My name is Dan Scalise. I’m a Senior Software Engineer at Amazon. I’ve been here since graduating from the University of Michigan in 2013. Video Games have been a passion of mine since I first played Donkey Kong Country when I was five. As a kid, I loved thinking about how I would change my favorite games. I remember times when I was supposed to be reading in class but was instead daydreaming of levels or bosses I would like to see in games like Donkey Kong 64. My endless imagination continues to this day. Now, I dream of sharing my emotions and experiences as games for others.

As I grew up, game design as a science and art began to fascinate me. My posts will explore game design. How do games create experiences that manipulate players’ emotions in ways that they cannot experience in normal, mundane life? What do games do to keep players in flow and enjoying games? What is fun? How can people apply their emotions and experiences to produce games people will treasure?

I believe everyone has experiences from their life that is worth sharing with others. Sharing experiences is one of the ultimate desires humans share. I want to encourage and enable people to share their experiences by crafting games to share with the world. I truly believe anyone can make games. I will create posts exploring why some people are successful at creating games so everyone can learn from these excellent examples and remove any limitations blocking them from being successful.

My curiosity about games was a large part of why I became interested in software engineering. I became in love with the act of making software – the puzzles of piecing code together to create anything I imagined. Trying to make clean code is one of my strongest passions in software engineering. Clean code is often taken for granted or neglected entirely, especially in video game software. I look forward to applying my technical knowledge and experience of coding to help game developers write extensible code, leading them towards making larger games more manageable to build.

Even with all the technical details, I don’t want to lose sight of the fun experiences that games give us. If you are curious, some of my favorite games include:

  • Final Fantasy series (X, IX, VI especially)
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
  • Tearaway
  • Super Mario Odyssey and Galaxy
  • Zelda: Twilight Princess

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts about game design and development in this blog. My goal is to investigate how games are made and inspire people to pick up the torch to create their own game. I’m sure that everyone can find something they can take away and apply to games they play or want to create.

The best way to contact me is by emailing dlees9191@gmail.com


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