I grew up around games. The foggiest, most distant memories of my childhood are of playing our Atari 2600 at the Age of 3 or 4. We got our NES in 1989, but I didn't truly go crazy over videogames until 1991, when I played my brother's Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog. Something about Sonic hooked me and I haven't been able to shake it since. At 13 or 14 me and my friends tried to make our own Sonic game - drawing level maps out on printer paper, the whole nine yards. By the time I was a Freshmen in Highschool, I discovered a program called Click N' Create - later renamed Multimedia Fusion Express - and began real work on a Sonic game to call my own. The rest is history. I have the lofty goal now of one day getting in to game development somehow; or at least some position, somewhere, within the game industry. I've been told by a lot of people I'm a good writer and articles I've written on game mechanics have even been published in indie magazines like The Gamer's Quarter.
Hello, internet. Most of you crazy cats know me as BlazeHedgehog, a name I adopted when I was like 15 years old and never bothered to replace. I feel like I have to say that now because I am 25 now and being called BlazeHedgehog feels a bit silly, but none-the-less, it is my identity on this series of tubes. My real name is Ryan - I'll leave my last name a mystery though no doubt some of you weirdos out there reading this already know what it is. I'd prefer that if you are speaking to me on the internet and do not know me in person, you just call me Blaze, as having internet people call me by my real name is weird at this point.
I've been gaming since I can first remember. Blurry visions of the Atari 2600, Pac-Man and Super Off-Road arcade machines dot some of my earliest memories. Things become a little clearer when, in 1989, I got my NES with Super Mario Brothers. But what has come to define me as a gamer is my first experience playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my brother's Sega Genesis. Something about that game captivated me in a way I can't describe, and although I initially lacked a Sega Genesis to call my own (my brother moved out not long after my time spent with Sonic), the majority of my childhood growing up was spent focused on the blue rodent and trying to find similar games to play on my Super NES. As such, not only do I have a crazy (and somewhat depressing) encyclopedic knowledge of Sonic the Hedgehog, but I have memories of games like Awesome Possum, Bubsy, and Alfred Chicken. Do any of you remember Rocky Rodent? I do. Sometimes I wish I didn't, but I do.
I figure a reason I became so attached to Sonic is because somehow the character is related to most of the interest and fame I've gotten. Doodling Sonic in the margins of school reports honed a decent level of skill in the areas of cartooning, and early in Junior High/Middle School, me and my friends set out to create our own Sonic games, drawing level layouts on paper and snail mailing them to Sega. Though my friends eventually drifted off to their own pathways of life, the idea of making my own videogame is something that has stuck with me through the years and is something I continue to pursue today. That being said, I still haven't graduated to original games just yet - right now my primary focus is a game called Sonic: The Fated Hour, which I started work on nearly ten years ago and promised a lot of people I would finish no matter what - a promise I'm trying to stick to (for better or worse!). It's been a long road and a major learning experience, full of long periods of inactivity, repeated data loss, and tons of frustration - but it feels like I may actually, finally, be getting somewhere. Other games I've made include Super Mario: Blue Twilight, The House, and a handful of other smaller games that probably aren't worth linking to.
I'm a reasonably good writer and also enjoy writing about videogames. I enjoy writing reviews and the like, and am currently employed as an editor at TSSZnews.com, a gaming news site that slants towards Sega-related gaming news. I write news for the front page and I also write stuff for their Review Slew section. I've been published elsewhere for my work, including in the first issue of The Gamer's Quarter, for my article entitled Dissecting a Hedgehog. The ten page article was basically a lengthy dissertation on the gameplay mechanics of the Sega Genesis Sonic games and how the newer, 3D games often ignore everything that made Sonic unique to play as. The article could stand to be re-written nowadays as all I see when I read it is how weird some of it sounds (and how really, really long it is). I've mirrored the article here, if you really want to read it without cracking open a PDF file.
This post is getting a bit long in the tooth, so it's probably best if I end it right here. That is me. Since I already have plenty of other blogs to soap box off of, this will likely be my only blog here at Moddb - but I figured if I was going to write one, it would have to be a post like this. :)
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