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Just call him the Track Master.
Dan Trethaway, a senior at Central Hardin High School, spent part of the summer interning at Gameloft, a video game developer and publisher.
His father, who works at the company's New Orleans location where Trethaway interned, was instrumental in introducing Trethaway to gaming when he was young.
Trethaway enjoys mobile games, and especially console games and online games such as World of Warcraft. He’s willing to play most anything, he said.
“I’ve been playing since I was in diapers pretty much, my dad says,” he said.
Approaching his senior year, Trethaway said he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduation. His dad’s job intrigued him.
“I always wanted to see what he did,” he said.
So his father found Trethaway an opportunity to spend some time at the company. Trethaway spent his time assisting in the design of an upcoming mobile racing game, the title and details of which he can’t yet divulge.
The company makes mostly mobile games, which are a quickly growing portion of the gaming industry. According to Forbes, in July the mobile market in the United States was up 32 percent in revenue compared to the same time period in 2012. The top mobile game, Candy Crush Saga, earns more than $400,000 every day.
Trethaway said many of his duties in designing the game were mundane, such as creating the walls that line the race track. But through a lengthy phone conversation with an employee at the New York location of Gameloft, which had previously handled the game’s design, he learned how to keep the gameplay progressing through the use of checkpoints along the track, which allows for things like tracking the progress of the race and ensuring the car follows the course.
This made him an indispensable part of the team.
“They called me the ‘track master’ by the end” of his weeks at the company, he said.
Trethaway enjoyed the experience of working on a game, as well as the act of going to work every day.
“I think it was really cool just to see how much work goes into a little game,” he said.
He also earned a new respect for the work of his dad, who is the director of design and manages more than one project.
“I don’t know how he does it because it seems so crazy,” he said.
He learned a lot about the game industry and thinks it’s a career he’d like to pursue after high school. He was encouraged to consider the path when his work was praised during the summer.
“I think it was after I finished all the tracks and everybody was like, ‘wow, you did really good,’” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or email@example.com.
More about Dan Trethaway
From Sandwich, Mass., and now lives in Elizabethtown
Favorite film: “The Matrix”
Favorite music: '70s and '80s rock, usually anything but country
Favorite video game: “Bioshock Inifinite”