Who am I?

I was just writing some background on myself for another game developer that I’ll be working with so that they can build up a picture of who I am, and I thought it would be interesting to post it on my blog (I can look back on it in years to come and see how it’s changed). So here’s who I am:

Me, My Family and Location

- I’m 32 (33 in June)
- I’ve got a partner (for nearly 10 years) called Helen who writes science articles at home.
- I’ve got two boys called Conan and Callum aged 7 and 4
- We have a cat called Suki.
- I live in Bridport, Dorset, England. This is on the south coast very near to the beach.
- I’ve got a house and car (Impreza Turbo 2000, it rocks!) and bills which is why I need my games to make money ;-)
- I’m 5’6″ (that’s like 166cm) tall, medium build and have long black hair in a ponytail.

Computing

- I’ve been programming since I was 8. I had a Spectrum a C64 and Amiga 500, an Amiga1200 then finally PC (and later on Macbook Pro).
- I’ve been making games all that time in Basic and Assembly and C++ and Blitz Basic 2 on the Amiga (this was the most fun).
- I made business software in Delphi and SQL for 9 years and it made millions of pounds BUT that money was not mine it belonged to someone else. Now I want to make millions in games ;-)
- I started programming Blitz Plus in Nov 2004 and quit my job in Summer 2005 to release XMas Bonus in December 2005.
- I also released Easter Bonus, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Holiday Bonus and Fairway Solitiare (which was a big hit). I’m working on my 6th commercial game now (for BFG), and I’m contracted to make a 7th for them too.

Hobbies

- I teach Aikido (I’ve been practising it for nearly 11 years) and I’m going for my 2nd Dan in September. It keeps me healthy (and is a contrast to sitting in my computer chair), and is very good for the mind and spirit.
- I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy books and movies, oh and Stephen King books.
- I love all sorts of music from Heavy Metal, to Trance and Chip music, to Classical Music.
- I play the guitar (classical, blues, heavy metal) and have been in a couple of metal bands. I’ve got a massive Marshall valve amp+cabinet and a USA Fender Stratocaster guitar (+ some others).
- I like making trance music with Fruity Loops (I used to use Trackers on the Amiga and in DOS on the PC)
- I love playing games (but seem to be too busy these days!) and have played countless games over the years including tons of FPS games since Doom. I’ve played lots of casual games too for research (and fun). I love RPGs but they take up too much of my time so I’m careful to avoid them in case I get hooked. I’ve never played an MMORPG (from fear of addiction) although I did some online Quake 3 and other deathmatch once (way too addictive).
- I have a Mega Drive, Playstation 1 and 2, Game Cube and Wii, oh and a Nintendo DS.
- I write game news and reviews for www.binaryjoy.co.uk
- I used to be good at art when I was at school, but I don’t do the art for my games. However, I’ve got good graphic design skills regarding layout and how things look etc that I can put to good use for game programming.
- I like gardening. I grow some veg, not on a big scale, but it’s fun. Also I’m meticulous (fanatical) about keeping my lawn smart and tidy.

Self-Improvement

- I’m really into self-improvement (have been since I started Aikido, in fact before that). I read and implement lots of self-help stuff because it helps me, my family and my business, oh and my friends (when they ask me for advice).
- I’m vegan (although occasionally I have dairy products e.g. ice cream!). I went Vegetarian when I was 14 in a pact with two girls who were already vegetarian but who smoked – they gave up smoking and I went vegetarian. At first it was hard but it’s easy now and I wouldn’t go back to eating meat or fish. People wonder if I can be healthy, and the reality is that I’m more healthy than most people – I wouldn’t have got a black belt in Aikido if I was unfit.
- I’m a perfectionist but I try to control it and balance it against getting stuff done. I’ve probably annoyed quite a few people in the past with my perfectionism ;-) but it helps to make good games.
- I’ve got tons of ambitions ranging from self-improvement, through what I want to own and where I want to live, to how I can help people for the greater good. I’m a determined person and I’m sure that I’ll meet lots of my goals.

There’s probably tons more but you may have fallen asleep already ;-)

10 Responses to “Who am I?”

  1. Alexei Vinidiktov Says:

    Wow, what a personality!

    I’ve been dreaming of learning aikido for over a decade now, but where I live we don’t have any aikido clubs. I’m planning on moving to a bigger town in the not so distant future, and one of the goals in doing that is exactly to pursue aikido and some other martial arts.

    Thanks for sharing the info, Jake!

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks Alexei :-) Aikido is great. There are many different variations though, some focus more on Ki (energy/spirit) and some are a bit more “hard-style”/martial. Our school focuses on Ki and mind and body development. You work in harmony with your partner rather than competing against them like in most other martial arts.

  3. Casual Games France Says:

    Wouah ! What a detailled description :)
    That’s great. We are different on many thinks, but so closed on other like hobbies !
    Let’s see what we shared (I changed some words) :
    - I’ve been programming since I was 11. I had an Amstrad CPC and Amiga 500, then finally PC
    - I’ve been making games all that time in Basic and C++ and AMOS on the Amiga (this was the most fun).
    - I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy books and movies, oh and Stephen King books.
    - I love all sorts of music from Heavy Metal, to Classical Music.
    - I play drum (blues, heavy metal) and have been in a couple of metal bands. I’ve a Roland TD3.
    - I used to use Trackers on the Amiga
    - I love playing games (but seem to be too busy these days!). I’ve played lots of casual games too for research (and fun). I love RPGs but they take up too much of my time so I’m careful to avoid them in case I get hooked. I’ve never played an MMORPG (from fear of addiction).
    - I had a Mega Drive, I have a Playstation 1 and 2, Game Cube and Wii, oh and a Nintendo DS.
    - I write game news and reviews for http://www.casualgames.fr
    - I used to be good at art but I don’t do the art for my games. However, I’ve got good graphic design skills regarding layout and how things look etc that I can put to good use for game programming.

    Amazing right ? :-)

  4. Casual Games France Says:

    Hum I forgot to say who I am… I’m David from http://www.casualgames.fr, I’m currently working on my own game (a Match-3 hybrid game) with your framework.

  5. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Haha, yeah pretty close indeed David! Hey good luck with your current game, I look forward to seeing it! I also read your Fairway Review a while back :-)

  6. Casual Games France Says:

    Yeah, a french review :) and I promoted your game a lot on my blog as it’s one of my favorite. And I sold some, as your game is in my top 10 of sales !

  7. Grey Alien Games Says:

    I used babelfish to translate it. Thanks for promoting the game, glad it’s in the top 10! It’s got a high conversion rate. Did you know there’s a French language version too on the BFG French site?

  8. Casual Games France Says:

    Yes, I’m selling the BFG french version :) .

  9. Beaker Says:

    My (vegan) girlfriend would probably say you can’t be vegan cos you eat ice cream sometimes. What I tend to say is “I eat vegan 90% of the time, but I’m not vegan”.

  10. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yeah that’s true. I’m definitely vegetarian (I avoid stuff like renet and gelatine) and I’m often vegan (I have soya milk with my cereal for example) but yeah sometimes I “let my hair down” ;-)