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Thread: How did JK/editing influence your career?

  1. #1

    How did JK/editing influence your career?

    I've been thinking about this since the summer. A number of you guys seem to have gone on to work in either computer programming type fields or digital art/CAD fields. I'm just wondering what everybody's story is. You can be as specific or vague as you like! Did modding JK spark your interest in something and start you down a career path? Did you start to develop useful skills that helped you later on in life?

    I feel like I'm sort of the odd man out here, late 90's-early 2000's gaming (and Star Wars gaming in particular) was a big part of my preteen/teenage years, but I never had the patience to learn technical computer skills and work on modding etc. I got interested in music, went to guitar college and now I teach elementary school and play gigs and do recording projects around town when I'm not working.
    COUCHMAN IS BACK BABY

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracer View Post
    I've been thinking about this since the summer. A number of you guys seem to have gone on to work in either computer programming type fields or digital art/CAD fields. I'm just wondering what everybody's story is. You can be as specific or vague as you like! Did modding JK spark your interest in something and start you down a career path? Did you start to develop useful skills that helped you later on in life?

    I feel like I'm sort of the odd man out here, late 90's-early 2000's gaming (and Star Wars gaming in particular) was a big part of my preteen/teenage years, but I never had the patience to learn technical computer skills and work on modding etc. I got interested in music, went to guitar college and now I teach elementary school and play gigs and do recording projects around town when I'm not working.
    Nah, I don't have a career in it myself, though JK editing was one of my earlier forays into modding. I didn't really hit my stride with creating mods until Skyrim though, all my attempts prior to that were ultimately false starts. Since then I've also created mods for Galactic Civilizations III and Crusader Kings 2.

  3. #3
    Did poke around with JK and JO levels, but mostly wound up working with the X-wing series. Wrote a bunch of utilities and mods, including a mission editor that can save and convert between the platforms.

    Professionally I'm a Mechanical Engineer in the defense industry, but also use the reverse-engineering and coding to write utilities for our internal Eng group.
    $do || ! $do ; try
    try: command not found
    Ye Olde Galactic Empire Mission Editor (X-wing, TIE, XvT/BoP, XWA)

  4. #4
    I have been working as a software engineer since 2009. I started editing JK/MotS in high school, and I took a C++ class to help me get better with writing COG scripts. After that class, I knew I wanted to do software for a living. It is a passion I didn't know I had, and it's possible that I might never have discovered that had it not been for JK modding and Massassi.

    I believe my modding/software background also helped inspire my brother to get into modding and to pursue his computer science degree.
    May the mass times acceleration be with you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by darthslaw View Post
    I have been working as a software engineer since 2009. I started editing JK/MotS in high school, and I took a C++ class to help me get better with writing COG scripts. After that class, I knew I wanted to do software for a living. It is a passion I didn't know I had, and it's possible that I might never have discovered that had it not been for JK modding and Massassi.

    I believe my modding/software background also helped inspire my brother to get into modding and to pursue his computer science degree.
    That's really awesome!

  6. #6
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    JK, Carmageddon and Quake definitely put me on the path to CS. I never got much into writing cogs back then, but it was modding those games that got me to understand computer science basics, a bit about file formats and how applications are structured and built up of lots of smaller parts. I taught myself (very poor) HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP to build various JK clan sites but I did a lot more programming when running a Graal server and created several modding tools for Freelancer in the early-mid 2000s.

    Eventually studied Software Engineering at university, worked as a web developer for a few years, got offered a paid PhD and Teaching role at the University out of the blue by one of my old lecturers, couldn't say no to that so did that for a while. These days I still teach one class but spend most of my time working as a back end developer for a London based fintech company.

    So yeah, JK modding definitely set me on the path towards my eventual career. More developing clan sites for my friends than modding JK itself, but certainly without JK I wouldn't have found that early interest.

    Best part was getting my PhD and reminding my Dad how many times he'd said "Get off that computer and do something useful, you'll end up stacking shelves for a living!" when I spent hours playing/modding games and teaching myself programming.
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  7. #7
    Late to the party but here’s my bit. I kept pursuing game design, animation and programming ever since JK modding gripped my imagination when I was 16. 22 years later my independent game Blind Drive won IndieCade and was an IGF and Apple Design Awards finalist. I’m also an AR/VR interaction designer and UX engineer with many years experience building immersive 3D experiences. I love what I do and I often think of the good ol’ times at Massassi with JED, PuppetJK and all them cogs and I’m ever thankful for this community for sending me down this path ��
    Last edited by Brian; 11-12-2022 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Just fixed the link
    Dreams of a dreamer from afar to a fardreamer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fardreamer View Post
    Late to the party but here’s my bit. I kept pursuing game design, animation and programming ever since JK modding gripped my imagination when I was 16. 22 years later my independent game Blind Drive won IndieCade and was an IGF and Apple Design Awards finalist. I’m also an AR/VR interaction designer and UX engineer with many years experience building immersive 3D experiences. I love what I do and I often think of the good ol’ times at Massassi with JED, PuppetJK and all them cogs and I’m ever thankful for this community for sending me down this path ��
    That is so cool to read! That game looks crazy, I'm going to try it out. In fact a bunch of people who used to visit here are game developers. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciMdRTI5KwE

