Chad and Eric (Walker Boys) are accomplished artists, programmers, designers, professors, curriculum developers, authors, online trainers, and all around happy boys (and twins).
Both Eric and Chad have been in the video game industry for fourteen years, where they honed their skills at companies like Ensemble Studios, working with a talented team creating the Age of Empires brand, to Firefly Studios, with their flagship title Stronghold and Terminal Reality on numerous products. They have worked on over 50 projects with 35 shipped games.
Alongside the computers, the boys are professional comic book artists, having worked on high profile titles like Youngblood and Prophet. They continue to enjoy the world of pencil and paper, using their traditional skills to push the boundaries of creativity and design.
In addition to the game industry and comic book experience, the Walker Boys continue looking for ways to push things forward. In 2001, they published their first book through Charles River Media, “Game Modeling Using Low Polygon Techniques,” which was one of the first books released on the subject of polygon modeling for video games. They understood the need to share knowledge for others to grow and develop their skills in an emerging industry.
That same year, they began a project to ensure training in the arts was available to anyone at any level. Working with Cengage Publishing (Education to Go), they developed an online course, “Drawing for the Absolute Beginner”, where they continue to instruct and work with students from over 2,000 universities. With over 6,000 students having been trained through the course, they enjoy the opportunity to help grow the arts.
In 2005, the boys were ready to write again, this time with Wordware Publishing, “Making a Game Demo from concept to demo gold”, released in multiple languages. With this book, they worked together with co-author, programmer Jani Kajala, building an entire game demo (design, art, code, 3D engine) from scratch, taking you step-by-step, through the entire process.
With their passion to teach and lead by example, the boys understood the need that was coming next…training the next generation of game developers. With the skillful leadership of Dr. Peter Raad at the Guildhall at SMU, in 2003 the Walkers began their Professorships as Art Lecturers in Game Development. During the eight year stay, they led the Art Department, developing the art curriculum and course development, instructed and co-developed the team game production track, while managing hundreds of game projects, chaired multiple committees, were successful grant writers in technology, and helped create the world’s first Master’s Degree program in Interactive Technology.
Looking for ways to improve and refine the quality of education for artists, the Walker boys in 2010, created the first ever complete video training course in game development for the artist. With 3,000 hours of personal work invested, they recorded 350 hours of video training material and established a complete two year curriculum course taking an individual through each step of art creation from traditional drawing to 3d modeling, animation and programming. Soon after developing the art course, the boys developed a complete, free 50 hour online course in Unity 3D, training individuals on programming and making games. The course to date has been viewed over 2 million times in 150 countries, training up thousands of new game developers, who are making their mark in the games industry.
While at the Guildhall, Chad and Eric took their passion and knowledge of game development and trained up hundreds of students, helping to create an army of Guildhall alumni, who continue to fill the ranks in the games industry as talented developers and skilled leaders.
After retiring from the Guildhall in 2012, the Walker’s jumped back in to the games industry consulting with game studios and enjoying the creative process of game development.
The boys, with their partner Nathan Warden currently have one big project in mind, Build a Game Universe. With their holistic perspective of the games industry and their in-depth knowledge of development, they are taking nearly 30 years of combined experiences and putting it all in to this one project, working towards making game development available to everyone, anywhere.
And there you have it. You are now up to date with the Walker Boys.