|Kenneth F. Innes IV|
|40-something years old(born May 10th)|
|Webmaster, Ex-Programmer at Working Designs|
|"Light our darkest hour" -Rodimus Prime(The Transformers: The Movie)|
|Ranma 1/2, Laputa, Nadia, The Slayers, Kuromi, and many more...|
So, by now you should know that I like anime, but believe it or not anime is not my life. I started my career at Working Designs in mid-June 1999, only a month after I graduated from California State University, Sacramento. Well, my career goal when I started college was somewhere along the lines of a videogame designer or graphics designer for movies & TV, so it looks like I finally succeeded. I do work long hours and usually late into the night which can be hard on relationships. I am lucky that my wife is so understanding.
I have lived in Redding, California now since June 1999. It is a small town and it gets very hot here. I moved here from Vallejo, California, where I lived since about 1990. Vallejo was a nice place to live, and most of our family is there. We used to live in Vallejo until I was 8 or 9, when we moved out of state. The weird thing is, on my first day of high school after we moved back, I met my best friend, Steve Garcia, who used to live just down the street from me before we moved away. I met him in my last class of the day, Biology, which was taught by Mr. Santos, a former student of my grandfather. Talk about coincidence. A lot had happened while in Vallejo, as I got my first real job, learned how to drive, graduated from Hogan High school, graduated from Solano Community College, and then finally California State University, Sacramento.
Before California I lived in Bartlett, Tennessee for about three years. This was the first place I lived where we had a house on the corner and a big lawn to go with it. I've always wanted one before, unfortunately when I got it, I also found out that I was now old enough to start mowing. Bummer. It was also here that I first played a Nintendo Entertainment System. This happened when my friend, Chris Bailey, got one for Christmas (for the same Christmas, I got an Atari 2600). Well, I liked playing video games so much that by the time we moved again, I had my own Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo Gameboy, Atari 2600, and Sega Master System and Sega Genesis (on which I played my all-time favorite Sega games- Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II). While in Bartlett, I finished off middle school at Shadowlawn Middle School and then moved on to Bartlett High School.
Before Bartlett, I lived in Aurora, Colorado for about 2-3 years. I really liked it there because I had a lot of good friends who lived there, and most lived within walking distance. I also liked the weather, as I had never really experienced snow before, nor had I seen lightning or experienced tornado warnings. Here I finished off elementary school at Vassar Elementary School, and then went on to Mrachek Middle School, which was right down the block. Both schools weren't too far from my house, so I usually had to walk. Luckily, I had friends just down the block who also went to the same school, Ian and Kyle Zinth. I also made other friends at school who didn't live nearby, such as David Shephard and Ivan Jackson.
Even before I lived there, though, I lived in Vallejo, California (again). I have a lot of memories of this time, but most of them are just scattered images. Here, I had a few friends, all of which lived nearby. I went to elementary school at Dan Mini Elementary, which I usually had to walk to. I know I often walked home with my friend, Steven Garcia, but I don't recall walking to school with him. There were only two other places I had lived before that: North Carolina (where I was born) for about 6 weeks, and 29 Palms for about 2 years. I was only there for a short while though, so I don't have any recollection of it.
As for Japanese animation, I had always liked watching it on TV, although at the time I didn't know what it was. It wasn't until around Fall 1995 that I really got interested in it. This is when I met a friend in my Physics class named James Lin (James' Blog) who had massive amounts of anime stuff. He first let me borrow the 13 TV episodes of Gundam, and then Devil Hunter Yohko, and then others and others. Before this I had really only seen anime that was broadcast on TV. In my high school art class I had seen Akira and episode 1 of the Bubblegum Crisis. Other than that, one Gunbuster video was all I could find at my local video store. Now I am happy to say that just about every video store carries at least some anime titles, while many have entire sections devoted to them. The place that I used rent anime is at Vallejo Baseball Cards, Comics, and Animation, as it was only about a five minute walk. They have many titles and other anime related materials. Now I do most of my anime shopping online. Redding has only one comic store that I know of, and they don't carry very much.
