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Monday, October 17, 2016

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No Rest for the Wicked!

Well, it's been an adventurous couple of weeks for myself and there is a lot to talk about! I need a good re-cap to kick myself back into gear anyway. Reflect and Retain! Reflect and Retain!

I chose the title for this post because it just fit's perfectly for what I am going through right now.

I thought that after my wedding and after I graduated that things

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I finally got my degree's in the mail from MATC! :)

So I can now officially say I am a College Graduate! It only took 3 years of hard work, countless sleepless nights, multiple jobs, a trip to the Hospital (Pericarditis), and lots of support from my wife and family. I set out in the beginning with a thirst to be the best in my class and so far I am very proud of what I have accomplished. From coming out of the military with only a dream and then to sign up for College, to getting an Internship in my 1st semester, to have a successful Kickstarter, successful events at Gen Con and the Midwest Gaming Classic, winning a few Game Jams, raising money for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin through Extra Life, working for 3 local Indie Game startup companies and getting 2 games on Steam before I event graduated with Honors is literally mind blowing for me. There is still plenty to learn as I chase my dream of becoming a well-respected developer in the gaming industry someday! I truly could not have done it without the many fellow passionate mentors and fellow developers I have worked with along the way. Another reason I was able to accomplish this was with the help and in the honor of a dear friend, and fellow game developer, Scott Chaloupka. RIP Brother. We did it! Can't wait to get these puppies framed so I can hang them up! They are in nice cases already, but I've always wanted to hang up my degrees like they do at the Doctor's office. Lol! Plus, if you follow me you have seen my office. :)


The Tuesday before my Wife's brother's wedding, I streamed a Let's Play representing Raid+! I decided I wanted to play a scary game in the dark to try and get a laugh or two out of some viewers. Plus I spent $100 during the previous Steam Summer Sale, so Outlast was something I wanted to play for a very long time. I haven't had the time to split up the video yes into shorter segments and post them onto YouTube yet, but I will be posting those here for you to view very soon! I am currently half way done with the game and I actually plan on beating the game tomorrow again LIVE on Twitch. So stay tuned in for that in the very near future. Here is an image I made for the 1st Let's Play stream of Outlast. I will be making another one for today's stream on posting that on Social Media right after I finish this blog and portfolio update. Check out the links below to my Twitch pages and follow us to keep up to date with me and Raid+ with all out latest Twitch updates. I always host my favorite channels when I am not streaming wth Twitch's new Auto-Hosting feature. Click the image below to take you to my Twitch page.


I also put on the ole' Raid+ Polo and attended the Madison Games Alliance meet up with Keith Fuller as the guest speaker! The topic was about improving your Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. I was really excited about this as I have had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Keith when we invited him to be a guest speaker at my College. He is an industry veteran who as worked on over 10 AAA titles and is currently running his own business. I actually arrived at the event about 25 minutes early, and it was just Keith and me for a while. It was nice to have a conversation with an industry veteran and talk about my career and just development in general. I also met a Career Service Advisor from the Madison Media Insitute, whom I sat next to and handed my resume. I also got to meet the Director of Business Development at Human Head Studios which was pretty cool! The lecture was held at Herzing University in Madison, and I also connected with the Game Development Department Chair for them as well. Talked about my career, game development, leadership, handed out flyers about my charity event and the Local MKE Game Developers Night.




They are already having their next event, and I am going to try to get off work to attend. I had a lot of fun learning and networking with new faces in the industry. I can't wait to attend as many of these events as I can. Totally worth the hour and a half drive from Milwaukee. Click on the image below to find out more about the event.



This past week has been crazy, as it was my Brother In Law's wedding like I had mentioned before. So my Wife's entire family was in town again, and her Brother from Hawaii stayed the week after the wedding with his family. It's always great to spend time with tons of family and to see my Wife's nieces. It was really special this time because my Sister In Law and her new baby got to come along. Now that my Wife's middle brother is now married, I now officially have a new Greek Sister In Law! We had a great time at the Greek wedding, the Wisconsin Dells, picking fruit and popcorn from a farm, and just being the loving and goofy family we are! I took off work for the wedding, but unfortunately, I still had to work throughout the week. So it was a back and forth journey between working 2 jobs and being with family. I wanted to get this post up on Sunday, but I was literally mentally and physically exhausted! Hense ain't no rest for the wicked! I am so happy I don't have to attend any more weddings until December! Whew, it's exhausting, but I am at that age where a lot of people around me are getting married. Enjoy some pictures from my previous week's adventures with my family!







(Me when I was like 6, and me now. Crazy, lol)


             

(My Wife's side of the family and I)


 (My little sister, my Wife, and I)

During these past few weeks, I have also been working on getting things ready for the 2nd Local MKE Game Developers Night at the 42 Ale House. I have been spearheading the whole event, making sure we have developers showing up, event planning, social media marketing and more. I even went around Milwaukee posting up flyers at local game stores, and colleges with my CEO. The 2nd event went off a success I would say in my books. Everyone was having tons of fun, and we are only expecting more people to attend next month's event. I think if we keep marketing this event, and spread the word, we could accomplish something that could become a new Milwaukee tradition. This past event, however, one of my dear developer friends brought the Playstation VR with him and it was totally awesome to be able to experience that. My friends from Galactavision were there showing off their updates on the HTC Vive, and that was really cool as well! We, of course, streamed the event LIVE on our Raid+ Interactive Twitch page, but I have not broken down the videos yet and uploaded them to YouTube.

