Intros & Catchups
Updated: Oct 12
Confirming Your Attendance
I imagine a scenario where every person reading this blog is like an attendee at a wedding. Chances are most of you know who I am, but all of you readers came to this location randomly and are being seated with the people you know best. You look around and see other people but you just think to yourself, "how does he know this person?"
Now That We Are Seated...
Depending on how close you and I are, you may be wondering what I've been up to lately. And that answer changes depending on how connected we've been. So I'm going to pretend that we haven't spoken in a while. So take a seat, let's catch you up.
I'll start right before Covid took over. Doesn't seem that long ago, but somehow it has been about three and a half years... Yikes. Well, the years before Covid I moved from South Florida to Seattle, WA with a goal of working in the video game industry. Ended up spending some time working at Xbox as a tester on the Xbox One X and then at Mixer (Microsoft's competitor to Twitch) as a host for their Interactive Channel selling pre-orders for upcoming games.
During & after those roles at Xbox I decided to kick-off my own personal live-streaming channel on Mixer, which ended up changing my life. Becoming one of the top 10 broadcasters on the platform I was sent around the US to host events, participate in conventions, play video games & entertain people for a living, and meet some amazing people who are some of my best friends now. These people are likely the people reading these blogs, so thank you for always continuing with me on each of these journeys.
After a point in my broadcasting career I recognized that there are too many paths of uncertainty, between paying bills based on user subscriptions, relying on the stability & growth of the streaming platform, and expectation that my channel will continue to have enough popularity to pay the bills. One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was moving from streaming into a career, but my success in my field has proven that it was worth the switch.
I took a job with tinyBuild, an indie game publisher that had recently had some great success with their titles, but had no community management. So I took my skillset in community growth and built out a ton of their community growth strategies and influencer relations. After spending a couple years doing this, I decided to give a go at Production. Production was a different beast entirely, but I had the opportunity to work with some of the most pleasant video game developers in the industry. At tinyBuild I ended up releasing over 20 games across many different platforms, and personally produced 3 games that I am still proud of to this day. Shout out to Streets of Rogue, Startup Panic, and Totally Reliable Delivery Service.
Some of my producer work at tinybuild was during 2020, prior to leaving in January of 2021. But as we all know, March of 2020 was the beginning of lockdown for the world. March 5th of 2020 I flew home from PAX East in Boston, MA and starting March 6th, I began work from home. A blessing and a curse. The blessing is that once I recognized how much better life is without spending 2 hours commuting to and from work every day, I'll never put myself in a situation where I have to commute to work. The curse is definitely the lack of in-person engagement, just as everyone else recognizes. The unfortunate part that comes out of that is with a job in community engagement, the gap in in-person social experiences can make events a little tough to get going.
However, since January of 2021 I've been working at a new studio called NantGames where we are developing our first game. This is especially exciting because of the transition from working at a publisher where we released about 12 games per year, to giving my full attention to a single product for the last two and a half years. We are soon to announce the game and I am beyond excited to see what all of you think of it.
And now that I've told you what I've been up to, I expect you to leave a comment below saying hello and to tell me one thing you've been up to lately.
But I already know you work in games and stuff. What else?
Damn Jackie, alright. Life's been a little wild in the last few years, that's for sure. Depending on how long you've known me I've gone through some significant relationship changes, from being engaged, then to a 5+ year relationship, and now. Now I exist in the dating life, which is honestly fairly strange to me, but I am currently seeing someone who is truly wonderful.
I've also been lucky enough to purchase & fully pay off my first affordable dream car. A Tesla Model 3 Standard Range+, where I've modified some of the aesthetics to make it my own. I invite you to take a look at its beauty.
And I've been even luckier to put myself in a position where I could buy a house on my own. As I'm sure all homeowners also believe, I am not excited for the 30 years of house payments LOL. However, I am in love with customizing it to be the house that I want to live in rather than just accepting whatever house I am forced to rent. Now it is simply paying off all of the initial short term loans for the renovations I did and I can get back to living a normal life again.
Recently I've taken it upon myself to spend more time going out and enjoying things that make me happy, such as metal shows, physical art classes like glassblowing & blacksmithing, and just enjoying the greater Seattle area. Taking the time to enjoy life is super important and sometimes we just get stuck in a motion of work, eat, sleep. Break that habit, spend a little bit of money making you happy. It's okay!
And now we are here...
Approximately 5 minutes later. I've caught you up on my life over the last 7 years or so.... or at least the bigger bullet points. Life recently has been wild but I am definitely enjoying it. I am excited for what is next to come and it is going to be really enjoyable taking you all along with me.
But before I leave you here on the first ever post of 5 Minutes w/ Big, I left a single request about 2 minutes ago. Do me the kindness of creating a quick & free account, saying hello, and tell me one singular thing that has been going on in your life. Catch me up.
See you in the next post,
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