes certain experiences are enjoyable for reasons that we've not got words for, and i wouldn't have it any other way. fortunately, unlike most times, i was able to score a seat indoors so all my napkins would not blow away as i ate.

last night i met an old buddy of mine who i seldom see, since we live several miles apart - we went to Poubelle for a couple drinks (nice lil bar up the street) and then headed into Hollywood. The evening was a little lopsided, but not bad. I got home in one piece and didn't make a scene, so I am proud of myself. And today? Today was supposed to be Beach Day! But that didn't happen so I ended up having Backyard Hammock day, while I soaked in the sun and finished reading my book.

And now, well, it is sunday evening. The apartment is still quite warm, and the air outside is getting pleasantly slightly chillier. I am calm, thoughtful.. as i lay outside, I surveyed my little chunk of land. I don't usually do that, I am always freaking out neurotically about this or that or what have you, but today i just lay and looked at my apartment and my car parked in it's port, the apartment building next to me, all the little trees and plants lining the periphery. I looked towards the window in my hallway and saw the ceiling fan spinning in my room. Everything is covered with blocks of cement.. dirt lines their cracks, occasionally little clumps of grass or weeds will poke through as well. It is nice to have this spot, this quiet area, this peaceful little space to call my own. I don't OWN it, but it's close enough to feeling that way that i am satisfied. I head my coworkers going on about their stressful mortgage payments for tiny property and while I would love to own my own land someday, it feels like a perfect tradeoff for the time being, not to have to deal with such headache on top of everything else. I hope I can spend several years in this apartment, it suits my needs pretty perfectly.

There was a report in the news this week, there's a parking spot in Manhattan in NYC somewhere and the things costs like.. $250,000 to own. My god. It sounds so ludicrous. And you know what's more, if I had that kinda money I would jump on the thing right now. It's only gonna appreciate - and ten years from now who knows what it would be worth? AT the very least, you wouldn't be stuck losing any real money trying to sell it. Man.. My friend had an opportunity to buy a little shithole bldg in NYC a couple years back, I really wish he shelled out for it. SOMEONE would cough up for it sooner or later, and then he could just lie back and do something with the dough. That'd be nice.. man, I wish I had the time and inclination to invest in some real estate. I already have another industry to take up too many of my brain cells as it is.

Looking around, my apartment is in decent condition. I could be so much happier if the bathroom was cleaned, and the kitchen floor could use some love too. I wonder if I can get myself out of this chair and do something to that effect...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

so oooo ooooo 0088

feels like it should say ninth. but it says twelfth. suck it up.

what's up, whoever reads my blog. it's been awhile since i have posted in here.. needless to say i do not like to do it so much anymore. tired of writin' and tired of chroniclin'. but what the hell.

so, things are alright. smoothed out at work a little i guess (yeah and now i have just jinxed myself for saying so, i am sure).... but it's alright. my mood is always gonna be weird about work, by virtue of it being me, being work, and it being a mood. all the bases are covered, or if you prefer, spoken for.

i have been overworked a bit lately and that leads to --ding-- partying a little. yah, but isn't it funny how the two can be incessantly linked together? Now is no different - well it sure doesn't feel like it. but you know, it is thursday night, it is 9pm, i am in my office in orange county.. after i write this blog i will pack it in for the evening and rather than go out and do whatever, i will relax at home and take it easy, then get some shuteye. and the weekend ought to be more of the same. and, well, yes it makes me sad to say that.. the mood i have been in lately, that of.. "i work hard to make other people really really rich, i want to live it up a little also!" has been sort of a factor, but i know it's not gonna really do much to help anything.