I took conversational Japanese for a semester when I was attending Solano Community College to see if I would be interested in learning the language. I did enjoy it, so I continued to take three more semesters of Japanese at California State University, Sacramento. Unfortunately, these classes were all held early in the morning, which made it extremely difficult to learn (I'm not a morning person). Besides being in the evening, I enjoyed the conversational Japanese class a lot more because we were talking all the time. I was doing pretty well, and could actually form sentences rather quickly. All this turned around in the regular Japanese class where I could write but not talk or listen very well.
Wow, it's hard to believe you actually read through all of this. I know I wouldn't have. Okay, so um.... you can go away now. Oh yeah, and if you're bored with your pathetic, miserable little life, then you can send me a message in a vain attempt to make yourself feel like there is somebody out there who needs you. Of course, I might not respond, but you should be used to rejection by now.
I have created a bunch of profiles at various websites all over the web. Some I did just because I was bored, but others, like the Item-Swapping websites, actually serve a purpose. Anyway, here are the ones I know about. Some are filled out more than others.
Item Swapping Websites
California State University, Sacramento
Location: Sacramento, CA
Attended: 1995 - May 1999
Solano Community College
Location: Fairfield, CA
Attended: 1993 - 1995
Hogan High School
Location: Vallejo, CA
Attended: 1990 - 1993 (class of 1993)
Bartlett High School
Location: Arlington, TN
Attended: 1989 - 1990 (class of 1993)
Shadowlawn Middle School
Location: Arlington, TN
Attended: 1987 - 1989
Mrachek Middle School
Location: Bartlett, CO
Attended: 1986 - 1987
Vassar Elementary School
Location: Bartlett, CO
Attended: 1984 - 1986
Dan Mini Elementary School
Location: Vallejo, CA
Attended: 1980 - 1984
Want to know about some of my friends? Well, here they are, grouped by the area in which I lived when I met them. If you are one of these friends that I have lost contact with, or a friend that I just forgot to list, please contact me!
From When I lived in Vallejo, California
Gary Smith, AKA "Theo"
Gary and I didn't have any classes together, yet we met each other while both attending Solano Community College. The meeting was set up through a mutual friend and fellow student, Bill Stringfellow, who knew that unlike himself, we both lived in Vallejo. Gary and I got along well, since we're both computer and sci-fi geeks.
James and I met in Solano Community College, and I believe it was in physics class, though it could have easily been a math class. James was a huge anime fan, like myself, except that he had walls and walls lined with anime VHS tapes whereas I only had a couple. It was through him that I greatly expanded my knowledge of anime. I also became friends with his younger brother, Mike, and together we fansubbed several anime episodes.
Radford and I met in Hogan High School, I believe in gym class, though we did have other classes together. We hit it off because we were both fanatics about videogames. Oh, he even wrote a book about videogaming, called Let Me Play: Stories Of Gaming And Emulation. We kind of lost touch after high school, though coincidentally ran into each other inside Sacramento's Virgin Megastore, where I was on my first or second date with Latrice, the woman who is now my wife.
Bill was another friend that I met in Solano Community College, most likely in physics class. He was not only a very bright guy academically, but he was very smart in general and always very kind and upbeat. He's pretty much what Flander's used to be on The Simpsons, the perfect neighbor (before the producers started making him uber-religious). We graduated from Solano Community College at the same time, and transferred to California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), where we carpooled to for several years. He graduated a year before I did, as I didn't have the programming experience that he had when we transferred.
Conor lived next door to me when we moved back to Vallejo. Due to our proximity and love of toys and videogames, we quickly became best friends. We still see each other on occasion, like when I go down to visit my parents, and we still communicate through email. He was even trying to get a job up here in Redding, but he was beat out by one guy. Still, if that guy leaves, odds are he'll be able to fill the position and move up here, which would be awesome.
Mike was another friend from Solano College, and another member of my physics class. Though to be fair, he was really more of an acquaintance, since we didn't really hang out separately from working on school projects. We met up again in CSUS, when we realized we had both transferred to the same college, and were looking for partners to form a Senior Project team. We worked really well together, but lost contact after college. I tried e-mailing him like a year later, but the email just bounced.
From When I lived in Bartlett, Tennessee
David was my next door neighbor when we lived in Bartlett, TN. He was a little younger than I was, but we still got along great. He had a younger brother, but I can't think of what his name was. Our parents also became close friends. Before we had moved away back to Vallejo, David succeeded in becoming a black-belt in Tai-Kwon-Doe.
