By Kyle Kulyk
Welcome to my first developer blog for Itzy Interactive, Ipse Dixit. Through this blog I’d like to invite readers to come along with us and follow along as our fledgling company starts out, develops their first game, hopefully their second game, and potentially learn something from us along the.
Before we begin, it’s probably a good idea to start with who I am.
My name is Kyle Kulyk, I’m 37 years old, Canadian and I’m an indie games developer. For the decade leading up to the market crash and recession, I worked in the brokerage industry, first as a trader and investment representative and later as an Associate Advisor, managing client’s accounts for a full serve brokerage house. Life was pretty good. I was happily married, had my first baby on the way – then a market crash and a layoff left me reeling, my career plan in tatters and no matter where I went I heard the same thing. “Nice resume. As soon as we start hiring again, we’ll have to give you a call.”
So there I was. Mid-thirties, unemployed, baby on the way with no idea when my industry was going to pick up again and a career plan completely obliterated. It was during that time that I was able to take a moment to assess myself and my skills and I discovered one indisputable truth.
I’m a geek.
I’m a nerd. I’m a game geek. I’m a computer geek. I’m a movie geek. I’m a technology geek. I always have been. Since the days when I sat in my room as a kid typing games in from Compute’s Gazette magazine onto my Commodore 64 to over 20 years later chilling in my man-cave, happily gaming and trying to figure out new ways to make elves disappear, I’ve always been a geek. The Kyle that sat up in his 24th storey office with his suit and tie, neatly trimmed beard and bottle of office scotch was always a seething mass of geek just waiting to burst out and spray hot geek all over anything in the vicinity. It had come time to embrace who I was. I owed it to my family and to myself to be happy.
So, off to school I went. I enrolled into a Digital Media and IT program at my local technical institute and took my old ass back to school where I was surrounded by teens and twenty something’s. I focused on Game Programming and Design courses before finally graduating with honours. Now, it occurred to me at various points in my schooling that I may have lost my mind. Game Programming? How on earth am I going to get a job in game programming? The market for game programming in my area is somewhat limited to say the least – but I had to take a stab at it and it felt good. Working in games, programming, designing…it all felt right and even when I complained about something that wasn’t working as it should, this field never felt like work to me. It was never a chore. And the pride I felt in my first small games, first completed levels – that pride was more than I felt at any time during my 10 years working in the brokerage industry.
So, here I am now, co-founder and lead designer of Itzy Interactive feeling a mixture of excitement and abject terror. During the final days of my schooling, my wife suggested to me that I needed to team up with others and make my own studio (the thought really hadn’t crossed my mind prior to that. How does one make his own studio?) – and the research that followed convinced me that I could do it. This was a viable business strategy. I just needed to find people crazy enough to come along for the ride.
And I found them. Will Iftody, Co-Founder, programmer and longtime friend. Cole Dixon, Game Programmer and youngling. And a few other friends and artists who’re helping us along the way. You know who you are and we wouldn’t be here without you. And our first game is taking shape.
I’ll try to update this blog every couple of weeks or so to keep you all in the loop with how our game is coming and what we’re learning. In the meantime – if anyone finds themselves in the Vancouver area for the Canadian Games Conference next week on the 19th and 20th, we might see you there. I’ll be updating my blog shortly after the event to let you all know how it went.