About Seanba

So, what’s your deal?

My name is Sean Barton, nicknamed Seanba (more on that later).  My wife also refers to me as Bartron and BartmanSeanny McSeansean is popular with friends too but I didn’t want to punish people by making them type that into their browser.

This is what I care about in a nutshell:

  1. My lady, brood, and family doggies. (aka Team Barton)
  2. My craft as a programmer and a human being working with other human beings to make great software.  This is how I make money.
  3. Video games!  Fun-fact: The first video game I ever saw was a cocktail-table Space Invaders  at the Daytona Flea Market (of all places).  I was seven. It changed my life forever.
  4. Geeky stuff like Transformers, other 80’s nostalgia cheese, and mathematics.

You like your job more than video games?

Yeah, kind of, but I cheated a bit by getting a career making video games.

Early on, programming was just a vehicle for getting me a job that didn’t totally suck. I figured, “Hey, I like video games, and I know how to code, so why not?”

Problem is, I didn’t really know how to code. Like far too many people in our field I thought an understanding of a computer language syntax and some math was all that was needed.  And to a great degree that’s enough to get you hired.  You can thank the supermajority of math phobics for that.

I’d say I was about halfway through working on my second shipped title when I got tired of half-assing it.  No one would question my devotion, I was always there.  But man, my code sucked hard.  It was embarrassing making my way through the sea of ifs and elses.

Since then I have been approaching programming as a true craft, and I love it. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to writing good code that I think is totally awesome. (Note: By totally awessome I’m not talking about code that is engineered up the wazoo with patterns and abstractions. For me it’s finding a good balance between functionality, clarity, and complexity — in a nutshell.)

I’ve also discovered that most of what gets in our way as developers is not the butt-ugly code but the leadership and connection of the team.  To that effect, I frequent a local Toastmasters International club to work on my communication and leadership skills. They helped me get over a crippling fear of public speaking too.

Why ‘Seanba’?

My first job in the gaming biz was with Digital Anvil just before they were bought out by Microsoft.  Microsoft’s IT department gave me the alias ‘Seanba’ which caught on well with just about anyone who heard it.  I’ve been using it as a moniker ever since.

My day job.

Like everyone else in this industry I’ve been around. To date I’ve been employed by Digital Anvil (Microsoft), NCsoft, Spacetime Studios, and Junction Point Studios (Disney Interactive). My current venture is with 22nd Century Toys, a contracting/consulting company I’ve formed with industry friends.

Disclaimer: Anything I write on this blog is my opinion only and does not reflect the views of my employer.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan March 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Wait a second…. aren’t you your employer…..

Seanba May 9, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Yes, Dan, I am self-employed. But I do have partners.

dheart88 December 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hey I like your tiled2unity. I’m a indie developer my self but I haven’t created anything on unity . I know a bit about tiled and did few flash games back then. thanks for our tiled2unity!

ei8htbit April 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Somehow I just discovered Tiled about a week ago but not soon after found the amazing work you’ve done here with Tiled2Unity. You took the time and effort to put your work out there for the rest of us so I figure the least I can do is send a note to say thanks. I’m just a hobbyist (and fellow 80s gamer who cut his teeth on 8-bit classics and spent his allowance 25 cents at a time back in the day). Anyway I think there are few things more worthwhile then sharing your knowledge and experience; What you are doing means something and it really does make a difference.

I hope you keep up with this project and I will be sure to continue checking in on your latest developments either way – you’ve got a great no-nonsense but approachable style and it’s great to learn that way. I can’t speak for the others who have found your work, but you have helped inspire me to keep plugging away at this hobby and to keep making things – to keep trying at least.

tldr = You_are_awesome.Thanks_for_sharing.Tiled2Unity;
Keep_spreading_that(positiveCreativeEnergy);

Seanba May 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Thanks for the kind words, ei8htbit. Next time I’m looking for a new full time job (happens all the time in this biz) I’ll have to find a way to get that in front of potential employers. 😉

1game0life June 20, 2015 at 4:45 am

U are cool! $$$$

Loki December 3, 2015 at 9:14 am

I’m a Chinese game developer. Just say thanks. That’s a great job!

Seanba sez: Thank you, Loki. Your thanks is appreciated.

Obadiah January 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Yo Seanba!

Do you think you could point me in the right direction?
I would really, really like to get some help on C# coding. Anything would be nice — tips, websites, videos. I have a degree in Game Production, but my position on my teams was always Creative Director and 2D/3D Artist. I would love to learn how to code, so I can be a “One man team” so to speak. I’ve done a very limited amount of coding, and I’m just looking for some help.

Thanks!
(Feel free to email me if you’d like.)

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