Austin Adams oral history interview, 2018-12-04

Georgia Institute of Technology Library
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HAGENMAIER: So tell me your name, your year at Georgia Tech, and your major.

ADAMS: So, I'm Austin Adams. I'm a CS major, this is my last semester. I think I'm a third year or two and a half years.

ADAMS: What was the other question?

HAGENMAIER: That's all. What is the title of your game?

ADAMS: It's called Ted.

HAGENMAIER: Can you describe what happens in Ted or how does game play work?

ADAMS: So you're this little robot, this very stretchy boy and he can stretch himself out a lot and rotate around. And the idea is you get to the small purple door. I'm not really sure what's on the other side of the purple door, but it's, for me, if it's the next level, at the end it must be something really exciting.

HAGENMAIER: Can you tell me a little bit about what inspired your game?

ADAMS: So I've wanted to, like when I was a kid I got my start programming with Adobe Flash, Flash games, like mini clip kind of that kind of deal. So I used to 00:01:00make little games and they were never really too good. They were pretty buggy but I still learned programming that way and I always wanted to make this game. It was kind of like a grid shape and like where you had something like this, you had like a character that like stretched out and like flipped around. And I think I played Miniclip games like this, you know, like online Flash games like this. 'Cause I wanted to make this for awhile and I you, I drew out some levels on some graph paper and then I just forgot about it for like four years or something. And then when I took this class, I found out there's a, there's, I like systems and architectures, so I like low-level sort of stuff. So I had a lot of fun with this homework, poking around with sort of like, especially Game Boy interfaces, like that the hardware provides, like the video controller. So I found that there's this mode, like you know, you could draw like a tiled background and that, that matched with my idea of that game from before where you have like, cause it's a tiled background and you have like the tiles are like this, the cells in the graph paper, right. And I'm like, [inaudible], so I was like, oh crap. It's like I can like make this game I've wanted to make for a long time and exploit this cool hardware feature that I want to learn about. So 00:02:00I ended up, I ended up doing that. And so it uses tiling backgrounds and sprites, it doesn't use them in an impressive way, really. But it was more like getting them to work was, without using anybody else's tools and writing just my own tools to do it was fun.

HAGENMAIER: Can you tell me one memory you have of using technology as a kid? We talked about the Flash games, uh, anything like the first computer you remember using or anything that pops in your head?

ADAMS: Yeah, definitely. It's like playing Club Penguin or something, you know those kind of old Flash games or that's what pops into my head immediately 'cause I didn't really have game consoles when I was a kid. My parents were just kind of too cheap for that. So I, but I had a computer and it was like a big, it had a big CRT display and I think it was like burned and like dimmed out or something so I couldn't really see very well. You had to like really squint to see the Flash game, like the little Flash helicopter like jumping around the game or something. So I spent a lot of hours playing the old Flash games sort of like more complex but in the same style as a lot of games students make in this 00:03:00class. It makes it kind of fun to play the games students make in this class, it's like oh yeah this is like what I would play as a kid, to burn daylight kind of.

HAGENMAIER: Can you tell me about one aspiration you have for your future after Tech, something you want to do or something you want to see in the world? Anything.

ADAMS: I just want to find a good job, I guess. I know that's pretty, pretty lame, but I want to find something that's interesting and is sort of along the lines of what I, a lot of the systems and architecture class I've taken here maybe a little bit of theory, too. 'Cause when those intersect, it's pretty fun. So that's my goal is to, to not just like be writing Javascript [inaudible] for the rest of my life, but to have a really interesting problem. Possibly level problem, sink my teeth into it, and to spend a lot of time on it and take over a niche somewhere, you know? That's my goal.

HAGENMAIER: Thank you very much.