Hey, I’m Kelly. This blog is my “work blog” so it’s relatively on-topic and work safe. 😉
I’m an interactive experience designer, developer, and marketer specializing in progressive adult entertainment.
I have owned and operated an online adult entertainment company since 2004. I initially founded the company to produce RaptureOnline, a role-play world of fun, fantasy, and freedom for adventurous adults. I am currently working on Hard Carry, an adult comedy dating sim.
If you want to know more than anyone really needs to know about my work history, read on. Unlike most three-time school dropouts, I’m happy to share the unvarnished account of my formal education. And unlike most professional developers, I am the first to admit the last thing I have ever wanted was a steady long-term employment situation. Got an interesting problem? Need help with a challenging short-term project? Want someone adept at jumping into the deep end, quickly rocketing up to speed, and kicking some ass before exploding into the sunset? Well, it hardly matters now. I’m too busy for side gigs.
Formal Education and Early Work
While my peers were enjoying their junior year in high school, I had already moved out, started a family, and set in motion a brilliant plan to replace 2 years of mind-numbing conformist bullshit with 2.5 hours of embarrassingly easy standardized testing (if I had known the GED was so lame, I would have tried to take it even sooner). I consider it only fair that I got out of school a bit early because I successfully completed 2 grueling years of preschool (ages 3 and 4). Also, any time spent cooperating with the status quo at any of the 3 Catholic schools I attended ought to have earned me an early release for exceptionally good behavior.
From 2002 to 2004, I studied computer science at Metropolitan State University. Between 2009 and 2011, I studied small business management and entrepreneurship with University of Phoenix Online. These dates are important to remember so that I might someday return to those times and, after an animated conversation about time travel being totally awesome, convince my past self to spend all that time and money on something else. All of the most useful things I know were learned in the real world, working in a wide variety of roles and industries.
I developed a jack-of-all-trades attitude and fondness for learning what makes different people, companies, and industries tick in my teen years (and I especially enjoyed transferring systems and insights from one task to a superficially different task). I LOVE the moment of insight when divergent ideas reveal a previously unnoticed relationship, remapping an entire solution or problem space. While the saying “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” is completely true, I believe there is a little considered corollary: that one can achieve a uniquely personal, intersectional mastery by combining knowledge spanning many job roles and vertical industries.
My first jobs as a teen included Library Assistant at a public library, two regrettable weeks in food service, drapery tabler and seamstress at custom interior design company, home health aid for an elderly couple, and a graphic design internship at a non-profit management group. During those same teen mom years, I volunteered weekly as a peer counselor on a local youth crisis line (receiving 24 hours of training including my first exposure to comprehensive, honest teen sex education).
Between age 20 and 23, I worked in a broad mix of industries: receptionist and accounts-receivable clerk in a heavy and medium duty truck repair and body shop, two concurrent half-time administrative assistant positions in one United Way office (supporting two crisis line programs), assistant manager in a custom embroidery and uniform store, outbound sales for an aftermarket auto parts reseller, and a truly eclectic job picking electronics parts, shipping products, and assisting with sales calls and marketing chores for an innovative low-cost CNC machine controller company. And although I lasted a bit longer at each early twenties job, I have a tendency to get extremely bored once I’ve learned a new position and am the type of employee who would skim job ads on my lunch break most days at work.
My late teens and early twenties also included additional work experience and industry exposure from a long-term relationship with an inspiring entrepreneur (accounting, real estate investment, rental management, and operating a franchised auto service business). Primarily, I learned that being an employee is not the sole path to personal success. I switched focus from regular jobs (that I would inevitably quit) to fixed-term jobs, then to self-employment and independent contract work.
Recent Work History
I’ve done contract work in technical support, database administration, technical writing (software documentation), Dell system replacement and upgrades, web development, graphic design, search engine optimization, web analytics, logo design, marketing game design, and digital illustration. My clients have included 2 major IT temp staffing agencies, a local government agency, a large urban hospital, a regional Dell subcontractor, a NYC-based fashion community startup, a California-based game development studio, and a handful of local small businesses.
