Pixelate:Issue 13/Interview - Dave Astle

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Interview - Dave Astle
Original author: Adrian Danis (aka RamboBones)
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Introduction

For an assignment recently I had to interview someone famous whom I admired. Naturaly I chose one of the cofounders of GameDev. Most of the question I had to ask were pre determined and I didn't get to ask all that many but for those of you who admire Dave Astle (aka Myopic Rhino) I've included a copy of the interview.

Q. Where and when were you born?

A. Twin Falls, Idaho, March 13, 1972

Q. What was your early life like?

A. As a kid, I was immediately drawn to video games, which back then included things like the earliest arcade games such as Pong, PacMan, Frogger and Defender. I used to love going to Kmart with my parents so I could run off and play their Atari while they shopped. When I was 10, I got a part time job working for my uncle and saved up enough money to buy an Atari 400, which I immediately learned how to make games on.

Q. What did you set out to achieve in life, and to what extent were you successful?

A. My main goals were to find a career that I would both love doing and would make me at least well-off financially, if not rich, and to get married and have a family. After learning about guys like Richard Garriott, I knew that making games would be a perfect career choice for me.

I got married 10 years ago this March to an absolutely amazing woman. Together, we've had 5 brilliant, beautiful kids. I consider my family my greatest accomplishment.

After various delays caused by getting married early and having to support a family, I didn't start making games for a living until 3 years ago. I enjoy doing it just as much as I thought I would, if not more, and I've been fortunate to be in situations where the compensation well exceeded the norm for game developers. In addition, I've had some significant things happen with my career that I never expected or planned on, such as building a website that would become as big as it has, or writing a book. I'm very happy with where I am today.

Q. What difficulties have you faced?

A. I made some bad decisions early in my career that put me in a rut for many years. By the time I pulled out of it, I had been out of the loop for game programming for 8 or so years, so I had a lot of catching up to do. It took several years, during which I had to balance school, work, and family, to get back up to speed again, and to finally take it to the next level where I could do it professionally.

Q. What are you currently doing?

A. I'm currently developing graphics and game engines for cell phones. This year alone, millions of people all over the world will be playing games using software I wrote.

Q. What hobbies do you have?

A. Music, reading, travel, some sports, and whatever my kids are interested in at the moment.

Q. How do you balance life on the computer with life in the 'real world'?

A. I usually try to take care of the "real world" things first. Then the computer things tend to take care of themselves.

Q. How much tertiary education have you completed?

A. I have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science.

Dave Astle is the cofounder and Executive Producer of GameDev.net, the leading online community for game developers. He has been developing games professionally for several years, and is currently a lead and senior engineer in the Gaming and Graphics group at Qualcomm, Inc. He is the coauthor of OpenGL Game Programming, has contributed to several other game development books, and has spoken at industry conferences, including the Game Developers Conference. He received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah

Issue 13: The Diet Issue
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Interview - Dave Astle
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