Redmond Digital Arts Festival to feature Chris Taylor
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
September 12, 2012 · Updated 4:06 PM
When Chris Taylor founded Gas Powered Games (GPG), his goal was to be an independently minded artist.
He wanted his Redmond-based company to produce new and original games.
"That was the mandate," the 46-year-old Woodinville resident said. "That was the mission."
"I was really, truly recognized for that work and it blew my mind," he said.
Riding on this success, Taylor started GPG, where in addition to being founder, he is also chief executive officer. This was 14 years ago and he has been there ever since — saying this has been the longest he has ever stayed at a job.
Taylor (left) said his career path is unusual because most people in the gaming industry found companies with the intention to sell and make money. He founded GPG with the intention to create video games because that is his passion.
"I turned down many, many offers (to sell)," he said.
Taylor's passion for gaming began when he was young. As a teen in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, he discovered computers in 1980 and became hooked. He began writing code and creating games in his mid teens on a computer his father bought for him from RadioShack.
"This changed my whole life," Taylor said. "It was pure magic."
That magic comes from the ability to write a code and see the resulting animated images, he said.
Taylor said when he began his career, video games were still new and attending a school such as DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond was out of the question.
"There probably three books in the world (on the topic)," he said. "You had to learn all of this on your own."
But this didn't stop Taylor, whose passion for the industry has never faded.
On Sept. 22 from 10-11:30 a.m., he will be sharing his passion for video games at DigiPen at 9931 Willows Rd. N.E. during the fourth annual Redmond Digital Arts Festival.
"It's always a blast to hear him speak," said Kamal Siegel, program director for the festival.
The festival will feature lectures, mixed-media performances and other interactive activities at DigiPen on the weekend. From Sept. 24-28, there will be evening talks given by local digital artists at SoulFood Books at 15748 Redmond Way in downtown Redmond.
The cost of the festival is $45 for a one-day pass or $65 for an eight-day pass. Children younger than 11 are free and teens 12-18 are half price. Siegel said prices for individual evening talks at SoulFood Books will be about $10 and teens will also be half price. For more information on tickets and the festival schedule, visit digitalartfestival.com.
Siegel said in addition to exposing the community to the digital arts, which are in abundance in Redmond, the festival also gives digital artists an opportunity to show their work, get new ideas and celebrate excellence in their field.
Siegel said Taylor has been a strong supporter of the festival since its infancy and has helped put him in touch with other local artists throughout the years.
Because the greater Redmond are is home to so many different tech and gaming companies, the bulk of the festival's programming, which runs from Sept. 21-28, features local talent.
"We wouldn't have the event without them," Siegel said.
Taylor agreed that it is important for the community to realize what is going on locally.
"There's a lot of great stuff happening here," he said.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.