My name is Shep McAllister, and I’m a senior here at Trinity double majoring in communication and political science. This is actually my second time in Dr. Delwiche’s games class, but last time we were focusing on massively multiplayer online games, and we definitely weren’t developing them ourselves. I’m looking forward to taking what I learned and applying it to a category of games that I’m more familiar with.
When I’m not in class, you can usually find me working in the interactive marketing department of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, where I create and post content on spurs.com and sasilverstars.com. I also spend a great deal of time writing and managing hackcollege.com, one of the most popular student-written blogs on the web. As far as Trinity goes, I plan on graduating in December, and am currently enjoying a victory lap of such with three Comm classes, a TA period, and Trap & Skeet.
Back in elementary and middle school, I used to be on the cutting edge of video games. Mario 64? I had all 120 Stars. Mario Kart 64? I once ran off 32 straight wins against my friends. Super Smash Brothers Melee? I was an unstoppable force with Yoshi. But at some point since the release of the latest generation of consoles, I fell behind. I still play a handful of the latest titles, but I find myself getting frustrated by the collective skill of the online community. As a result, I’ve mostly fallen back to casual, single player experiences that I can enjoy on my iPhone and iPad, and I can’t wait to start developing my own games for these platforms.
My most frustrating encounter with technology came back in high school, when I was layout and photo editor of our school paper. The Prowler was different than most papers in that it came out only five times per year, but the issues were huge, usually weighing in at around 48 pages. So five times per year I would spend a weekend camped out in my room (literally, I often packed a cooler and never left) putting the paper together in Quark Xpress. One Saturday night I was up around 2 AM working on a particularly tedious section, but for some reason hadn’t saved for about an hour and a half. Naturally, my computer crashed and I had to re-do the entire section before going to bed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried.
In a related story, my most rewarding encounter with technology was holding the first Prowler I laid out in my hand. It’s somewhat ironic that my favorite experience with technology was holding a bundle of paper, but it’s profoundly rewarding to hold something real that you helped create and design. The fact that a weekend of tireless work resulted in hundreds of copies of a paper being printed for nearly $2000 was a moving experience, especially for the wide-eyed high school version of me.