Games are an awesome tool to let people experience something they can't do in real life. We could learn about almost everything while having fun, Reach goals that otherwise wouldn’t be possible or just simply have fun and relax. Games give us the option as a creator to combine different disciplines of art to make new worlds in which the player can immerse themselves and experience something incredible.
As a programmer I have lots of experience in both the commercial and private work. Next to programming, I like to think how the end user would see our product and how to improve the experience. I still like to explore and try out new things every day in both the technical and user experience way. Because, what is technology if it doesn't do anything useful?
What is technology if it doesn't do anything useful?
When I was 14 years old, my secondary school and the city of Deventer thought it would be a good idea to let the children explore their own talents. So they started a program in which we could follow several courses on various topics like music, dance, and creating dgames. This was the first time I came in contact with the development of games.
My first game was a 'tic tac toe' created in the engine BlitzMax. Not very special but it was my first game that I created and I liked this so much, that even when this course was over, I kept creating games in my spare time.
After my secondary school, I started a Game Development education on the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht (GLU). Here I learnd more advanced programming like design patterns or good OOP structures. Most of the education was about the technical side of games. As a part of the education I did an internship at the game company PixelPixies. During 1 year I was working on both commercially and internal projects. Around that time, I also started to work as programmer at Virtask. A company creating Anne, an Avatar system that is designed to help the elderly.
After I got my mbo-diploma, I thought I was not yet ready for the industry. My technical skills where good enough but I started to realize that pure technique is worth nothing if it doesn't do anything for the end user. And at that point my design skills where not that great. I wanted to improve my design skills. So I applied to the University of Art Utrecht (HKU), to learn more about design and communication skills.
I still think that this was a good decision. Even if I am only going to program games in the future, it is always good to keep the end user in mind.