About Me

Josh Maines

A little about me, anyway. I mean, I'm not giving you my entire life story. You're getting the highlights, though.

Hi! My name is Josh but people call me Syrsly. That's "syrsly" like saying "seriously" the wrong way, the way so many people say it. Yes, I love my moniker, and yes, I'm mocking people's ability to speak with it. I was born and raised in Kentucky, so I hear "seriously" said that way a lot regardless of the name.

I enjoy video games, movies, and the usual scifi/fantasy garbage your parents warned you about. I also enjoy programming, illustration, and storytelling. I have made games, websites, cartoons, and open source code. My freelance work history consists mostly of website development with a sprinkle of educational game/app development, digital cartoon animation (Macromedia Flash 5+ and Adobe Creative Suite), 3D modeling (Blender, Poser, VR apps), and VR/AR/XR development. My games and apps have propagated across hundreds of Flash-powered arcade sites and also been published to the iOS app store on occasion.

My web design experience dates back to when Geocities was a thing and AOL's dial-up signal noise was music to my ears. Before developing the Inspivia social platform (Facebook-like site powered by Drupal 6) in 2014, I taught programming as a tutor at Technical Lead and developed a mildly successful game reviews site, titled GetLives, just for fun. GetLives brought in a whopping 3k unique visitors per day before it was inevitably shut down due to lack of time. In 2018, while streaming to ~0 viewers full-time for a few months, I joined the BudsGunShop team and now work on that company's entire infrastructure. Check out my web dev portfolio for old work samples. Nothing current is in my portfolio, mind you.

Like most artists, I drew a lot when I was young, but I only started to really draw on a regular basis when I grew bored of the MMORPG that was all the rage back in the day... RuneScape. I began my first guild, Rune Gods, which had the purpose of helping new players, made sprite-based animations for the guild's website, and eventually stopped playing the game all together so I could focus on my animations, which made me fairly popular in the game's community under the alias FJGamer. After many years away from the game, I posted a forum thread on Zybez.net/"RuneScape Community" (a now defunct website) to ask players if they wanted me to draw their characters. The response was staggeringly large, and I got a lot of practice into drawing humanoid figures based on not-so-well-described characters. I created some of the most popular RuneScape animations throughout the years and even started a fully voice-acted sequel to my frame-by-frame anime style cartoon based on the game, though the files for that project were lost to a network virus I caught from my family's questionable tastes in websites. Thanks to my fascination with the RuneScape community, I learned a lot about Macromedia/Adobe Flash as well as ActionScript, which led to my programming career. I rarely do fan art nowadays, favoring more profitable work, but if you like my work, I'm always open to commissions if the pay is reasonable and I have the spare time to meet your deadline.

I watch a lot of shows, less now than I used to, but I still love a good show for lunch breaks and for dinner-and-a-movie type moments. Too much to watch nowadays to keep up with it all and still be able to play video games and get my job done. That said, I don't stick to any specific genre, and I have nothing against watching cartoons or anime or even romantic comedies. I love animation and often prefer a good anime to a live action show, though I haven't kept up with the anime scene since DBSuper was fairly new. It used to be one of my passions as a kid to make my own animations, and now, I have a fondness for anime and other equally beautiful animation styles. Some of my favorite anime of all time include Dragonball Z (the first few sagas anyway), Cowboy Bebop, Battle Angel Alita, .Hack//Sign, Log Horizon, and ReZero. Lately, I've been enjoying Peacemaker, a DC live action series.

My favorite video game genres are action RPGs (Zelda, Graal, some FFs) and explorative platformers (Donkey Kong 64, Mario 64, etc). I really love games that offer me a creative outlet or tons to explore. Good stories are great, but there's not a lot to do after the stories end if there's not anything else on the table.

I purchased my HTC Vive VR headset on October 19th, 2016 (tweet), and I've not once stopped having fun with it. When my VR games were kind of dull or uninteresting, I kept myself interested in my Vive through game development in Unity. Some of my favorite VR experiences so far are Accounting, Neos, Sairento, and Tilt Brush (which went FOSS in 2021), and Zenith.

I am happily married to Sarah Gardner Maines AKA @HistoryGal. Our wedding was something interesting: an outdoor party with video games and tacos! Sarah and I share a lot of interests, including an appreciation for history and storytelling and a general enthusiasm for video games, specifically the Zelda franchise. We're the light of each other's world. She is my moon and I am her sun and stars.

The future is coming, and now my watch begins. It shall not end even after my death. I shall take her as my wife, hold her hand, father her children. I pledge my life and honor to the joined house of Gardner-Maines, for this night and all nights to come.

Care to learn more?

I run a blog to document and share some interesting stuff in the works. I also talk a lot about technical things there. I may post a few nice pictures of my hikes and travels soon after they happen. I also have a Facebook account where I share funny and awesome videos and a Twitter account where I keep up with interesting discussion and news. The blog has an RSS feed if that's something you're into. Contact me anytime if you're interested in hiring me for a project.