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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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Living the Dream ... Almost

Recent picture of Milwaukee I took for a Raid+ social media post.

If you know me personally, you would know that if you asked me how I was, 99.9% of the time I always respond with "Living the Dream". You can literally ask anyone who knows me. It was a saying that stuck with me from when I was living on a ship in the Navy. Now, just this past holiday weekend, things have been moving forward where "Living the Dream" might actually become a reality!

Now I realize that some of these updates below are a little "vague" but that's because I don't want to jinx anything yet until I officially have a job. :) Trust me, if I obtain one of these positions that I am interviewing for, you can expect a major update here.

So far this year,

I was contacted by Unity3D for a job back before my wedding, but they were looking for someone right away. I made it to the final round of interviews, and due to my wedding, they went with another candidate. Which is completely understandable. It's a competitive industry and I completely respect that.

That hasn't stopped me from moving forward at all! I am glad that I am not only being contacted by these amazing companies, I am also glad that I am experiencing these interview processes. It's absolutely great experience to have!

I am starting to notice a trend, however, with most of the jobs I am applying for are obviously not in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I have to move in order to get these jobs. That seems like it's hurting me a lot, especially since most of my career opportunities are in other states. My Wife and I have talked about this and have decided that if I don't have a job by next year when our lease is up, we will move to California so that I can better my chances. Have I ever said how much I love my Wife! :)

Anyway, I also have been talking with my AWS connection throughout the years who is still willing to help me out with finding a career with Amazon Games or something with games with Amazon. (Lumberyard, High Moon, Twitch, etc.) He is, however, a VERY busy person. Highly respected in his field and highly respected by me. It's pretty funny. As I mention this, I am sitting at his house as I type this very sentence! I help my Wife (she is a Vet Tech) house and dog sit for him all the time.

I have been making tons of connections over the past 5 years. Right when I started fully dedicating myself to game development, I have been fully engaged as I can be with the indie and AAA game development scene. I have had the pleasure of meeting, working with, and talking with some really amazing people over the years. Most of whom have been nothing but supportive of me. If you are one of those people, you know who you are, Thank You! But all this hard work, engaging, and networking is paying off. :)

Now just over this past holiday break alone,

I was contacted by a game industry veteran / angel investor who was generous enough to reach out to me about a possible opportunity. She said she really liked my profile and my portfolio here! Yay! We were already connected on Linked-IN and that's where she reached out to me. After checking out her profile and reading her reply to my email, I couldn't believe how well connected she was. She is honestly one of the busiest people I've ever seen and the fact that took the time out of her busy schedule to reach out to me makes me feel truly honored. She wants to have a phone call conversation in December! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for that! \m/ >.< \m/

Now just the other day at work when I was bartending, I made another great connection! I honestly can't even begin to tell you how many really cool connections I have obtained just through bartending. Not only that, I also get to practice talking to a lot of business professionals as I work at a polished fine-dining restaurant right near tons of hotels. We get tons of GE employees all the time, just to give an example. Being able to look someone in the eyes, show them respect, and hold an intelligent conversation with them has been an invaluable experience for me over the years. Anyway, after talking with this lovely couple, who were my patrons at the time, the topic of me graduating came up. Which lead to talking about what I do and what I want to do. Mentioned how I was in a couple big interviews at the moment. The lady tells me she is really good friends with a guy who works for Sony Playstation! She gave me his Linked-IN info and told me to contact him. I already connected with him and currently having a wonderful conversation on Linked-IN at the moment.

Now today, my recruiter for 1 of the jobs I am currently in the middle of an interview with called me back! I was so very excited for this phone call! He gave me a brief update on my situation, told me he emailed his hiring manager about me today, and will be having a meeting with his boss on Wednesday to discuss the candidates for this position. (one of them being me!) If you are reading this, please keep your fingers crossed for me! This is a huge, huge, huge opportunity not only for myself but for my Wife and future family as well. Trust me, like I stated above, pretty vague, but I am not jinxing anything yet. I just am too excited to hold it all in which is why I am kind of venting and sharing my experience here on my portfolio.

*Couple deep Breathes!*

Alright! Whew. Well besides that! I had a very wonderful holiday weekend with my family. It was nice to take a break from the socials and computer to hang out with family. It was a small Thanksgiving for me this year, just dinner with the Wife and her Mother this year. Which was fine by me! I enjoyed the relaxing, stress-free, quiet holiday. I sure needed it! :)

I, of course, have been working A TON lately. Ever since I have been getting these emails and phone calls, I have been way to pumped up every night to sleep. Lol. I have been trying to absorb so much knowledge as I study for these job opportunities and work on projects for Raid+. I need a bigger brain storage capacity. XD haha.

Other news, my cousin is having his local Milwaukee charity drive he runs every year. If you are interested in helping, donating, or volunteering, the information is below. You can click on the image to take you to the Facebook event for more information as well. I donated to my cousin's GoFundMe a little while back and emailed all the local news stations about his upcoming charity work. Love supporting my cousin! He is such a great guy!


I also emailed all the local news stations about our next upcoming Local MKE Game Developers Night why I was at it. Because, hey, why not. I talked with the owner of the 42 Ale House who loved that I did that! We are discussing currently a time to meet up to get all the dates set for next year's monthly meetup! Raid+ strongly believes in supporting local businesses and our community which is why I love bing apart of Raid+! 

I also have been doing a lot of marketing updating with our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. There is still a lot more to be done, but with marketing, you never run out of work! lol

Our meetings at Raid+ right now our on Sundays and Tuesdays. So Tuesday's for me is usually an office day, where I try to get a bunch of work done for Raid+. What's on my list for tomorrow you ask? Well...

Currently downloaded the new build that was posted by our lead programmer the other day. Going to be implementing my simple 4-player split screen into the build and pass that into the submission folder to be approved! This game is still is WAY pre-alpha, but I will be posting an update on my progress here in the near future. You can check out a screenshot I posted of the 4-player split screen in my previous post below. The game, as of now, is called "Super Fun Battle Time" (SFBT). It's a working title. If you like it or have other suggestions, please, feel free to comment below! :)

Below is a GIF of an update video from our lead programmer, Justin Martin!

I plan on giving our Developers Blog a serious overhaul and update tomorrow. Once that is completed I will be requiring the developers to give me blog posts as much as possible, whenever as possible. I will also be doing a weekly "Meet the Raid+ Dev's" post. Where I ask a short series of questions for all the developers. Once we have gone through all the developers, we ask a new series of short questions. Trying to humanize our company as much as possible and show the world what Raid+ is all about!

We also have a game Wiki for our project, which has been updated in the recent weeks ALOT. I have read over most of it, but I still want to go over it one more time before our next meeting. Our CEO has been working very hard at updating the Wiki and it's very impressive what he's gotten done so far. It's truly amazing to see how people's passion shows through when they are working on a game that they are actually having fun building! I think everyone on my team at Raid+ feels the same way currently. :)

There is still a long list of work that I am going to get done tomorrow, and I will post another update in the next couple days after I have caught up from the holiday weekend and get back into the swing of things. When am I ever not working, right? LOL

Besides that, still reading, still doing tutorials, still saving up $ to get CSM / CSPO certifications, still working hard every day, still engaging, and networking like crazy. I am also my Wife and I are helping move her Mother this week from her house into an Apartment. Always glad to help out family when I can! :)

I will end this update with a motivational image that one of my Linked-IN connections posted today that I found to be a very truthful statement. Thought I would share it here due to how much it relates to what I am currently going through! Hope it inspires you too!

Until next time. Game on, Dev On, and keep on Living the Dream! :)