Updated 11:45 a.m. 8/21/12: Pendleton’s idea for BaltimoreGamer.com came to him after he had finished working at GameStop.
When Gabe Pendleton knew he wanted to work as a game developer, he walked out on his boss at GameStop.
“Final straw was something under the game racks wasn’t clean,” he says. “I told him you can run this store better than I can.”
He was 21 then. Now 25, Pendleton has been studying game development since, first at the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County and now at the University of Baltimore. He’s an active participant in Gamescape and also the founder of BaltimoreGamer.com, a site dedicated to covering Baltimore city’s independent and corporate game development scene and something he has maintained with a volunteer staff for nearly four years.
“I didn’t just want it to be a regular review site,” he says. “It’s more about promoting the industry that’s here.”
Visit BaltimoreGamer.com here.
Pendleton, who was born in Washington, D.C., and didn’t settle permanently in the Overlea neighborhood of Baltimore until his high school years, conceived of BaltimoreGamer.com after attending his first meeting with the Baltimore chapter of the International Game Developers Association. (At this point, Pendleton was working a job at RadioShack.)
“I was always going to networking events, but I didn’t know anything about the game industry when I first moved here,” he says.
He hopes that BaltimoreGamer.com will be the resource for others in Baltimore city looking to become involved in video game development. In addition to articles about independent development studios and bigger ventures—like the opening of Impossible Studios in Hunt Valley—Pendleton’s site includes information on finding colleges that offer game development programs, a listing of gaming companies in the Baltimore area, job postings and a calendar of community events.
“It creates an icebreaker for people who want to get into the industry,” says Pendleton. It has happened before: two of his former writers are now working at White Marsh-based Reed Street Productions.
Pendleton divides his time among classes, maintaining BaltimoreGamer.com and holding down his full-time UI development job with AmTote International, where he works on AmTote’s Instant Racing game. He spends his own money on the BaltimoreGamer site, something he chalks up to his love of video games in Baltimore.
“I love the community here—it was a way of promoting it,” he says.