Do what you love, love what you do.
Published 2 years ago
My journey into development
After high school I immediately moved to Japan and spent 8 months in poverty while studying the language. I had no work ethic, didn't know what I wanted to do, and spent what meager cash I had foolishly. Running out of money I returned to the US and started working at Toyoda Sushi in Seattle, WA. That started almost a decade of culinary work for me that I had never once expressed an interest in, it was simply something I thought I could do and it earned me enough money to stay in school.
Jump ahead to my late twenties and I had moved back to Japan. I worked for a very bad company and was in the lowest point of my life. Depression, something I had never experienced, reared it's ugly head, and told me very seriously: I needed to change my life, because someone else wasn't going to do it for me. I had enetered the company as a chef, though my with my computer skills I was almost immediately moved into IT and advertising. I had always assumed I could never get a job in computers because I didn't have a degree in computer science, and I had no professional experience.
It was at this point that I met my wife who was then moving to a different city to be closer to her parents as she too had learned she was not living a healthy life working for the same company. I broke free of my fear to seek out a job other than culinary arts, and applied to several CAD based positions. The first interview I went to sounded very bad. Long overtime, frequent movement, no gaurentees. The second company was not interested in hiring an American, perfectly fair to be honest, Japanese is a difficult language. The third company I had not yet heard back from. With (at that time my girlfriend) my wife's parent's car we drove to the company univited in my fifty dollar suit, and I walked in the front door. The president of the company was by chance standing right there, recognized me from my resume, and hired me on the spot.
I still work for that company to this day, and it is a very kind and supportive company. They know I am working on a game, and that one day I may leave them. Until that day I work hard for them from 8am to 5pm.
The point here being, I had zero CAD experience. I speak very good Japanese, forgive me saying so myself, and of course English is a big help to any global company, but it wasn't my abilities that secured my position with them. It was my heart. I went to them, eyes open, chin up, and said "I want to work for you." and they saw the sincerity in that.
That experience of going from a nothing in the world of manufacturing to being a solid member of a team in one of the first ever companies of it's kind in Japan celebrating their 60th anniversary this year (2016) really showed me that most of the limits we imagine are limits we have put on ourselves.
I had been writing game ideas in notebooks for years, things I wanted to see someone else make. I knew now that it wasn't about hoping someone else would make them, it was about making them myself. Ever since my interview with that company I have spent every minute of my free time working on my game Solace Crafting and I can't complain about a single second of it. I've made thousands of mistakes, deleted hundreds of hours of work, scrapped piles of art, scripts, and everything in between.
All in all, everything I've done up until now, the bad company I worked for, being titled the "Maki Master" in a profession I never expected, more mistakes in C# and Unity than anyone could ever count, have all led me to where I am now. They are not "unfortunate" things I experienced, they are what made me who I am today. My life up until now has been preparing me to make games, and passionately, and from here on that is what I choose to do.
It may be a while before I can quit my day job, but I know now that it is possible, I know now that I am capable and more so every day.
I look forward to working more and more with the Unity community, you've been more help to me than you may ever know, and to the day when other people enjoy playing my games.
Kyle Postlewait
Game Developer