Gamers Made Good Profile: Steven Green, Shriek StudiosJuly 14, 2014
We asked, they answered. Team Thrively owes a big thanks to our gamer guest blog contributors who shared their gaming upbringing. Steve’s is the second gaming success story in our series.
My mother was probably the one who really got me interested in the video game world when she bought me a Sony PlayStation for my birthday in 1995. Neither of us thought that a birthday present would lead me down a path to the career. I spent hours in my room playing the system but it wasn't until "Crash Bandicoot" came out that I really got hooked. Once I played it, I found myself looking into the company behind it, Naughty Dog. I wanted to know not only more about the characters, story and game, but the company. For me, I found myself fascinated by the fun sound effects, insane laughter of Ripper Roo, and the mainly silent protagonist, Crash.
With every game I played, I found myself looking at the details, the artwork, sound and music as well as the quality of play style and storyline. Because of this gaming was more of a personal thing I did. As I grew up on games, multiplayer was in its infancy. I would find myself having fun sitting next to friends, but when I was alone I paid total attention to the video game. I went through times of borderline obsession with games and had arguments with my parents because of this. For me it felt as though I were reading a book. I got to take the role of a character, be put in their shoes, go through their trials, and experience their superpowers or lack thereof. I felt in control.
When I decided to attempt to create games, it was actually because I wanted to tell a story. I was never the popular kid through elementary or high school. My stories were never interesting to my classmates. In a sense, I'm hoping now to tell stories through the games I help create. I want to be one of the people behind one of those iconic characters so many gamers love.
As far as coding goes, I never actually took a coding class. I found coding isn't my strong suit, but there are more ways to be involved in creating games than through coding. I currently work in the sound department of some games, creating the sound effects, leading on dialogue recording and editing. Other areas that are light on the coding side include Art, which involves characters and environments, and Writing; creating stories that could end up the script to a video game. Coding is very important to making video games, but it is in no way the only role required to create them.
If anyone ever had a hand in influencing my decision of career paths, it would have to be my parents and family. It's extremely difficult for any child to pursue a path, even if they love it, if their family doesn't support them. They raised me telling me games would rot my brain, hurt my eyesight and lower my school grades. Here I am now, though, beginning to make a living off of creating games. However, I like to say that I create worlds.
Technology that has helped me evolve from a gamer to a creator are programs such as FMOD and Wwise. These are both middleware programs used in the sound department of many video games. Rather than through hard coding, these programs give a nice smooth workflow and can be easy to understand when implementing audio into games.
If I were to give any advice to parents who have kids dabbling at the idea of being a video game developer, it would be to support them. Video game development can be a high-risk career but it can have very high rewards. The satisfaction behind knowing someone is taking the time to play through what you created, laugh at the jokes, cry at the emotional moments and cheer triumphantly when completing the challenges you created is amazing. I suppose movies and film can be looked at as similar, but to me a video game can be much more emotional as you develop bonds to the character you're in complete control of.
The best perspective I can give is that creating video games is not all about coding any more. It’s evolving and requiring many more skill sets such as the aforementioned audio, art and story development. A comparison could be made between the old Mario games, saving a princess in a castle, to the recently developed The Last of Us by Naughty Dog, with hours of in-depth story and character development.
My name is Steve Green, I founded Shriek Studios in 2013 in an attempt to get more involved with the audio world. I grew up around music and want to continue it into my future. My current plan is to move into SFX, dialogue and music editing for video games. I am currently helping in the development of a number of video games such as "Sunrider" by Love In Space, Chrono Rider by Korion Studios, Anima: Gate of Memories, and Line of Fire by Remix Games. I enjoy every aspect of my job as a sound designer. I'm extremely passionate in helping others pursue similar game development positions.