so E3 was this week. it's weird, this is the 1st time in 7 years where i've not attended. i have written enough about the event not to really wanna rehash it all right now, but at least i have kinda been keeping tabs on the boards to see what's the fuss been all about. the answer is - not much. the industry is kind of hitting a big stall. oh, so there's a shock. a bunch of somewhat interesting stuff coming down the pipe, but really nothing new, nothing revolutionary, nothing even sort of "holy crap that's different, and fun!" Just more shit. video games have become top-heavy, boring, redundant. I mean alright, last year was a dull showing, but the consoles were all new and everyone was in crush-cram-damage control mode. Is this the opposite of moore's law? The more advanced tech gets, the slower we manage to conquer it? There's probably something to that, if you think about it. This means we are kind of in a middle period then - a bell curve, this is the "golden age," before the deneoumont (spelled very wrong but i don't feel like checking it) and we are no longer in quite so much control of it.. and the chaos part of it starts accelerating.

it's okay, the universe thrives on the acceleration and deceleration of chaos and order. so basically, it's nothing new.. just on another scale. and pardon me while i reel it in before i start sounding completely like just another stoner (though mind you, talking about this stuff is doing no help to my urge to resist going out and living the nightlife) Enjoy it while it lasts, that is all i am saying.. damn consumer culture...

i love yahoo news. it always cracks me up. i could be criticized for even looking at it and considering that any kind of valid news source, but hell.. it's there, it's easy to digest, i don't have the time or energy to let my mind get swept up in all the underbelly of what's REALLY going on. News is pretty much entertainment right? Anyway, front page of yahoo mentions among it's seven bulleted items, and i cutNpaste here, "Trampoline injuries have soared in the last decade, study finds." Now that - THAT is ace journalism my friends. Trampoline accidents are on the up and up, and apparently it is on everyone's lips. Call a microsurgeon - it's time to organize a charity even. Can we get Ben Stiller to speak out on this, PSA style? David Schwimmer? Someone? The Streis?

Yeah, so you know where i am at, then. Basically awash in my own cynicism. I am in a decent mood i guess, in spite of it. And i have not been a complete homebody or office slug too much the past recent little bit and so it's got my charge up a little. But -- honestly -- and i feel like this has been ringing in my head a little bit, lately -- I feel like it's coming to a time when i need to do some huge re-evaluation of my philosophy. I am not the type to say or do such things since "oh, it's been awhile, time to re-configure my thoughts - let's check the schedule!" I mean I observe whenever there's some point in time like my borthday, the new year, or some other meaningful mark of time "where was i last year? 5 years ago?" etc. but this is different. this is when i just look at myself, my character. I really honestly do like myself, warts and all.. but sometimes, lately, I am starting to get pissed, or just maye kind of tired of it. Well, not tired of ME, but tired of the notion of this particular path I am following, these patterns I exhibit. Okay not so much THAT either but rather that once in awhile i will notice that it maybe doesn't completely jive with the world around me, and what my plans are with all of that.. what I want to seriously do with my life, what i have hoped for my future. I always will just rely on my own recognizance to see everything through, and the fact that the world is --essentially-- built for/catering to stupid people. I guess I must swallow my pride for a minute and own up to being one of them (well not STUPID stupid, but I know I ain't no Doctorate either). Though that starts a different argument about ow that's a completely different measure of intellect, and just what IS "stupid" then - and i really don't feel like getting off onto that tangent right now.

But yeah, stupid - and I will cling to my self esteem and say "I should know better" but honestly, if not for whatever degree of naivete/innocence/cluelessness I've got left, I wouldn't have even bothered venturing this far, never mind my ideas for what's to follow (and just what i am doing to get there).

I haven't really got a model for any of this, whether that is good or bad I can't say. I look up to my peers, and of course my parents, but really - we are different enough that it feels like it's a decent blueprint to follow if i wanted to be just like any of THEM, and yet the older i get, the more i feel myself being pulled away from it.

So maybe I am kind of stunted. Maybe I am eternally a bit immature. Maybe my philosophy, such as it is, has already colored my perceptions and expectations of the world enough to get me stuck in my particular character (isn't it true of anyone with a brain?) Maybe I would be happier to force myself to hunker down with a bunch of mountain dew just start force feeding myself large doses of television. Nah, too boring.

there's a reason why i still live in hollywood.