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AR, VR, Game Industry Trends, Unity, and Early Mobile Phone Game Dev

By John 'JP' Podlasek

Summary: -Hear from developer and CEO Patrick Curry who talks about his company and doing projects for CyArk and the Smithsonian Institute. -Learn how he started in the video game industry and what inspired him to try computer programming. -Hear about his early career doing web development for Ritual Entertainment, Activision, Raven, and others. -Learn how he transitioned from website development into game development. -Hear about the first game studio he worked for, Team SmartyPants! -Learn about the clunky days of mobile phone game development. -Hear what he wished he’d known when he started in game development. -Learn what it was like to develop for the original Xbox, PS2, and the (challenging) Gamecube. -His ideas for how to develop and advance as a game designer. -How he influenced students teaching a decade ago at DePaul University that now work at game studios, like Level Ex. -Learn about two of his favorite projects; Guilty Party and John Woo’s Stranglehold. -Hear a discussion on various AR and VR platforms, along with thoughts on streaming consoles. -How a tool he created out of frustration for his mobile games studio was later acquired by Unity Technologies. -Discover the history of FarBridge and the new technologies that they are experimenting with. -Hear opinions on the current challenges and opportunities to the video game industry, including streaming consoles. -Hear about a trip to Seoul that included an impromptu trip to Shanghai. -Learn about his great mentor, Tom Kang. -Hear about the explosive growth of Unity Technologies. Quotes: -"The first time I saw Super Mario Bros. on the NES I was like, this is pretty rad!" -”Eventually we got a computer around the house and I just kinda attached myself to it.” -”Tried several times and failed to teach myself C programming as a kid.” -”Making money, making things in software on the internet...I was like oh, this is what something I wanna do.” -”Eventually a bunch of our clients at the web company ended up being game studios.” -”Hexen was the sequel to Heretic then Hexen II was the next one after that.” -”The programming and designing that I’ve been doing for the internet were actually applicable to video games and multiplayer games.” -”So the first game studio that I worked with in Austin was Team Smartypants!” -”This is really early in the cell phone game world, WAP was one of the technologies we used.” -”Making PC and console games actually sounds easier than making mobile games at the time.” -”Xbox sounds like a dream come true compared to that. (mobile games)” -”There are always new technologies to learn, there are always new business ideas to learn.” -”The original Xbox, it was really souped up PC.” -”The most important thing is to be sharing your work with others.” -”Being open to feedback, being open to improving it.” -”I took a couple of years and really focused deep in the game design.” -”What we were making at Midway involved some number of characters beating each other up and some number of worlds where that takes place.” -”If you could put good levels in Unreal make them fun and/or beautiful then you will get an internship and eventually get hired.” -”Do as much work as you can to recreate content that looks and feels as fun and professional as the games you love.” -”I taught at DePaul for about 3 years.” -”If having a hard day I like to go read the Amazon reviews...the ones that mean the most to me are like the grandma who says, “I got this game for my grandkids and we just love to play it together!” -”Another game from the similar period was John Woo’s Stranglehold which I worked on Midway.” -”Midway was a crazy roller coaster for everybody.” -”M.A.G...multi-action genre it was called.” -”We’d always try to get out before GTA because it’d just suck all the oxygen out of the room.” -”We’ve also been doing some early experiments on the Magic Leap headset.” -”Oculus Quest, that to me on paper seems like a big game changer.” -”I’m a big fan of the PlayStation VR headset but you're still tethered.” -”I would kill to have a really nice high-quality VR experience that I could like, take with me.” -”No one I know quite understands what it is I do again.” -”If you couldn’t get it to work on a video card and it was small enough you’d just say screw it...put it in the readme.” -”We’re all competing with each other for people’s time and attention.” -”The bad news is now, hey, we have more competition.” -”This is a hit-driven business.” -”I think streaming is gonna reinvigorate some corners of our industry.” -”One of the stories that come to mind is a Tom Kang story.” -”I’ve never been to China. I’ve never been to Shanghai. I don’t know any Mandarin at all.” -”We had this rambling 8-hour conversation on the flight home. I felt like a changed man.” -”After I left Disney, I ended up starting a mobile games company again.” -”If you ask me at Midway if I’d ever go back to being a programmer or go back to mobile games I would probably just punched you.” -”We kept working with Disney, we worked with our friend, Brian Eddy.” -”It was a fairly fast courtship, but we worked out the deal.” -”The tool that we made became Unity Cloud Build.” -”It was really born out of frustration.” About My Guest: Patrick Curry is a game developer and serial entrepreneur. In his twenty-year career, he’s founded five companies, mentored numerous startups, and helped ship over 20 games. When not doing startups, Patrick has made games and software for The Walt Disney Company, Midway Games, Marvel Entertainment, and Unity Technologies. Patrick is now the CEO at FarBridge, a VR/AR software company he started in Austin, TX in 2017. Resources: -FarBridge website -Patrick Curry Twitter -Patrick Curry website -Game Dev Advice Twitter -Game Dev Advice email -Game Dev Advice website -Game Dev Advice Hotline (224) 484-7733 -Level Ex video games for doctors -CyArk -Smithsonian Institution -Ritual Entertainment -Quake Engine -Ion Storm -Team Smartypants! Inc -WAP phone development -Unity -Midway Games -Unreal Engine -DePaul University -Guilty Party -Brian Eddy -Cluedo -John Woo’s Stranglehold -Masterworks -Magic Leap -Oculus Quest -PlayStation VR -3dfx Voodoo Rush video card -Tom Kang -Unity Cloud Build -Spooky Cool *Don't forget to subscribe and go to for full show notes with links!

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