Howdy, I'm Dave Snider. I'm one of the "dudes upstairs" and the primary designer / css junkie / photoshop nerd for giant bomb. If you don't like a feature on the site, or hate the way it looks, I'm usually the man to blame. You can blame Jeff, Ryan or Bradcrew if you don't like the content and Andy, Ethan or Sean if something is plain broke. You can't blame Vinny for anything, because everything he touches is gorgeous.
I racked up a $200 bill on Prodigy trying to figure out how to beat KQ6GB is basically a full circle moment for me. I started out as a young teenager frequenting game sites like
. Much in the way I imagine a certain portion of our audience frequents this site. I've been gaming since as long as I can remember, having an Intelevision as a toddler, a NES as a little kid and a SEGA or Nintendo system into my high school years. I can remember washing cars in the neighborhood one summer so I could purchase an elusive SEGA CD system with Night Trap, Sewer Shark and a bunch of other craptacular games that I thought were amazing back then. Believe it or not, I even owned a Goldstar 3D0 machine in it's prime.
How the hell did I beat this?Videogames were something I always loved, and though I played a lot of sports, there was nothing I loved more then sitting in the basement with a revolving cast of friends playing the newest video games.I even beat and enjoyed
. That's just part of the story though, because as much as I loved sitting around with buddies playing console games, my true passion was messing around with whatever computer I had at the time (I started on a IBM PS1) and playing PC games and visiting Prodigy, BBS boards and eventually the Internet.
For those that remember,
changed everything. As a game, GL Quake brought 3D graphics and my first true OMG moment along with Quakeworld Internet play. As much as people like to laugh at me when I say this, if you were playing quake online and had a copy of Netscape, you were able to witness the dawn of the world wide web as we knew it. I'll be more plain, I think Quake and the mass amount of websites, community interaction and hosted information and mods around it, paved the way for the advanced sites that were to follow decades later. Because you see, gamers are trailblazers. We love to try out new things, explore and generally tweak the hell out of anything we don't like. We also love to bitch at strangers on message boards.
And that was me. One of those crazy forum dudes that tried to emulate the bigger sites I visited with my own smaller work.
My XvT site had a starry background, cgi ticker and midi loopIt started on GeoCities. Yes, GeoCities. My first website was a "Squad" page for the upcoming
X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter
multiplayer game. Too bad the game, despite
,turned out to be horrible. That's ok, because by then I was super into a small mod for Quake calledTeam Fortress. Once day I sent an email to a guy who was running a Team Fortress 2 website called Quake2Fortress.com (this was back before Valve aquired the TF team and TF2 was going to be a quake 2 mod) asking if he needed any help with design. I think I was 17 at the time. He said sure, and though I started out writing news on the site I eventually got him to let me re-design the entire thing (I was a wiz at Frontpage back then!). We were actually a pretty big site, and a side bonus was that I got to join the site "Clan", an affiliation that by name alone scared the hell out of my parents. So there I was at 17 on Friday nights telling my friends I didn't want to go to the movies because I had a match that night.
Q2RA2 - Wharehouse. My favorite map ever.Quake2Fortress immediately imploded when the TF boys jumped over to valve. A funny bit of trivia was that the guy who ran our site actually owned the TeamFortress2.com domain and gave/sold it (I never found out) to Valve. It was ok though, because I was off to college in Wisconsin and the glorious world of cheese, beer and ethernet connections. Within 2 months at college it was apparent that I really wasn't there to study, but to play Quake 2 Rocket Arena over the University's ridiculous fast servers. I made lots of friends on a Midwest server named "Nostromo" where I chanced upon other game addicts like Phil "
" Reno, who funnily enough, is the guy that does
for Giant Bomb. We were nerdily enough in the Borg-Collective clan. [BC] was notable for having some true ringers (being #2 on the OGL at one point) and for having one of the better quake clan websites (built by yours truly). You see, for me, gaming and the Internet were always the same thing. I'd play a game online, make sites about them, and then make friends on those sites.
This of course was an obsession, and I dropped out / got booted out of college for essentially being too involved in video games and the Internet. It wasn't all bad, by this time I was good enough at Photoshop, Flash and HTML to work at a small government contractor in DC and make a decent living and fend off a pair of worried parents. However, after building websites for your quake clan, building websites for ad agencies wasn't the most exciting work, so I packed up my consoles, PC and DVD collection and moved west to LA where you know... movies are made and stuff. Instead of making movies, I made websites about movies and a collection based website called Guzzlefish, landed me an interview at CNET where omg... my favorite website was... Gamespot.
Arcanum wasn't for everyone, but it was perfect for the nerd RPG crowdGreg Kasavin was one of a couple of dudes that interviewed me there. After an awkward fanboy handshake I went into a long monologueabout why I loved that he reviewed pure genre aimed games like
poorly but recommended them highly. Because for me, those 7.3 games were 10s, yet I was still ok with the reasoning behind the review. I wasn't kissing up, I just liked Greg and his writing style.
Long story short I didn't work at GS, but ended up at MP3.com and later TV.com where I met most of the guys I work with today. Gamespot though was always my lunchtime website, and as I scarfed down a quick burger in between site launches I watched work time buddies Ryan, Jeff and Brad tell me which games I should buy. I got the benefit of late night arguments over the merits of pop culture, and yes videogames. Needless to say, we all stayed friends even after I'd left the company years before to build a
comic book website
with Ethan. After all, who else did I know that could slip in a
Jonny Mosley Mad Trix
joke like Ryan?
Somehow, by luck and accident we're all working together again and have Shelby and Mike to thank for the opportunity to try and build something fun here on the bomb along with all you guys.
The point of such a long bio? I guess I just want all the younger gamers on GB to realize that if they love games THAT much, there's nothing to stop you from making love of games a profession somehow. I wish you luck.