Who am I?
My name is Justin Bretschneider. I am a Gamer, Nerd, Geek, Game Designer, Programmer, Avid Reader, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fan, Movie Fan, and Introvert. Am I an optimist or a pessimist? I live by the idea of hoping for the best, but expecting (and planning for) the worst.
I am a Game Developer. For a time I used Game Designer to describe what I do, but then I actually dug deeper into the differences between development and design. What I found is that a designer’s job is mostly involved in the visual appeal and clarity of a product while the developer is the one that makes the product work. Games of course need both. I am much better at, and find far more enjoyment from, making a game mechanic work. This is not to say that I am lost when it comes to design, I have been making my own games and other projects for a while now and that necessitates some design. Whoever producing art has always been a weakness of mine. I grow too impatient with the work of making the art assets and become frustrated. As such while I know how to make good art and have the technical knowledge to make it I leave that to those that have devoted far more time in to developing those skills.
Why the double picture up above? Simple. Whether I have a beard or not is mostly random based on if I feel like growing one, shaving it off, or just got lazy for a month and didn’t shave. Most of the time I have a beard but I will have times that I shave and attempt to stay clean shaven.
Why 6 years for a 4 year College?
I started Cogswell Polytechnical College in the fall of 2007 to get a 4 year degree for game design. My major was Digital Arts Engineering (DAE) and covered programming, art (both digital and physical), Modeling, Animation (both 2D and 3D), and a few other technical classes for the medium. In my second year I decided to change my major to a more of an art focus. The reason for this is that I was unhappy with my programming classes as they seemed to me to lack focus or practical application. This was a mistake. I learned very quickly that I had far less aptitude for art than I did for programming and so after a semester or two of the art focus I switched back to the more general major. I continued in this for the remainder of my time at Cogswell. Some of you may be asking “That should only have extended your time in College by one year, if that. So why did it take 6 years instead of 5?” The answer is simple in my last semesters at Cogswell some of the classes I needed to graduate were not offered or conflicted with each other in a pick one and come back to the other fashion. This is in part because when I changed major my timing for classes was messed up, and also partially because of changes within my major. And when I say changes I mean that while I was attending Cogswell they stopped admitting people into the DAE major and replaced it altogether. You can see how that might mess with figuring out what I needed to take. However I do not see my extended time in College as a failure. Was it the cause of a mistake? Yes. However I gained more experiences, grew more as a person, and learned more than I would have otherwise. As one of my professors said: “What should a game designer learn? EVERYTHING! A game designer must be able to draw on many pools of knowledge and experiences.”