                                                    www.twitch.tv/RaidPlusTeam


(Me playing the Playstation VR! YEAH! )








(Found out that Jon is making Demon Hearts 2! He's here showing off an early prototype.)



Time to get even more serious about marketing this next event and getting all the developers help to do it. I will make sure to post progress on this here, but you should make sure to join us for our next event in November! Click the link below to head over to our Facebook group page for the Local MKE Game Developers Night to stay up to date on all the latest news from the event.

As far as Raid+ Interactive goes, we are just moving forward with your everyday typical struggles of a startup company, but we are moving forward no matter the obstacles. It's really great to be working with such a great group of guys who not only look out for one another but are passionate about game development. I have tons of Marketing work to get caught up on after this busy week, which I will post about here soon. Here are some art updates on our Heist style game we are developing from our Artists Shane Schultz and DJ Davila.





My CEO has been working hard on a multitude of things, but one of them is getting our website up and running. It's by no means 100% but he is making as much progress as I know he can. I posted an image below, but you can click on it to take you to our site. There will be more progress on this as the week's pass.



Extra Life is coming up! Real Quick! It simply amazes me how I can't get anyone to join me and my team! I don't understand why anyone who is a gamer would not want to play games for 24 hours straight to raise money for a good cause. I absolutely LOVE doing it, as this is my 3rd year in a row. I made a vow to do this event every year until my fingers fall off. Looks like I am going to do some major poking this week and get some people to join my team. I already raised $180 myself! There is a meeting at my local Children's Hospital that I play for here soon. I am trying to get off work for that as well, but we will see what happens. If I could only clone myself and attend every event I want to go to right? lol! Check out my image below and click on it to take you to my Extra Life page to find out what it's all about! Remember, no donation is too small!



On top of that, like I had mentioned in my previous post a few weeks back, you know that I put in over 200 applications recently. I am currently in the interview process at a couple VERY promising companies. I have had to take a Unity3D test for 1 of them, waiting to hear back, and the other one I am also waiting to hear back for my 2nd phone interview, as the 1st one went extremely well! I am not going to post what companies they are just yet as I don't want to jinx anything, but I am very honored to be considered for positions at these companies. A lot of my spare time has been to preparing for these interviews with doing tons of job specific research, tutorials, and company history research. I will obviously post an update here as soon as I hear anything important on my end. Stay tuned in and follow me here for more on that in the future. I am more motivated to obtain a career than anything I have ever done in my life before. I not only want to pour my heart and soul into my family but also in my career as well. I have not let failure get in my way, and it has lead me to connect with some amazing individuals and job opportunities. Have I got any rejection letters? YES! TONS! But that has not discouraged me 1 bit from pushing forward and obtaining my goals and aspirations in becoming a great game developer someday. I won't give up on my goals and dreams just because of a few rejection letters. I know what it feels like to be a College Football player during NFL draft day. I am just praying someone gives me the opportunity to be apart of something bigger than myself. By letting me pour my heart into a company and proving just how passionate I am about game development. Hard work pays off, but it doesn't happen overnight. I've been at it for years, and I have not the slightest intentions of slowing down. Here is a quote that I liked which I felt was appropriate, maybe it will inspire you too. :)


I also received a phone call from a local technical recruiter for a friend of mine who used me as a reference. It's nice to try and help out a friend when you can, plus at the end of the conversation, the recruiter liked my Linked-IN profile and wanted to talk to me about a job. I have him as a Linked-IN connection now, but I told him I want to see through the interviews I am currently in 1st before I proceed any further with anymore. Always great to have connections. I also have been helping out a friend in obtaining a local technical job in Milwaukee. Giving him Linked-IN advice, pointing him to some good job sites (www.WisconsinTechConnect.com), and hooking him up with a local technical recruiter I know (different from the one I mentioned above). It's the same recruiter I had lunch with a few weeks back who gave me the C# Test to take. I did email him back to let him know my current job interviews situation and that I want to play through my current interviews before I start jumping into more. So the C# test for me is on hold for now. It's really heartwarming to me that I have friends that feel like they can confide enough in me to help them with such a very difficult task. Although this particular friend is one of the smartest people I know, I have no doubt in my mind he will find something very soon.

Other than that, I am going to attempt to finish up that Stack Social Course I have been doing building out 6 different games in C# using Unity3D. Got to keep my skills in the engine and programming up to par. Those are skills that always need to be continuously perfected on a weekly basis.

After that, I am going to start saving up some money to get my Certified Scrum Master certification through the Scrum Alliance. I know that Doug Shimp from 3Back is the Senior Agile Instructor for me locally. There is a class on November 8th and 9th, which I would love to get prepared for, there is just no way I can afford to drop $1,000 at the moment. Time to take a look at my finances and do some adjustments to save a little cash here and there to get this certification. It is a major goal of mine to acquire as many certifications I can that will help me in my career. Once I obtain my CSM, I will then proceed to the next step of getting my Certified Product Owner certification (CPO). All in good time, all in good time. Click on the image below to find out more about the Scrum Alliance and Agile.


So basically, that's the majority of my update in a nutshell.

I literally don't know how I manage myself sometimes, but I can honestly say that hard work pays off. Even with everything I have accomplished so far, there is still tons of more goals and work to accomplish. Just have to keep focused on what I am doing and try to keep organized. :)

Time to move forward! Tons of work to do! >.<

Don't forget to follow me here, on Twitter, on Twitch, and Instagram to keep up to date with everything that I am working on.

Until next time ...

HAPPY DEVING!

\m/ >.< \m/