Derald Wise

"The faculty at SNHU, specifically my academic advisors, was instrumental in me attaining my formal education."

I was born on Clark AFB in the Philippines and grew up as a military brat. I was fortunate to see the world and to live in many places. Since I was a child, I’ve had an interest in the arts. It was something I did in my spare time and even considered as a possible career choice. I tried my hand at college many times, but lacked the drive and discipline to follow through. I took many jobs over the years. During the attacks of 9/11, I was living in Dallas, Texas. That day changed my life, as it had a profound impact on my brothers and me. Like our father and his father before us, we all entered the service.

My youngest brother joined the Marines, my middle brother the Air Force, and I, as the oldest, joined the Army. We all went on to serve in combat, which further shaped our world views. When I left the Army, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. The military was starting to use a First Person Shooter video game call Virtual Battle Space 2 to help train soldiers and Marines for combat. Though still a relatively new concept, I was offered a job developing scenarios for the military as a game developer.

Over the years, I learned scripting, storyboards, multi-media, 3D modeling and terrain generation to help develop these scenarios. It was through this job that I ended up at Fort Bragg as the lead VBS2 developer for the XVIII ABN CORPS. After learning a lot of the development on my own, I researched game design degrees to further my career and found SNHU.

The faculty at SNHU, specifically my academic advisors, were instrumental in me attaining my formal education. With this degree, I have been able to get more visibility in the job market, resulting in offers from multiple simulation companies. I would like to thank specifically Autumn Earnshaw, Sandra Warren, Melissa Escobar and Leah Merideth. These advisors walked me through my entire educational journey, making sure I got the support I need to achieve my degree.

Attaining a degree no matter what stage in life you’re at greatly enhance your visibility and opens doors to other opportunities you didn’t know existed. While I enjoy the simulation market and have found success there, I hope one day to write stories for video game companies. This was definitely a step in the right direction.