[🐢 DEV BLOG #1] The Weekend

I find the mental stuff to be the biggest challenge at TRS. We want to be one of the best studios in the world. To do that, we need help from everyone. Not only are employees coding or animating, but they are also asked to care about the design of the game and give feedback to help make it a better product. They’re expected to help us figure out the best pipeline, the best way to manage, the best way to build, launch and run a successful product while maintaining a healthy studio. We face all these challenges together! We know it’s a tough ask, but amazing things happen when the challenge is high. It’s not for everyone, but for some, it’s a super cool and effective approach to game development. It can tax the brain pretty heavily, however. We are asking a lot more of you than most studios.

Personally, I find that’s where a good hobby can make a big difference. On the weekends I build/modify vehicles. When I get home Friday night, I’m already thinking about what I am going to build over the weekend and it has nothing to do with work. My hobby helps me “turn off” work, giving my brain a chance to rest and recover. It helps me come back Monday refreshed and ready to go. (I also don’t check my work email in the evenings or on the weekend. If there is an emergency, someone will call. When I am home, I am not at work!)

Another thing I really love about my hobby is that it’s physical - it’s the opposite of what I do at work. Game development is virtual - you work 8 hours per day on really cool stuff but you view it all through a flat screen, keyboard and mouse or controller. You can’t touch it. It’s not real. When I work on cars I lug heavy parts around, ratchet chromed wrenches, get grease under my nails, get my clothes dirty, bang my head on stuff and earn some scrapes and bruises. And I love it all. It makes me feel alive, like the stuff I am doing is somehow more meaningful. Or maybe that’s just caveman DNA in me talking.

I also find it reliably rewarding because the problem space is simple. Yeah, I’m still solving problems, but when I build my own cars I do whatever I want. I don’t have to consider if the process works for other people. I’m not concerned about anyone else’s opinion or how well the end product will sell. It’s just this thing I build the way I want. Such a simple problem. Very easy to achieve and that makes me happy. Easy victories seem valuable.

I also think it’s important to see regular progress with a hobby. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in a weekend. Install fuel injection, sand and paint some body panels, change the oil or detail the car. When the weekend is finished, I can usually take a step back and enjoy all the things I have accomplished in just a few short days.

I think you’d get the same sort of satisfaction out of bike riding, training your dog or rock climbing. Just find an excuse to get out, exercise your brain and accomplish something measurable. Forget about work when you are home. It’ll be waiting for you when you get back.


Hitting the gym makes me feel more relaxed, but my hand is always sore


I can just envision every 5 minutes or so Chris saying “Fk, St or M*****F****r or even ***************” HAHA, why is that so funny to me? :joy:


(Hope to see more of this kind of content, I enjoy hearing things from a developer’s perspective and what’s on their mind.)

Sounds like a good philosophy to maintain. Being able to switch off can really help improve your creativity and ability to work. Since I’m still at college (one with quite a low number of contact hours too) I still spend a lot of ‘home’ time working on projects.

You also mentioned the whole shift to a physical activity compared to your digital based job. Good way of looking at it. Guess it again helps exercise different parts of the brain and helps you completely switch off / switch focus to something different.


That is some cool stuff.


This is really good advice, I’ll have to try it out.
Thank you! ^u^


I take that to heart. I like building vehicles too, though it’s a real bitch to get out that sparkplug that’s corroded like nothing else or dismounting the engine from its housing without breaking the entire chassis. Oh that’s fun… /ends vivid memories of destroying a perfectly good motor out of a chevy

I spend a lot of my time outdoors during Spring and Summer and try to get away from the screen as much as possible. If I’m stuck indoors I like tinkering with mods. It’s where my enthusiasm to create came from. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:


Great advice from a great mind. Thank you Chris.


Pretty accurate. Jaime knows when to offer help and when to just walk away and let me sort out my own demons. :wink:


Exactly! You can’t worry about the work problems anymore because you are using a different part of your brain.


What got you into cars and how did you learn to work with the components and mechanical workings of it?


Have you ever tried to build up a Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 like this one?

I always liked cars. Had matchbox cars as a kid. RC cars as a teenager. Probably had something to do with my Dad. He has always been a car enthusiast and though my parents divorced when I was young, I’m sure his enthusiasm imprinted on me a bit.

Bought my first car (a rusty 1967 Cougar) six months before I was old enough to get a learner’s permit - I used to work for family at a farmer’s market on the weekends starting at age 13. That allowed me to save some money which I combined with some college money savings that my grandparents set aside for me. I was still driving that car when I went to college so it counts right?

I was in band through middle school and some of high school, but in 10th grade I took my trumpet to a pawn shop and sold it so I could buy a new exhaust system for the Cougar. :stuck_out_tongue: Mom was p#ssed but the car sure sounded awesome!

I did a lot of reading magazines and always owned a Chilton’s manual for whatever car I owned. Those are great at showing you how to do regular maintenance stuff. Picked up more and more as I went along.

At this point I’ve been wrenching on cars for 26 years. Never taken a class or anything. I still want to learn a lot more but am competent with most tasks. And these days you can learn how to do almost anything by watching youtube videos.


Nah. For most of my life I didn’t have the money to even consider something like that. Old Camaros are not cheap! That’s why I had a Mercury Cougar instead of a Ford Mustang.

It wasn’t until I was in games for a few years that I could finally afford a nicer car, and by then my interests had moved away from muscle cars. I was into more modern stuff. The first car I ever did a lot of work to was a 1998 Cobra Mustang. Bought it when I was at Westwood Studios working on Red Alert 2. Owned it through my time at Valve and still had it when I came back to SoCal to work at Troika. It had beefed up suspension, a supercharger, a fancy stereo, brembo brakes, visual stuff. Sold it to my best friend.

I wouldn’t come back to more old school vehicles until later, and by then I was really interest in unusual stuff. Bought a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera which didn’t run and looked like this when it arrived:

Seven years later, absolutely everything had been redone. I did all the mechanical and wiring. Jaime did all the upholstery. The only thing we didn’t do on the car was the paint job. Once the car was done, we took it to car shows and got bored. That’s when I realized that I enjoy building a car more than anything else. So I sold it (broke my Dad’s heart) and moved onto the next thing.
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If I remember correctly, MacMan used to have a website for cars, and an app for something about cars, too?

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Whats your dream car if money and availability wasn’t a factor? Also, since you’ve been tweaking cars for so long, if the game industry suddenly died overnight would you be able to work in like a mechanic shop or something based off your experience as a hobby?

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Can you tell me a bit about your career’s first start.Also pardon my curiosity,i’m know you are Co-Founder but what are you currently doing in TRS ?

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I really love cars if you didn’t know, mostly the rally, racing, off-road, GT, old from the 40’s/80’s/prototypes of today, 100% electric, etc…
But the old cars might be my favorites for now because of the physical look and their value.

I myself drew a truck from Asphalt Xtreme as myself for @Axilla’s group drawing, but sadly we never had news anymore from her and her draw.



Yeah, sorry i took on a diffrent project with a team of voice actors and animators, im gonna be making an overwatch animation :confused: