What is 神謎?
The simple answer would be, it’s Japanese. The first symbol “kami” (神・かみ) literally means god. It comes from an old computer handle from my teenage years of graffiti art, LAN parties and first-person shooter mayhem: “kamikaze.” In Japanese, the concept is translated as “divine wind.” (Unfortunately at the time I spelled it kamakazi. O__0 )
Though poetic, the second phase of my life needed a handle with less of a negative connotation, and better spelling to boot!
Games have had an omnipresence in my life over the last almost-30 years. Whether it was board games with my family, sports with my dad, card games with my grandparents, or video games with my friends I’ve always done it in some capacity. I’m the one who needs to solve ridiculous “I give up” puzzles. I would try forever to pass that stupid CAPCOM game level that you knew the programmer never had to. I couldn’t believe that it was impossible to beat my grandfather at the card game Canasta and fruitlessly kept trying. I would sit across myself at chess to learn to play against my older friends. I never passed up a LAN party with my friends to frag one another endlessly, always trying to find the perfect ambush spot. My desk was constantly littered with Magic: the Gathering cards, and I would often print out my own fake cards to practice decks that were too expensive to build. I labored over my hand-eye coordination to master that stupid plastic guitar and finally be able to play Rush songs on drums. Through it all, I’ve also designed my own. I always tried to innovate or change the games I commonly played, or create entirely new ones. But, most of all, level design is my passion. I started with DCK (Doom2), then War2Edit (Warcraft2), became more serious and did tutorials and design in UnrealED, and now recently delved back in with the Creation Kit (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). What I’ve learned is that gaming is important to me, and to lots of other people. So this is what I want to devote my creativity toward.
This is where the second character “nazo” (謎・なぞ) comes in. It means enigma. This blog is my turning point, my grand experiment. It is a chronicle of my pursuit of being a professional level designer. It’s about focusing my years of game design for hobby into something streamlined and for enjoyment outside my social circle. This is about me solving my divine enigma.
End Part I.