While doing all of this short-term work to help other people’s businesses, I have continued to work on my adult business whenever possible. Black Love Interactive LLC was originally founded to support the development of an adult MMOERPG (massively-multiplayer online erotic role-play game) that I worked on with a small group of friendly women developers I met through an IGDA initiative. Our team, project, and many friendships did not weather the storm of a failed startup, but I kept my original game design documents for RaptureOnline and continued to edit and revise them for several years. By 2010, Black Love Interactive LLC was simply a source of affiliate income from some adult ad and SEO work I had setup years prior. For many years, I could not even bring myself to visit my company’s main site (which was not a big generator of traffic nor affiliate income). I knew that the day I finally did clean-up the site was the day I would have to take down the only remaining evidence that the RaptureOnline project ever existed. So, while I developed other affilliate sites and adult humor properties, my main company site sat untouched for nearly 10 years, frozen in time.
Finally, after a recent personal loss, I realized that life was much too short to wonder what could have been if I had tried to produce RaptureOnline using the resources I already have. It would mean abandoning the dream of launching a fully-developed 3D world in favor of publicly iterating a minimal, streamlined world (that in its earliest months could never come close to satisfying my vision). It would mean opening myself up to another failed attempt to bring this project to life. And it would mean facing a fear that the story-centric adult role play world I envisioned would not appeal to enough players to cover the costs of maintaining the service, much less produce enough revenue to let me work on it full time.
In the decade since I designed RaptureOnline, nobody has launched anything similar enough to prove RaptureOnline’s target market really exists. I meet fragments of this market in so many places online, most plainly visible in Second Life, but also in RP forums, MMO game communities, and all over the social web. Still, until I launch RaptureOnline, I won’t really know if there is anyone else who wants to play their fantasies as I’ve always wished I could play mine. I would love to play RaptureOnline. That’s why I designed it in the first place, and that’s what I’ve decided is enough market validation for me to give it one more try.
To fund RaptureOnline development, I have designed a series of smaller games with a reasonable scope that could realistically be produced with the help of crowdfunding campaigns. The first game is Hard Carry, an adult comedy dating sim. My goal is to produce smaller story-centric adult games to build an audience and generate profits and game assets that can be used to develop RaptureOnline in the future.
I want to say a few positive things about my personal experience as an adult game designer and affiliate marketer because I have lost work opportunities and experienced prejudiced reactions because I work on erotic adult entertainment using my full, legal name. I work on adult projects without secrecy because I think more caring adults need to be involved with adult media (not just to make money, but to restore a healthier attitude toward sex, the human body, and erotic diversity in our culture). I believe it’s important work. With adult game design, I was very lucky to find a challenging niche that I am passionate about. I think that once a person finds something they understand intuitively and champion sincerely, it’s good to stick with it.
I live in St. Paul, Minnesota with my two kids and four cats. I also live with a disability and am positive and passionate about disclosure at this point in my life (because it does help reduce the stigma of disability when people are open about it). My hobbies include permaculture, gardening, gaming, painting, illustration, 3D graphics, and keeping up on IT topics. Game design, online experience design, virtual worlds, the social web, marketing, history, epistemology, ethics, morality, social justice, sexuality, sex, gender, and humor are some of the topics I enjoy reading and musing about. I’m a fan of unicorns, love, art (especially outsider art), sex, lolporn, zombies, Tim Burton movies, Charlie Kaufman movies, too much guitar-driven music to list, #000000, nostalgia, kvetching, and that little fwppa-fwppa sound kitty ears make when cats shake it like a polaroid. I believe honesty, empathy, and a civil discussion do much more good in the world than political-correctness, censorship, lying, shaming, and otherwise trying to silence people with unpopular opinions. Enough about me. This is awesome: