What He Does: You may not know it, but Houston actually does have a little bit of a video game design scene. Josh Montoute is one of the people in it. He founded Thinksquirrel in 2011, with an eye toward simplifying the design process for gamemakers and programmers in the realms of developing physics and AI responses. That said, he's not afraid to get his hands dirty and jump in more a more direct approach.
You may remember from a while back hearing about how an Android-based home game console raised more than $8 million on Kickstarter. That's the system, the OUYA, that Montoute sees as the future. His first self-published game, a word game called Wordooly, will soon see its release on OUYA. It's a fast-paced game where players search for and assemble words in an ever-changing grid. Mobile-based gaming has opened up a whole new world that changes the way people play and developers create. Montoute is right there in the middle of it.
Why He Likes It: "I enjoy the ability to create new experiences, more than anything. I use the Unity game engine for just that reason -- it allows a great degree of flexibility for smaller teams and indie developers."
What Inspires Him: Montoute is something of a homebody and an introvert. (Yes, a game designer and programmer...shocking, isn't it?) That said, when he ventures out of his comfort zone into nature and the world around him, he usually finds his best inspirations. There's something kind of Zen about that, actually.
If Not This, Then What: "I would probably work in another programming-related field or do scientific work. Physics, dynamics and biomechanics are all very interesting to me."
If Not Here, Then Where: If Houston wasn't incubating its little scene, then Montoute would probably be out on the West Coast with some of the biggest names in game design and programming. He doesn't like the cost of living out that way, though.
What's Next: In addition to Wordooly, Montoute is developing Amoebae, a procedural life engine.
"Amoebae puts you in the shoes of a single-cell organism in a sandbox environment, and features realistic physical simulation and a completely dynamic world, among other things."
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer
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