Matthew Blackwell has turned one of his passions into a profession, something so many of us out there aspire to do. Our interview with Matthew gives you a glimpse into his life, his keys to productivity, and the things that motivate him to be one of the best in the field of video game design. Read on to learn more about Matthew’s inspiring story here.
Matthew, tell us a bit about your company, Tosicamir Designs.
Tosicamir Designs was created by me as a personal brand to cover all of my video game design and gaming accomplishments. I mainly test upcoming games, but have also been on design teams for a few console titles.
What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?
As an independent gaming tester and competitive gamer, having a brand that is both unique and followable was the reason that Tosicamir Designs came into being. Being able to be an influence in the video games today’s society plays, as well as play those games on a daily basis allows me to have fun while I work.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
In order to keep myself productive, I basically keep a monthly planner and block out my time. I have the luxury of a very loose daily and weekly routine, so when I block out time. I add 24 hours to each end of time. Following that planner and keeping a goal list, complete with goals accomplished and left undone, motivates my productiveness.
What are your keys to making yourself productive?
I suffer from bipolar disorder, and that is definitely an obstacle to my productivity. However, overcoming obstacles is something I have done my entire life, both in and out of gaming, and I am more than able to complete this task.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
My ultimate goal in my professional career is not the most measurable of goals. I want to leave an impact on the gaming community. I want my creations, my ideology, and my personality to be known for something positive and/or unique in the gaming community.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
The most powerful lesson I have learned throughout my career and my life is not to let others define your goals. The only person who is going to back you 100% in your endeavors is yourself, and with that being said, your thoughts are the ones most paramount when making decisions on your life and career path.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
To get into the gaming field successfully, do NOT think that all it takes is a YouTube or Twitch channel and a game to play. You need interpersonal skills so you can successfully network your skills in the community.
You need early knowledge in different coding languages and also general web design, to cover those times when you don’t have a game to work on. Unless you get really fortunate or your social networking is A+ in grade, you are going to need to broaden your sell able skills to support yourself.
Finally, get used to the fact that not every idea you have is going to be used, or even good, for that matter. Humility is always a good trait to cultivate if you wish to succeed in life.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I’m very lucky to have one of my main hobbies as my job. My main activity is spending quality time with my wife, Braedon. Most of the time we watch TV or play video games, but the one other thing we have taken up is playing Magic: The Gathering. Gaming promotes critical thinking. Keeping my mind fit and active is key.
Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
There are a few books that really influenced my life. The first is from Terry Goodkind’s “The Sword Of Truth” series, called “Wizard’s First Rule“. It’s actually where I got my business name/username from; Tosicamir is an acronym for the wizard’s first rule in short, which is “The Only Sovereign I Can Allow Myself Is Reason.
The second book/series, which showed me the power of analyzing all of the data available to me, is Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I’m highly impressed by these two men’s level of creative thinking.
Outside of books, I keep up with interesting websites by using an aggregator called StumbleUpon. Very easy to use, high customization the more you use it, rarely find a site that I don’t like in my feed.