Statement of Intent: 25 Years as a Game Developer
Looking back on my career in video games for the last 25 years, I felt the need to create a statement of intent and focus as I head into the second half of my career.
I love to develop games because I love to play games of all kinds. The act of learning and experiencing joy through play has been a critical part of my life. I want to share my joy by creating enriching experiences for other people.
The first 15 years of my career I was both an environment and lighting artist. Starting in 2013 my work has been focused entirely on creating lighting. I am drawn to lighting as a discipline for its elegance and efficiency at enhancing visual communication -and more than anything, for the sheer pleasure of observing all the magic that light can create.
My goal as a lighter is to enrich the player's experience on many levels. I'm not only interested in creating appealing environments and setting the mood, but also in reinforcing game mechanics, building fiction and helping the player to feel the game world is a plausible, unified whole. When I'm thinking about lighting design for a game, I am considering many other disciplines and working to understand how I can reinforce their goals with my contributions.
As a senior developer it is my duty to mentor younger artists and set an example of how to behave professionally, while respecting one's own needs and boundaries. I will never encourage anyone to put a game project above their health and personal relationships. I believe that ample time to rest and engage in activities outside work allows us the perspective we need to create fulfilling games.
My world view has been expanded since I started prioritizing listening to marginalized people. While much of what I have learned is not directly about game development, shifting my perspective has had wide-ranging positive effects on my abilities to reason, empathize, and create more enriching experiences. I am motivated to work with diverse teams and to use my position to help historically excluded people join and thrive in this industry.
I believe that all disciplines and roles at a games studio deserve equal respect. We all work together to make something that I hope will make a positive impact on people. It is important to me to work for a studio that shares my respect for all the contributions required to create a engaging experience for our players.
My Relationship With Light
To observe light is to be in the now. To observe light is to be in a place. To observe light is to develop a sensitivity for delicate shifts in hue and value. To observe light is to know that everything we see is part of a painting created in the single medium of light. These acts of observation align deeply with my contemplative and holistic personality.
Lighting is the most powerful tool of creation in the visual world. Light can evoke time and place. It can build a space. It can invoke emotion. Without light, there is nothing. Without accurate light, there is nothing to believe. Without evocative light, there is nothing to feel. Between the extremes of light and dark is the world I work in, creating form, space, emotion, memory, and experience.