Archive for March, 2008

The Future

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

“We’re not living in the past or the present anymore. This is the future.” – Ted Striker

I’ve been thinking about the future quite a bit recently, mostly because the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of interviews and evaluations of potential interns and permanent employees for the game studio that will grow over the summer. At current estimate, there will be about ten people at Made for Motion Studio making motion games. This compares favorably with the current population of one. Needless to say (although, as with every use of that phrase, I’m going to say it anyway) I am very excited about how much we will be able to get done. We’ve got some game concepts made up, and I’m sure each of the interns will be bringing some of their own, so there will be no lack of work to do (that would be kind of a cool problem to have, too). I do have a nagging doubt or two. First, I fear my job will become wrangling all of these people, and I will not have as much time to do the coding-type work that I’m doing now. That is not necessarily a bad thing (I do know a thing or two about leadership and organization), but it is a change, and change is scary. The other nagging doubt deserves its own post, and will get one in a day or two, after I talk about it with the people with whom I need to talk about it (using a blog to say things which are better said in person is lower than I care to slip).

Oh, we also still need a graphics programmer, someone who can make the GPU do interesting things, and can make the lighting not suck in all of our 3D demos (I blame the engine). I guess I’ll need to do a little more recruiting, but that’s ok, because going out to various college and university game programs and talking is fun, as I get to deliver good news to good people, and educate the future game giants of the world about motion.

One more thing that all of this success and these plans mean is the following: There is but one true Schwartz, and I am his prophet. His dream is coming true through me, right now. The interviews and job offers that I have been making in the last two weeks are the confirmation that we are creating a truly intern-fed, growing, local game company with strong ties to the local academic game programs. We are on the road to awesome town, baby.


Monday, March 17th, 2008

Perspective is what you get when you are forced to take a step back from a situation and are thereby given the opportunity to analyze it objectively. It is not something you can give yourself, because it is by definition something you never think you need. It is however absolutely necessary if you are to learn from your own actions, and not keep making the same mistakes.

Object Lessons

Friday, March 7th, 2008

An object lesson is where you are put into the shoes of the person whose viewpoint you are learning about. It is a singularly effective way to force someone to carefully consider their position and shock them out of simple habitual belief. I have experienced this shock twice in recent memory. The first time, I asked a coworker to search through some DVDs for graphics that we could use in our presentation. I thought little of the request when I made it, but then she said no. When I wondered why, she suggested that I do it instead. No sooner had I contemplated doing it myself then I immediately recognized the onerous nature of the task, deciding that it was not worth doing after all. I apologized, and then did it anyway, because one should never ask someone else to do something you are unwilling to do yourself.
The second object lesson in recent memory revolves around the difficulty of communication. It is hard to say things to people sometimes, and when someone makes that effort, it is nice to get a response, demonstrating acknowledgment of that effort. Unfortunately, as is all too often the case with things that are difficult to say, the immediate instinctive response is stunned silence, while you try and figure out the right thing to say, followed by continuing silence as the moment to say what you just thought of has passed. I was on the receiving end of this a few days ago, which immediately brought to mind the time a few weeks ago, when I was on the sending end. I’m sorry for sending, for I now know what it feels like to receive.


Thursday, March 6th, 2008

When I was a freshman in college, the Texas Hold’em craze swept the nation, and it did not miss our little corner of the world, so when I came home for breaks, I found all of my friends playing. Being a smart, confident fellow, I felt that I could probably pick it up without much trouble (the technique, that is, the rules are trivial). I turned out to be right, and I did okay for the first couple of times I played. Then my dad bought me a book on the game. I, of course, pooh-poohed it as unnecessary, but, having nothing better to do before returning to school, read through it anyway. Inside it, I found nothing that I couldn’t have figured out on my own, and in fact, most of it was stuff that I instinctively felt to be true already. However, it was laid out in a clear and logical manner that instinct just doesn’t have. Having that information presented in that way was extraordinarily helpful, I think especially because the information was already in my head, and I was just reorganizing it. That is all.