Seven years ago today, I was living my childhood dream. Years of dedication culminated in my first gig making video games — designing, prototyping, iterating. I was beaming with enthusiasm. As the year progressed, coworkers turned into close friends, including my then-manager, Fred St-Amour — who remains my greatest mentor, but don’t tell him or he’ll get too cocky. He pushed me to aim ever higher, prodding me to question the next steps of my early career. What the hell did I want anyway? Like any kid punching above his weight, I dreamt big — my own creations, that the world would play, with a distinct authorial voice. But how could I get there?
One day, I grabbed Fred for lunch and shared that dream — and I asked him how I could make it happen. I don’t know if he remembers his reply, holding his reuben sandwich, using his gruff Quebecois: “Calisse, for dat, you need to know everything. More than just games, you need to know life” (I’m paraphrasing, but it’s more fun if we pretend I remember his exact words). Then he added, “but I think you can get derre”. That conversation changed my life.
That moment is when my dreams shifted. Maybe the child in me could still be gleeful just making anything interactive, but I knew the adult wouldn’t be satisfied until I made my games, my way. I don’t know how many people know that story, but I often think back to that day. It was the start of all this crap.
After that, I tried to learn everything — and I think those who know me understand how both futile and honest that statement is — and how I’m still trying. But I think I can get there. All because of that greasy lunch.
Last week was the calm, this week was the storm: multiple days filled with festivals, firecrackers, and dancing lions. Big crowds and big smiles. Not much different from any street festival, but experiencing it in a new country is always an interesting twist. Enjoy some pics that can’t do it justice:
Background image by Michaela Den