I grew up wanting to be a game programmer so all my "official" training and education is based around computer programming. I've been studying computer programming since 2002, my high school freshman year; when I graduated I joined the US Air Force as a computer programmer. I also spend my free time game programming using Microsoft's XNA framework. As for game design education... well that is all self taught through experience, research, and theory.
Becoming a Designer
My level design specialization started when Halo 3 first came out in September of 2007 when I was still AZN FTW. I discovered forge and I went to work making my own unique maps. While everyone was just modifying weapons, vehicles, and obstacles, I sought out to make environments that felt like new maps. I was tired of seeing High Ground with just different weapon setups and a Wraith for kicks. I wanted people to feel like they were playing a new fresh map. And this is where all my design theory began.
I continued on and shared my maps with friends while looking through Bungie's old user map forum trying to find other innovative maps made by other creative designers. And this is how I found Forgehub and met TrueDarkFusion, the founder of the current biggest Halo 3 forging community. October was the month that I applied on their Wordpress blog and was overall accepted as one of the five to ten guilders that would soon guide Forgehub to its success. Together the guilders built new and innovative maps that showed the developing forge community the possibilities. As we built we also taught many forgers techniques that could be used to add to their maps. As time progressed into the winter months, we moved to the vBulletin forum that exists now...
As the story progresses, we grew and we grew fast. Between meeting forgers online, introducing them to the site, and then eventually getting front paged on Bungie; we became the number one site for level design in Halo 3. We taught many forgers, we built tons of iconic content, and we found the few talented designers then pulled them on board. Through Forgehub, I made AZN FTW the well known name that it is today. After a few months I messed up and made a bad move based on an argument with the web admin resulting in me getting banned from the site. Fast forward a little, after going rogue and still teaching people behind the scenes and playing other games; February 2009 came to be the month I found a new home...
XForgery truly reminded me of the old Forgehub I knew and loved before we got featured by Bungie. Forgers helped each other out, had fun, and wanted to learn rather than fight for popularity. So I jumped in full force and starting dishing out money to pay for a dedicated server and threw my suggestions around as fast as I could. I continued to run around, grabbing some of my old friends and showing them this great place. I continued to teach design concepts in not only level design now, but also in gametype design as well. While I didn't really build much myself those days, I worked with other great forgers like GunnerGrunt, Ell3ment, Coyote, Sharpshooter, Shockwave, and many more to bring the community great custom games to play... all while developing the design theories that I am most well known for.
Life took hold of me and I disappeared for a bit, but now I return with a purpose. My ultimate goal is to run a game development company and on my way there I am refining my design theories by getting them written down and taught to as many people as I possibly can. I want to show people what I know and help them get to where they want to go. I hope to prove that I understand the design field so that I may move up and apply what I know into my future company. I aspire to earn the trust of my readers and hopefully gain support for when I push full speed into entrepreneurship. Do I have your support my friend?