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RYAN Huggins


Company: Sundae Month
Title: Co-owner/CFO
Age: 23

Favorite Part of Job? I think that besides the fact that I do actually enjoy making games, my favorite part of the job is helping others do what they want to with their lives. Everyone on our team is talented enough to go and get jobs in the industry, but the majority of us don't want to burn out in an industry that squeezes the life out of its employees. Being able to work and be creative in a more relaxed environment and giving others the opportunity to do so as well is easily my favorite part.

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I don't really play video games and prefer other media when it comes to consuming it myself. Video games are just an excellent outlet that allow me to explore so many different fields and I got into games specifically because I didn't want to pick something to specialize in.

Favorite Vermont Escape: I think the Winooski waterfront is my favorite place in Vermont. It just has everything that I love and you can go for a hike, or walk through a more populated area, get food, or just chill by the water.

What is the best career advice you have received? Not really advice so much as a reality of the world, but people have told me to work VERY hard and that you have to work harder than everyone else to succeed. The best advice I've been given has been to ignore those people and to just work as hard as makes you happy because if you're not happy you're not really successful.

Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years? In ten years I expect to see myself still at Sundae Month, though my main non-Sundae Month business goal is to start an animation company and get into serialized animated series and shorts.

What motivated you to live and work in Vermont? I legit didn't know where Vermont was before I went to Champlain College so I came here originally thanks to the college. After that though, I think the relatively low density of people in the state, the lack of traffic, and the generally relaxed atmosphere of Vermont is why I have stayed.

Career Highlights: I've been trying to form a company of game developers and artists since actually 7th grade. Back then I was on RPG Maker community websites and forums convincing people to make games that would never come out with me. Sometimes people much older than me too. Now, I work with a great team and we actually release stuff so I'd say that's probably my biggest "career highlight". Forming Sundae Month itself then has probably been what I consider the most important part of my career. Other than that, every release and award won has been great, but ultimately, we just like to create stuff.

Community Involvement: I don't have a lot to say about my community involvement because in order to work on things as collaborative as video games you need to be deeply involved with the community. In the past I have worked with others to hold events like the Green Mountain Games Festival where we brought in legendary indie developers Rami Ismail and Zoe Quinn and also ran/co-ran some of the game development clubs at Champlain College. Outside of games though, I was part of the leadership of the Parkour Club at Champlain College and generally spend my time working with artists and doing Q&A sessions with aspiring business owners around the state (but mostly from UVM and Champlain College).
Moving forward, I'm hoping to help jumpstart the indie development scene in Vermont and take it from relative obscurity to a hub of creativity. Whether I only focus on games though is yet to be seen. I'm also interested in serialized media, animation, and to some degree, classic retail businesses that can help engage with the community in other ways.



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