Oh gosh, it's almost like our first interview.
We're all hip deep in guide making with PB and SMT: N going on at the same time, so it might be a while before any of the other characters pipe in.
I got my start in the industry by just being a game nut. Me and a high school buddy of mine, George Weising, were pretty into gaming. I was working as an ad designer/system manager at a place that does the ads on shopping carts and the back of reciepts. I think I was 21 or 22 years old, and it was back in 1991-1992. One day George told me about a new game store which had opened up in the San Fernando Valley which carried imports, so we headed down there to check it out. We got friendly with the guys working there and mentioned that I was an ad designer and was willing to trade ad design for video games. They were wanting to put ads in EGM and didn't know much about ads or even computers, really. The place was called Diehard Gamers Club in Tarzana, CA.
So it worked out pretty well and I was doing a lot of ads for them, which were really crazy.
That went on for a good while. We made some catalogs...
The guy running the place, Dave Halverson, kept talking about wanting to start a magazine because EGM sucked so bad. So we kind of made a trial run, which was basically another catalog but with a different name...
So I brought my computer equipment (an Apple IIx) into the back of the game store and we set to work making a magazine. We called it DieHard GameFan. There was no steady paycheck, no distribution and we printed the first issue of the magazine at my old place of work (the shopping cart ad place). Jay Puryear loaded them up his pickup truck and drove around to all the newstands in the valley and basically begged them to put it on their racks. Around the 2nd or 3rd issue we got the people who distributed Low Rider Magazine to distribute the magazine, which meant we were in every liquor store in the nation. We were on our way!
From left to right, Andrew Cockburn (taking an order), Dave Halverson and me (Tim Lindquist).
So that's how it started for me. I didn't take any college classes, much less graduate from high school. I'm just doing what I enjoy and the fact that people actually read the stuff is a bonus. I'll be happy if I can do this for the rest of my life.