Phillip A. Sturtevant

Back in the day, I first experienced the wonderful world of video games when I was 4 or 5 years old.  Every Christmas, my family would go over to my cousin’s house where they had their NES with Super Mario Bros. 3.  I thought it was so much fun to play with my sisters and cousins!  Then, one Christmas, they gave us an N64.  This blew my mind at how you could explore vast worlds and solve puzzles.

Though we could only play this on weekends, I would always love to immerse myself in worlds like the Mushroom Kingdom, Grunty’s Lair or Hyrule.  I felt that this was something more to me than just a game; this was a place I could go to experience amazing adventures all just within a couple hours.  As I grew up, I understood they were just a pastime, but they also gave me the passion to want to help people in the real world and solve puzzles just as I had done in my games.

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This passion originally directed me to Mechanical Engineering.  I enjoyed the challenge and logic problems this degree provided, but it lacked a direct connection to the people.  Sure, I was helping people indirectly with my inventions, but I was only getting skin deep with the products I was building.  This was when I turned back to games to notice something I had overlooked.

I understood the powerful emotional reaction players get when playing games as I have felt that way many times myself.  By building the components of the game via code, I still could use logic to build entire worlds for people and tweak experiences based on our team’s emotions for fun.  This, I knew I wanted to incorporate into my work.  Coupled with my passion the challenging problem-solving skills engineering provides, I began to explore the vast world of coding.

To get my feet wet, so to speak, I taught myself C# in 2015 while still working as an engineer in the industry.  After, I downloaded the Unity engine and began playing around with what I learned to create some very small experiences.  This was when I fell head over heels for this work and began pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

I am currently studying in this degree to learn the foundations I need to create these adventures.  I aspire to work as a Gameplay Programmer, experimenting with mechanics to create an environment for the player that evoke joy, excitement, and fear in worlds that take their breath away.  In addition, I’d love to try out other positions as well as I enter the industry because, in the end, I really just want to help bring these worlds to people to enjoy!  For me, creating these experiences is a perfect balance between logic and art and these skills are something I look forward to perfecting for the rest of my life.