This is part 2 of my bio!
In late 2004 I got my hands on Doom 3. All other games I've mentioned previously have influenced and taught me a lot but modding Doom 3 was the closest I'd been to making games as a job. Practises I still use to this day started with me learning from mistakes while working with Doom 3. Not that it was easy or came natural, I had to learn most things from scratch. I had to edit and make textures, edit audio and music, not to mention the maps themselves. I also had to teach myself programming to do the scripting. Above it all, I started publishing my own work to modding sites and felt the pressure to commit and deliver on promises. It wasn't big, but I had an audience. So you can blame Doom 3 is all I'm saying. My ModDb page by the way - give it a look if you're morbidly curious.
By this point I knew what I wanted to do for a living and was looking for ways to make it happen. Programming was the skill that looked like it was the most important in those days. "...degree in programming or engineering..." or something to that effect, was required for most game related jobs back in the mid to late 2000s. At least the ones I was interested in. So all I had to do was get a game programming degree.
I got accepted in the University of Hull in 2009 with a "Computer Science with Games Development" degree. Naturally I had to move from Bulgaria which I achieved with my parent's support (financial and otherwise). Thinking back university was honestly not that big of a deal. Not as big a deal as it felt at the time. Don't get me wrong I learned a lot, but I was there at a time just before Unity and Unreal were becoming more accessible for anyone. The industry seemed to be pivoting from building your own engines in OpenGL and XNA to using off the shelf solutions. Unfortunately my degree at the time mostly covered technical aspects of game development, something I wasn't quite sure how I felt about at the time.
After university I bounced between a few places, did some web and business software development. Finally I settled comfortably into C# and Unity and started working on games again. I worked on a bunch of mobile games as well as what feels like every single VR headset that's ever existed. I did some AR prototypes and just general R&D too. Either way - you can see this part on LinkedIn if you really like. The short version is I worked hard to learn from some extremely talented people for several years. The more experience I gained the more I thought "Maybe I can do this on my own!".
I quit my last job in June 2022 and immediately set to make Slate Games. The name is a whole other story. My partner and I wanted to have our own family name when we got married. So we got "Slate" by combining both our shortened first names! And I guess that makes this a family business! The "Games" part was obvious from there. Speaking of games. Mid-paragraph plot twist! I've been working on a mobile game on and off for about 3 years. Starting my own studio has been one of the hardest and most rewarding things. All the legal and tax stuff, finding and hiring the right people, having to think about ways to reach an audience. It's not been easy and I have a whole new appreciation for anyone running their own business. Despite all that, I'm extremely happy that I'm doing this and can't imagine it any other way! The game itself is coming along nicely and I can't wait to finally reveal it to the world later this year!
Thanks for reading the whole thing! If you want to chat please use the comments on these posts or any of the links on the Contact Us page! Talk to you soon!