Andy and I met while attending Shadowlawn Middle School in Memphis, TN. We became good friends, and remained so even after he had to move back to Arkansas. Luckily, I got to go visit him there before my family and I headed off to put our roots back into California.
Alternate website: Live Journal
Chris and I met in Shadowlawn Middle School. He had tons of toys... and I mean tons! He had an entire room just for holding and playing with all his toys. And this was a BIG room. How big? He had the gigantic GI Joe Aircraft Carrier, the Cobra Terrordrome, and many other vehicles and figures laying around, and there was still plenty of room to move around and play. And once he got a NES, he got a television put in there too. Some of my best memories are of sleeping over at his house playing videogames until it was practically morning.
Chris and I were friends from school... though I don't think we hung out a whole lot as my memory is kinda fuzzy on him... sorry!
Michael and I were friends from school... though I don't think we hung out a whole lot as my memory is kinda fuzzy on him... sorry!
I think I met Mike through Chris Bailey, as I think they were friends, and he was probably in some classes with me too but I can't really recall. We weren't good friends, more like acquaintances.
Okay, I really have no idea if I spelled that right. I could be Yusef, or Usef, or Kinkubwalla, or Kenkubwalla, or some other spelling I can't event think of. Anyway, Yusef lived down the street from Chris Bailey, and they were good friends, so we became friends as well (plus we all went to the same school). Yusef was very smart and fairly quiet, unlike Chris who was very outgoing.
From When I lived in Aurora, Colorado
Once David (I hope I spelt his last name correctly) and I met, we quickly became best friends. We met during recess in Vassar Elementary School. We both loved Transformers and any other robot-style toys. We hung out as much as we could, which wasn't all the time because he didn't live within walking distance. I believe he was scheduled to move to Texas shortly after we were scheduled to move to Tennessee.
Ian Zinth & Kyle Zinth
These two friends lived down the street from me in Aurora, CO. Ian was my age, and we went to the same school, usually walking there together in the cold Colorado mornings and then walking back in the afternoons. Kyle was a few years younger, but we all still played together since we liked the same toys and cartoons. They also had a younger brother named Robby who would sometimes hang out with us.
Ivan I met in school while living in Aurora, CO. I really don't remember how we met, but I know we didn't live nearby each other. We liked the same kind of cartoons (such as Thundercats) and we'd hang out at recess, oh, and we did some school projects together. I believe that he was going to be moving away to Austrailia shortly after we were scheduled to move to Tennessee. He recently contacted me through e-mail, saying that he was now in the military, but I haven't heard back from him since I responded, so I really hope he's okay.
Sorry Patrick, I can't think of your last name. We must have met in school, because we didn't live within walking distance of each other.
Sorry Mike, I can't think of your last name. We went to the same school... I'm pretty sure. Actually, I don't really remember hanging out with him at school. He was the same age as me though. Mike lived at the end of the street in the opposite direction of Ian & Kyle's house. It was a bit of a walk, especially since we lived on the crest of a hill and he was at the bottom.
From When I lived in Vallejo, California... The First Time
Jason was in my elementary school class. We weren't really friends, as we didn't hang out or anything, but we were on the same Soccer team. It was called the Defenders, named after the videogame. At least, it was for one year. I don't actually remember how many years I played, it's all kind of a blur. I remember not liking it, though.
Michelangelo lived across the street from me when I first lived in Vallejo, and he would often come over and play with Steve and I. As typical with children, I didn't keep in contact with him when we moved, though coincidentally, after we moved back, my mom and I met him and his mother in a store. I didn't even recognize him, and honestly, couldn't really remember anything about him, just that I knew we had been friends.
Steve and I lived down the street from each other when we first lived in Vallejo. He was my best friend and we played together all the time. Then towards the end of fourth grade we moved away, and when we returned something like seven years later, we ended up in the same high school biology class together. Unfortunately, our reunion was short lived, as he was going to be moving away, to Florida I believe, and that happened only like a few days later.
For all of my buddies out there that I missed, I'm sorry! Contact me and really chew me out!