    Also a lot of us work in software now. If you ever want to hang out, come join the Discord, tons of developers in there (including one that worked at LEC during Dark Forces and Jedi Knight). Also someone that worked on The Void (used to be an augmented reality experience which I loved) and effects and props for The Mandalorian.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Fardreamer View Post
    Late to the party but here’s my bit. I kept pursuing game design, animation and programming ever since JK modding gripped my imagination when I was 16. 22 years later my independent game Blind Drive won IndieCade and was an IGF and Apple Design Awards finalist. I’m also an AR/VR interaction designer and UX engineer with many years experience building immersive 3D experiences. I love what I do and I often think of the good ol’ times at Massassi with JED, PuppetJK and all them cogs and I’m ever thankful for this community for sending me down this path ��
    Wow, cool. The only thing cogs taught me is that I had neither the aptitude nor interest to be a computer programmer.
    COUCHMAN IS BACK BABY

  10. #10
    tldr: JK modder, turned senior software engineer. Who got to meet and shake John Glenns hand because of massassi

    Wow. What a question. I actually think I've answered this topic before but lets try again, maybe a little more depth for anywho who gives a ****.

    How did JK editing influence my career? Well where do I start.

    It influenced my career, my life, and I can basically say, without JK editing. I wouldn't be where I was at today. And I'm very happy with where I am today. I'm very blessed and fortunate.

    Let's go back, circa 1996-7ish? My parents bought a gateway computer with a 200mhz pentium processor with 16 megabytes of ram. It came with age of empires, monster truck madness, close combat 2: a bridge to far and the encarta encyclopedia. All of that is irrelevant but it was the base of what I'm about to tell you.

    I had experience using computers before this, with DOS, my parents neighbor, had a PC in his basement, he would let me come over and play doom, and indycar/nascar racing (papyrus) and all these other games from that era. I was blown away. I had a SNES and a sega cd but they didn't hold a candle to a PC in these days. (Consoles still don't)

    So anyway back then, you could go to the grocery story, and buy magazines with demo games on CD (You all remember that). That's how I was introduced the JKDF2. Back in those days, you could still modify the demos! And they were playable on the microsoft gaming zone! (There's a blast from the past) but it might have been against the EULA. Nobody cared.

    I finally acquired Jedi Knight DF2 (I was too late for DF1). And of course, the next logical step was, modifications. I still don't know how I learned about modding games, well it was before massasi.net had their own domain. It was a sub domain at this point, with an old ww3 bulletin board system. That was the beginning.

    So whatever.. anyway.. I'm playing jedi knight now. I saved up enough allowance I bought my first graphics cards. A 3dfx voodoo 3000. I bought the AGP version because I was ignorant. My computer only had PCI. But gamestop (was it gamestop?) was nice enough to let me return it for the PCI version. Regardless, when I saw hardware rendering for the first time my mind was blown! And if you guys remember JKDF2 had the options in the graphics settings to turn on hardware acceleration. I had to show my dad, he couldn't have cared less.

    Years or so go by. I'm modding, making skins, making levels. Whatever. I was also like 14 years old, so I was, (and still am) a degenerate, and I made some spicy comments and offended people. An ol' friend name Blujay banned me! He banned me from massassi! Rightfully so. But what he didn't know, was he unleashed something in me. I said to myself, well f that. I can build a better website than massassi!

    So I set out to do that. And IMO, I did, and I created a couple websites, one called "8t88 utilities" which was kind of a mirror of massassi. Used Iframes and all. I learned HTML, and designing websites. I also made 3do studio. That was back when I had illegal copy of 3ds max and was really getting into 3d modelling

    Well I'm such a nerd, that I wanted to build my own forum software! And I did that too! Who remembers Z@NARDI's HOUSE of HoMOsapients? Huh? Yeah well that was software I developed as a teenager built in CGI with a flat file database system. Even to this day I have no idea how I was even capable of doing this. I wish I still had the source code to scan through it today. Everything up to this point was lost in a hard drive crash. But I did create and publish a tutorial on massassi on how to create your own custom weapon with JED. Surely this tutorial is still available?

    Zcom forums was a bust, my domain name got poached because I was a broke teenager with no money. Years of work basically gone. And hey, I feel like zcom forums was better than ubb, yabb, etc. Those were the days.

    Then I learned PHP and mysql (php3 no object orientedness) because that's what all the cool kids were using. (Now meanwhile I'm still building mods in JK but I never really released anything because I was nervous about it) (Quick edit here, a couple of massassi forum members who probably are long gone helped me with my zcom project.

