Instructor Spotlight: Get to Know Josh Kinney

“Choose a job you love, and you'll never work work a day in your life.” It may be an overused quote, however, it’s also very true. Especially for Digital-Tutors Game Development Instructor, Josh Kinney. Josh found his passion for game development while playing one his favorite video games which eventually led him to join the Digital-Tutors team where he constantly puts out the best and up-to-date game dev courses. Read along to learn more about Josh, see what he's been up to as well as pick up helpful tips!  

Hi Josh, can you tell our readers a little about yourself, what you do here at Digital-Tutors/Pluralsight, as well as how you got your start in video game development?

I am the internal game development tutor here at Pluralsight. I got into game development about 13 years ago, creating small Flash games. I’ve always played video games, but back then I never really gave it much thought as a career. It wasn’t until I played the original Splinter Cell that I realized someone helped create this game. So I started to investigate video game development.

There wasn’t a lot on the subject at the time, but it sent me on the path that I’m on today. I attended Collins College in the Game Design program. I was introduced to all of the different roles in game development, but game art was my passion. While in school, I learned the basics but I wanted more. That’s when Digital-Tutors came into my life. I needed help with my Flash class because I decided to go above and beyond what the instructor wanted and Digital-Tutors had the answers that I needed.

All throughout school, I used Digital-Tutors to help me get ahead. After school, I moved back home to Missouri to be closer to family and I started working as a 3D instructor in the St. Louis area. I didn’t intend on teaching being my career choice but I quickly found out that I really loved it. There’s something really special about the moment when a student gets it. However, teaching at institutions has some limitations, like staying up to date with the latest software and techniques. As always, I wanted to do more. That’s where Digital-Tutors came in again and here I am today. I get the privilege of teaching people who want to change their lives all over the world and I am extremely proud to be here when they need me.


How do you see game dev changing in the future?

Game development is in a really exciting place right now. It’s easier than ever to publish a game to the world. I see VR being center stage in the next generation of game development. There are so many smart people out there rallying behind this technology and I’m confident that within the next decade, we will have some truly amazing experiences with VR.


What should game dev students be doing now to prepare themselves for their professional future?

Learn something new every single day. Make it a goal. Spend one hour a day learning about a tool you are unfamiliar with in ZBrush or a new technique used to create hair for video games. Put the world on hold and just learn because learning doesn’t stop, even as a professional.


What’s your favorite course that you have worked on here at Digital-Tutors?

What seems like the easiest question to answer is always the hardest. There are so many. I had a blast with Creating Next-Gen Weapons in 3ds Max.


What made your Creating Next-Gen Weapons in 3ds Max course so much fun to work on?

The Creating Next-Gen Weapons in 3ds Max course was a lot of fun because I did a lot of research on how the weapon actually works. I went out and actually handled a weapon similar to this one and got to see it in action. I’ve always been fascinated with how things work and when I get to do it for my 3D work, it makes it that much sweeter.


What course are you working on currently and what can our readers expect from it?

I’m currently working on Sculpting Mutated Creatures in ZBrush. This is going to be an advanced course that shows our customers how to create a highly detailed sculpt from a single piece of concept art. We’ll learn how to interpret the concept art and how to create high quality work that keeps the integrity of the concept art.


What’s the best part of being on the Digital-Tutors team?

The people. I work with incredibly talented people who are truly passionate about helping people change their lives.


Do you have any other info or tidbits of knowledge you would like to share with our readers?

Seek out honest feedback on your work for the sole purpose of getting better, and then apply the feedback you were given.

Be sure to keep checking back for new game dev courses by Josh and follow him on Twitter to get to know him and receive updates on what he’s working on.