Hammer, thanks for the nice words. I am always happy to offer any help that I can. As a game programmer, I spend most of my life studying the technology that drives much of the games we all play. And I am fortunate enough to work around people that are brilliant. Im still waiting for that to rub off by osmosis...
The game industry is a funny place. There really arent that many people out there from a programming stand point that have what it takes to remain in the industry. I got my first exposure to the industry in 1997/1998 at Konami working on the first Medal Gear Solid title. The game lead on that title (and all of them since) is Hideo Kojima. That guys so smart he makes my brain hurt. Here's a pic of him I snatched last May when we were hanging out at E3:
I get to run around with some other cool folks too. I was running around with CliffyB at E3 grabbing Schwag with my friend Samanth (wicked Programmer....triple BS in Computer Science, Math, and Game Programming). For those that wonder who Cliffy is, basically he was the team lead on Unreal, Unreal Tournament 2004, and (gasp) Gears of War. Actually, Gears is his baby...from design all the way up. And he is WILD fun.
And two weeks ago I did a Q and A with John Yoo. John's resume includes Warcraft III, World Of Warcraft, and City of Villians. He can currently be found trolling around SF with yours truly searching for the perfect cup of coffee. His current claim to fame is that he works for Perpetual Entertainment as the Lead Systems Architect for Star Trek Online. This man is a MMORPG Genius.
And last but not least, I have one that is especially for Shazza (because she is cool, has an m9700 that is friggin green which totally rocks, and she wrote a review for it...which helped me make my purchasing decision.) Shazza, remember when I was asking about Neverwinter Nights? Well, thats because a man I love very much is responsible for leading that effort. His name is Don Daglow. Don worked for Atari during the friggin' 2600 days, then went to work for EA when Trip Hawkins started the company. He wrote Neverwinter Nights Online in 1991, then went on to found a little company called "Bioware." The Neverwinter Nights projects are his design. As I haven't played the second one yet, I really feel like a JackAss...but I am waiting for my new m9700 to get here before I play it. Here is Dan running around with myself, Sam, and a few programmer buddies.
Enjoy guys! If there is any tech info I can pass along, don't hesitate to ask.