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2012/07/09

Community Spotlight: Thane Brimhall

I'm starting a new occasional blog entry called Contributor Spotlight. Flare is supported by a great group of volunteers and they deserve some public kudos!

Today's spotlight is on Thane Brimhall. Besides having a ridiculously awesome name, he's been a contributor to Flare for over a year now.

1. Where are you from and what do you do?

I'm an all-purpose software developer (web, desktop, and mobile apps) in Provo, Utah, USA. I primarily use Python as my programming language.

2. What is the first video game you remember playing?

I think the first video game I remember is Treasure Cove - a learning game where you swam around in the ocean solving basic math and science questions. Looking back at it, it was horrendously repetitive - the same three stages over and over, hundreds of times, until you gained enough points to "win" the game.

3. What drives you to contribute to Flare?

Two of my favorite things are free software and games (whether real or virtual). I'm notoriously bad about dropping video games as soon as I've beaten them, (including Diablo II), but Flare keeps me hooked no matter how many times I've played the same content. And trust me, I've played the Averguard Temple hundreds of times. I've dabbled in other FOSS projects, but I really think the rapid pace of development makes Flare a consistently rewarding game to work on.

4. Any advice for people who are interested in making games?

If you're looking at starting a game, I'd recommend not repeating work that other people have already done. It's easy to get burnt out when you're trying to get the stupid map to render. If you don't have a good reason to start from scratch, I'd branch out from an already existing project. But even with a built engine it's easy to get burnt out, so the biggest piece of advice I have is "never give up."

5. Are you involved in any other interesting projects?

I'm currently working on a Liberated Pixel Cup entry based on the Flare engine: https://github.com/pennomi/polymorphable. Other than that, I've done a (very) little bit of work on ParselTONE, a Python interface for FreeSWITCH (an internet telephony server).