Saturday, November 17, 2007

Maelstrom of Awesome

In my previous post I hinted at my desire to do "projects". I don't know about you, but I really like making things. Well, at least thinking about them.

I have ideas all the time. I write them down when I can because I think many of them have potential. They might be an idea for a book, a movie story line, a video game concept, a 3D model or something to build out of butter. I'm all over the map. They all interest me and I consider them all something I would enjoy spending my time on. Problem is my time is very, very limited. More and more so as my children wear me out (I mean that in the most positive way.) So its time for me to decide what I really want to do with my time and that means deciding if projects are really worth it or not. Perhaps some of my ideas should just stay ideas. They often are more exciting that way anyway.

For me, its the pre-start of a project, the imagination phase that is really exciting. Then there is the doing phase, which often is less exciting and more frustrating because it's not happening as fast or as easily as I imagined. Then there is the completion stage, the part that really feels good, the part that makes it all worth while. I want to get projects that maximize this. The potential for feeling good, for getting done, and for being worth while. Going back to school is one of these projects where the ends justify the means in so many ways that it has to be done.

My decision to go back to college is questionable for most people, my wife included. Most can't understand why someone like me, a 32 year old with a BA in Mechanical Engineering, with a good job already in Modeling and Simulation, would consider getting another Bachelors degree at DeVry (in Game and Simulation Programming). I can understand their confusion and my reasoning is complicated but I'll give it a shot. Work hasn't been as fulfilling as I want it to be. There hasn't been much (if any) on-the-job learning the last few years. My skills are specific and hard to market (or find a job anywhere somewhat related) for equivalent pay. Things are changing at work (new owners, new ideas) and I don't feel as "safe" as I should. If I lost my job, I'd be hard pressed to get a job of equal pay. I'm almost 10 years out from my Mechanical Engineering degree and I haven't worked a single ME job. I'm scared, I'm tired, I'm interested. I think the video game market is the perfect place for me. I enjoy movie making, I enjoy 3D modeling and animating, I enjoy story telling, I enjoy photography and videography. Video/Electronic games seem to put all this together in a maelstrom of awesome.

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