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Monthly Archives: November 2008

 

Since Paul introduced me on his blog I thought I take my time to explain who I am and where I came from. My name is Joey or Joe (either one – I don’t care J ) and I am 20, probably the youngest member on the flight team!  All I can say is I am one lucky guy to have gotten this job. I mean who would have ever thought I would end up here at Microsoft in a game studio help making the next version of flight Sim?  I sure didn’t think it was practical – but what do you know, I guess it is, because here I am!

I have lived here in Seattle my entire life. I have always loved airplanes or the aspect of flight. Aviation has always seemed like a hidden interest in my life – little did I know my future job would be so tightly connected. Flight has always fascinated me. Like when I was a kid my dad would take me down to the airport and we watch the giant airliners land at Sea Tac. I then remember I would go home and play with my toy airplane the entire day! Then I got into making model airplanes when I was like 10. My uncle bought me a balsa wood model airplane kit and we glued that thing together in a day. I admit I never got the exterior tissue glued to it though. My uncle said we would finish when he returned but it’s still sitting in my room on top my shelf to this day. I’m still waiting for his return! That didn’t stop me though. I build four or five other balsa wood planes with exterior and everything and they too still sit upon my shelf – with broken wings and what not.  And White Wings Paper Airplanes! – I don’t know if you’ve heard of those but I probably built like 50 of them.  I would go to the park and see how long I could get one to glide. I think my record is like a minute and 30 seconds! Yeah, that’s right, try and beat that! Anyways, I may not know a lot about real aviation and the actual names of the airplanes (as Paul and Brandon might know) but I like airplanes! And don’t get me wrong, I am learning a ton about real aviation now – with having this job and everything.  

As I got older computers started taking over my life. I started playing on the computer 24/7. I would play video games, mess around with Photoshop, and edit videos and endless stuff like that. Video editing was always a passion for me. My brother, neighbors, friends and I, would pull out the video camera and make all kinds of interesting movies. They are incredibly entertaining to watch -now that’s it’s been so long, but they are as funny as all get out! Anyways, somewhere in-between here I picked up the game flight Sim. I think I was about 16 when I finally grabbed Flight Sim 2004 off the shelf. To be honest I thought the game sucked at first because you couldn’t crash airplanes. But for some reason I kept going back to it. Not sure the reason, perhaps it was because the game was so opened ended. But then I found out you could download third party content. That’s when I got addicted! I downloaded a couple scenery and aircraft add-ons and thought this was amazing. Not too soon after that I was like, I wonder how hard it is to make my own stuff for this game? Then I started digging through the SDK. It was a bit over my head at first but worked my way through it. Figured out how to add my own house to the game! Then satellite imagery.

While doing this I started always visiting the AVSIM forums and other flight sim forums. That’s when I started paying attention to the development of FSX.  I started following the developer blogs and would check for updates like every week. FSX eventually came out and I started using the FSX SDK to make stuff. I wanted to make a police chase mission where you have to chase down a cop car in a Bell helicopter. Thats when I started this blog. Then one day I emailed PC-12 (that is Paul, who is now my boss) and just kindly asked him what would be the easiest way about getting a job in the game industry. Programming and video games greatly interested me and was thinking about working toward a career in that area. I was almost done with school at Shoreline Community College just finishing up some programming classes and about ready to pick another school. I just wanted to explore the other possible paths out there so that’s why I emailed Paul. Paul ended up emailing me back (Thank God!) and gave me some good advice on the subject. It made me feel real cool that I got advice from a game designer! Anyways, not too long after this I got an email from Paul again asking if I wanted to come down to get a look at the studio where Flight Simulator is created. Of course I said yes! So I took a trip down to Microsoft and got to meet Paul and Brandon. While there they mentioned they needed someone to help with missions and asked if I was interested. I was like, “well duhhhh”!!! So after a series of interviews here I sit. Helping create missions for my favorite game!  A job right up my alley! I truly believe I can create some cool stuff while I’m here and can’t wait to see the outcome. I’ve been working for about two months and so far I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff. And please don’t ask what we’re working on because according to my Contract, and more specifically Paul – I am “sworn to secrecy”!

I also want to mention Brandon – my official manger. He is a really awesome guy to work with and I couldn’t ask for a better boss! Working with him we should come up with some awesome stuff so stay tuned! Everyone should try to get him to start a blog as well!

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