My name is Dan. I’ve been a Software Engineer at Amazon 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. As I became more mature, game design as a more concrete science and art entered my mind and I became fascinated by how various mechanics can produce a sense of flow in players.

My curiosity in how games were made, both theoretically and technically, was a strong factor that led me into 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 Galaxy
  • Zelda: Twilight Princess

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts about game design and development in this blog. My goal is to really explore what games are made of. I’m sure that everyone can find something they can take away and apply to games they play or want to create.