Kyle Reczek leaves oil and gas job to develop video games 

Kyle Reczek started his career working in the oil and gas industry. But he ended up leaving the comfort of his job to pursue his childhood passion for video games, becoming a one-man-band game designer.

“I remember bugging my parents to get me a Nintendo for Christmas, so they gave me one just to shut me up,” Kyle Reczek says, adding that his first video game experience was the original Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo NES console.

Shorty after there was never a shortage of rented Blockbuster games hanging out in his bedroom.

Though Reczek was able to identify his passion for game development early on, the process of turning that into a job seemed daunting.

“I knew I wanted to go and make games as a career, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do that,” Reczek says.

Illustration by Ashley Grant with images courtesy of Lexi Wright

After completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Calgary, Reczek got a job working with an oil and gas software company.

Oil and gas offered a stable career, but Reczek revelled in launching his own gaming company BanyanGo in May of 2015.

“I had a few [game] prototypes that I had been working on in my spare time. Because I would work an eight-hour shift at my oil job, I would come home and work on games until midnight, says Reczek. “You can only do that for so long, so you kind of have to make a choice about what you want to do.”

“You can only do that for so long, so you kind of have to make a choice about what you want to do.”        —Kyle Reczek

The latest result is a game called 3,2,1, Grenades, a first-person shooter that will be released on Apple’s IOS within the upcoming year. Reczek designed a simple game so that regardless of video gaming skills anyone can play with ease.

The choice to become a one-man game studio gives Reczek lots of independence and options – from designing the physical appearance of a game’s character to the music that’s going to be heard during gameplay.“I don’t know if it’s paid off yet, I won’t know for a while, but I do know it’s definitely better than I had expected.”

The editor responsible for this article is Ashley Grant, agrant@cjournal.ca