Once I became part of the Working Designs team, I would occasionally receive requests from students interested in my line of work to answer some interview questions. This is one such interview that I did back in August 2004.
- 1. What do you do on a typical work day?
- We localize games from Japan, so for the most part the projects we get are already functional. On a typical work day, I edit and modify the source code. Near the beginning of the project, this is to get the game running in English, but after that I add new features to the game and fix bugs that were present in the original game.
- 2. What do you feel is the most appealing part of your job?
- I love being able to take an enjoyable game and modifying it so that when I'm playing it I won't have to say "This is fun, but I wish they had done this".
- 3. What do you feel is the most frustrating part of your job?
- Well, sometimes we aren't sent everything we need to build the game, which is really frustrating, because initially I can't tell if we really are missing something or if I'm just doing something wrong.
- 4. What part of your job do you spend the most time on?
- Modifying the code to add features and make the game flow smoother.
- 5. What jobs have you had before reaching your current position (if any)?
- In high-school I worked in fast food, in junior college I tutored Physics, and in college I improved and developed for a company's intranet.
- 6. What was your major in college?
- Computer science, with a minor in math.
- 7. What courses are required for this field?
- A lot of computer science and some math. I don't remember what all the different classes were called.
- 8. What kind of training did you yourself go through?
- I didn't go through any training to get the job, and there was no training once I got the job other than learn as you go.
- 9. What additional training do you feel would be beneficial (if any)?
- It probably would of helped if I had tried writing my own games, even if they were simple ones.
- 10. What was most appealing about pursuing your career?
- I wanted to localize games because I didn't want to spend years working on a game and have the chance it would turn out crappy. This way we start out with great games, and the only place to go is up.
- 11. How did you go about finding your current job?
- I sent a resume and cover letter to the company.
- 12. How long was the interval between the time you decided to be a programmer and the time you actually became one?
- I was considering it toward the end of high-school and the first year of junior college. I became an official programmer as soon as I graduated from the University.
- 13. What kind of demand is there in your field?
- I don't really keep tabs on what kind of demand there is.
- 14. What kind of competition is there?
- I'm not really sure about this either.
- 15. How much can someone just entering this field expect to earn?
- Depends on where you're located. Redding has a much lower cost of living than somewhere like L.A. It's enough to live comfortably.
- 16. Do you really have to sometimes pull "all-nighters," and if so, how often?
- Yes. How often depends on the situation. One time I spend basically a week just practically living at the office because we had a major hard drive crash and lost almost everything. Usually, though, there isn't strict deadlines, so I could just come in on the weekend to finish up something.
- 17. How do you feel when you finish a project?
- Relieved, and dismayed that I'll be starting a new project soon, since starting a project is always the hardest part.
- 18. What advice would you give to a student looking to become a (insert occupation title here)?
- Practice on your free time creating a variety of different programs.
- 19. Are there any similar occupations that you would suggest I find out about?
- Not that I can think of.
- 20. What kind of attitude should one have when pursuing this career?
- Always keep a positive attitude.
- Favorite Games: Nintendo Entertainment System
- The Legend of Zelda
- Blaster Master
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Bionic Commando
- Maniac Mansion
- Goonies II
- Favorite Games: SMS/Sega Genesis/Sega CD
- Phantasy Star (SMS)
- Phantasy Star II (Genesis)
- Golden Axe (Genesis)
- Lunar: Silver Star Story (Sega CD)
- Road Rash (Genesis)
- The Secret of Monkey Island (Sega CD)
- Mortal Kombat (Sega CD)
- Popful Mail (Sega CD)
- Miracle Warriors (SMS)
- Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Genesis)
- Favorite Games: SNES/Game Boy
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
- Chrono Trigger (SNES)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV (SNES)
- Super Mario World (SNES)
- Super Mario RPG (SNES)
- Street Fighter II (SNES)
- Super Metroid (SNES)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Footclan (GB)
- Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
- Tetris (GB)
- Favorite Games: GameCube/Game Boy Advance
- Metroid Prime (GameCube)
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube)
- Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II (GameCube)
- Rebel Strike: Rogue Squadron III (GameCube)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (GameCube)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)
- Metroid Fusion (GBA)
- Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age (GBA)
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (GBA)
- Ghosts 'n Goblins (GBA)