My friend Steve

This morning I read that my friend Steve Stamatiadis’s game studio, Krome, is closing.

I met Steve through Livejournal back in maybe 2000. We finally got to meet and hang out A-Kon in Dallas. We immediately shunned everyone else (including my wife) to talk about video games for 3 days straight. Him, the working professional and me, the eager guy who had no idea what he was doing. I had made a couple simple Flash games but I really wanted to go farther in the game industry. He patiently listened to me spew out all the stupid things eager, inexperienced developers say ( “I want to make a video game out of my D&D campaign!”) and encouraged my undirected enthusiasm.

He later came and stayed at my house (keep in mind, he lives in Australia) where he showed me directions I could go in the industry. He showed the basic of box modeling in 3Ds Max and scripting in Blitz Basic. He encouraged and shaped my enthusiasm into something directed.

As a result I was spent each day on the train, on the way to my crappy web design job, doing tutorials in 3dS Max or writing game code. When the opportunity arose for a game programmer position at Cartoon Network, I was prepared with a portfolio of games and code. I got the job and have now been with Cartoon Network for 7 years, pretty much the best job a Flash game developer could hope for.

Not only is Steve an inspiration for you to do your best, but he includes those around him in the cool work he is doing. He drew awesome art for me and my wife (even for my D&D campaign), I got to make the website for TY: The Tazmanian Tiger and my wife made a Blade Kitten costume (I helped). I finally got to travel down to Australia and stay with Steve for a couple weeks, which one the best experiences of my life.

Krome is closing and I am very sad for Steve and the other employees of Krome. But I know that if the people working with Steve were half as inspired and enriched by working with him as I was, they were very, very lucky.

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