Been a few weeks dtoiders, but I assure you i've been busy.
Do you know anyone that went to a "make games" school?
Not something legitimate like Digipen, or took a computer science major at a university. I'm talking the for profit colleges that spent more time building their ad, than their program. Think of the lamest commercial that ever aired on G4, yeah one of those schools.
I applied to seventeen colleges as a teen. I could have recieved scholarships to half a dozen schools for any major I wanted. I was offered a full ride to a state school for theatre, something I only did in highschool for the Ladies.
Instead I hopped on a bus, spent three weeks at Full Sail, and had the absolute luck to catch a cable airing of Good Will Hunting on a sunday afternoon. Matt Damon made me realize I was paying thousands a year to be walked through the tutorial of Game Maker. Dropped out in time to get most of my tuition back.
So I went back home and enrolled the following semester in a community college. They didn't offer any game programs, so I enrolled in their broadcasting department. Funny story, I only did that because I had myspace(back in the day) messaged every celebrity and person I ever idolized, asking what to do with my life. The only one to respond was Christopher Sabot. He politely and almost instantly informed me that I should put my nose in a book and study something technical. You can always find a job doing the technical stuff, but not the fun stuff. So with Piccolo's advice I started learning about Communications.
Have you ever taken a radio class? If you're lucky it's a has-been spreading wisdom, but mostly it'll be teacher assistants who haven't left the campus grounds in a decade telling you radio is dying and you won't be able to find a job. Cheery bunch.
Then I took a semester of classes to become a cop, because state employee benefits are top tier and my hairline was starting to look like Bruce Willis ala Diehard. I hated it.
So I went back to radio for two years, working odd jobs and sucking at the sweet tit of the pell grant for as long as it would let me. Eventually I lost all drive to go to school, moved to New Jersey, planted a bunch of trees, shoveled some snow, met a girl, and brought her back with me to my home state of the good ol' North Carolina.
Local community college starts offering game design programs and my cooking job only works me on the weekends. Two semesters of that and I realized I coudn't script for shit and my art makes first year Penny Arcade look like Picasso. I can make some amazing french toast by this time however.
Back in broadcasting, managed a Gamestop, intern at Facebook, some random classes for fun, and now I'm a licensed contract electrician for a huge security company. Yeah I don't know how that happened either, but such is life.
The issue of it all, is I am not in love with what I do. It pays the bills, the job has some fun moments, but 90% of it is pulling wire in unfinished malls, or driving all the way to Kentucky because a client unplugged the goddamn sensor a second time and the wire needs to be fastened down.
So an old radio school buddy and I started doing let's play/review/promotion stuff for indie games. For the first time in a long time I'm in love with something that can remotely be called work.
You can find a dozen videos for every AAA game out there, but so many little gems get lost in the wash. I can vouch how hard it is to make so much as a Mario clone, and my buddy Ian has a voice that makes our videos irresistable. He also knows how to plug the mic in, which is a big plus, as I never passed that class.
So here is a Youtube video that may be all I can contribute to the gaming industry. I'd like to romanticize that this some grand project. Really it's me and an old friend choosing to play some unknown titles, and thinking we're funny enough to show it to the world. In the meantime some gems get noticed for what they are. Little stories by people who had the drive and passion to do more than I ever could, and some of them are damn fun to boot.
P.S. I'm Tyler Charles Dixon, but my friends call me asshole and you fine people of Destructoid can continue calling me Charlie, or Asshole, or Tyler. I respond to most when I'm pulling cat5 in your local mall.