    (I'm gonna insert another edit here too: There was 1 massassi member who actually was local to me, and both of our moms worked at Ohio state university, and I got to meet and shake John Glenns hand because of him. Because of the john glenn institute. I mean talk about a once in a life time opportunity!! Right now, his user name escapes me, but I will NEVER FORGET that. I have the picture still)

    A few more blurry years go by. Then I became an "adult". I partied with friends, I went to IT school to learn that dumb ****, I went to college for software engineering but I already knew everything they tried to teach me so I dropped out.

    Spent a lot of time basically doing nothing. Hanging with friends, playing video games. Just wasting my young life away. But I always came back to massassi and we were still modding the game waay past its life cycle.

    But what was cool was, I built a foundation. I knew how to build a dynamic website (again, because I got banned from massassi and I was going to do it better) I understood 3d modelling, software (thanks COG) and just general computer management. Networking etc..

    Fast forward to about 2011. I got my first real programming job doing PHP/Mysql (codeigniter framework) for an advertising agency from the portfolio I had built up to this point. Shortly after I met my soon to be wife and before you know it, she was pregnant. Then she was pregnant again, and then again, and again! But over about this 10 year time span of my adult hood and growing up, I had become a programmer with no degree and basically just winging it. I guess I was good enough. I went from building PHP websites, to being hired to build iOS apps in objective C, and focused a lot on that side of my career. But I was never really all that satisfied with websites and mobile development. I was still a game modder at heart.

    Then Unreal Engine 4 came out. While working these jobs for ad agencies I spent my "free" time developing my own platformer video game in unreal engine. 2 1/2 years of my life cooking the midnight oil. The game also turned out to be a bust. Hey, it's funny, you aren't going to sell your game if you forget to market it. What a shame. Massassi didn't teach me how to market my game, I only learned how to build one.

    What I did though, was gave myself a lot of experience using unreal engine. And that really paid off.

    I guess to wrap this up, because I just typed a lot of words. Today, I'm actually an "unreal engine developer". In fact, my "title" is Senior software engineer. I've work for a production studio and we're building experiences for clients that we call the "metaverse". I couldn't be happier. I'm making a great salary, I own a house, I have a family, a dog, multiple cars and hobbies because I basically have no debt and a passion to create things. That's how JK editing changed my life for the better.

    Edit: I just want to add that my older boys (7, 8 and 10), all have their own computers, and they are all into modding their games. They love playing/modding minecraft and garry's mod. The fact these young boys actually play garry's mod and enjoy it just melts my heart. We have a lot of fun. They tinker with blender, unreal engine, paint, etc. It's like watching me grow up again and I couldn't be more proud.

    edit edit edit edit: yeah this is pretty scattered sorry about that (I'm having a drink rn), but it's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

    Why does the forum keep logging me out, Brian

    Anyway, guys, if you made it this far. Congrats. I'm not trying to rub anything in but often think about this. I often think about how JK editing lead my life into this path and it's such a unique experience that I just have to share it.
    Last edited by zanardi; 11-19-2022 at 03:17 AM.
    "Nulla tenaci invia est via"

  11. #11
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    That is so great to read, I'm glad you're doing well and congrats on the family!!! I have had a similar experience and I for sure wouldn't be where I am without having encountered JK and modding (which put me on the same path to software development).

    I have no idea about the forums. Maybe try clearing out all the forums.massassi.net cookies and trying again? Make sure to check the box to keep yourself logged in. Also, I use the login box at the top right of the forums rather than the big full-page interstitial one that pops up if you are not logged in and hit post/reply/etc. The forums are on the list of things to deal with.

  12. #12
    Hey Brian, thanks man. You should tell your story in depth. We'd love to hear it.

    And I dunno if it's because I'm using brave and this old windows 7 computer out in my garage or what, but yeah I'm not too terribly concerned about that.

    And on a side, personal note. I know I've offered help, and as you know, life gets in the way. Do you have anything setup to accept donations to help with server costs? Or not even server costs but just general maintenance to keep massassi alive. It's literally the least I can do.
    Last edited by zanardi; 11-20-2022 at 01:04 AM.
    "Nulla tenaci invia est via"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanardi View Post
    Hey Brian, thanks man. You should tell your story in depth. We'd love to hear it.
    ...
    And on a side, personal note. I know I've offered help, and as you know, life gets in the way. Do you have anything setup to accept donations to help with server costs? Or not even server costs but just general maintenance to keep massassi alive. It's literally the least I can do.
    I feel like I've sorta told the story about a zillion times and people are tired of reading it...

    I do appreciate your offer to help (and similar offers from other people). I don't have a way to take donations and the financial burden isn't too bad. I'm spending $136 per month right now and if I can ever get the forums archived or moved over to another server I can drop that to less than a hundred. I'm thinking over the winter I will probably have time to do that. Thanks, though!

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