My name is Kevin Hjelden, and this is my blog. It was created in 2002 and re-uploaded in 2003. Facebook became popular and I stopped posting here when that happened. My web host broke the Wordpress install when they upgraded to the newest version of PHP and I re-created the blog using 11ty since re-creating the theme seemed incredibly painful. In the migration, I've done some spring cleaning on several things including this About Me page which hadn't been updated in 15 years.
I'm sometimes known as "FryGuy", or sometimes "Kingpin" depending on who you talk to, or sometimes even "Shadolin" for games when the name FryGuy is inappropriate (such as role-playing games).
I am a Software Engineer living in the greater Sacramento area, and I work for TechnipFMC Schilling Robotics which builds deep-sea remotely operated vehicles. I graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics & Computer Science (double major). While at university, I took a lot of elective classes that I thought would be interesting, including number theory (I wanted to do cryptography), game programming, graphics programming, advanced algorithms, and robotics. Since then, I've continued with side-projects investigating things that interest me.
I know all the major programming languages, although I am the strongest in C#. I do a lot of projects with the Typescript stack between standalone React web apps, embedded into FoundryVTT, running straight on node.js, and Electron apps. I've also wanted to learn more about Rust but haven't had a good excuse to learn other than for things like the Advent of Code. Writing C++ always makes me wish I was writing Rust code instead. Recently in my day job, I've been getting into DevOps and Infrastructure-as-Code, and getting better at doing Agile development and Test-Driven Development (TDD).
I currently play Pathfinder 2E and other tabletop role-playing games (aka "dungeons and dragons") and play in a game fairly regularly, and usually run/organize them. I also am a developer on the Pathfinder 2E system for FoundryVTT although taking a break currently. I also created and developed PDFToFoundry which is a module that takes a PDF file that contains an adventure and extracts all the text from it and creates journal entries inside FoundryVTT. If you know anything about PDF files you'll understand the benefit this provides. Additionally, it extracts the images and creates maps and several other features. I've also printed several minis for my in-person game using my 3D printer, and even sculpted a custom mini for a boss encounter in Blender by myself!
Throughout my life, I have played video games. During my school years, I wanted to be a video game programmer when I grew up, but I decided against it. After seeing all the burnout in the gamedev industry I think I dodged a bullet there. Currently I'm mainly playing World of Warcraft Classic semi-casually with the occasional game of PUBG with my friends. When I was younger, I also played World of Warcraft and helped make addons for it. Before that, I helped create Fortress Forever which was a source remake of Team Fortress Classic, which was a game I played a lot and competitively, and even made maps for the game.
Another big hobby of mine is programming and robotics. I've competed in combat robot events since 2002. I've mostly done small robots (1 pound), but also competed with the featherweight "Bird of Prey" and lightweight "V for Victory" at RoboGames.
In 2019, I got invited to compete in BattleBots with the robot "Kingpin" that "won" in a three-way fight with Daisy Cutter Deep Six, and lost against Shatter! before suffering a catastrophic fire that took us out of the event. The fights weren't super great and the former got released on youtube and the other was the extra fight in the Science channel version of the show.
My dad and I also run a robot combat event in Rocklin called Botgeddon.
It's not a combat robot, but my friend Joe and I also made an Autonomous Airsoft Gun that shoots targets for a competition at Defcon.
Origin of Kingpin #
At a company celebration, everyone got to go bowling at a local bowling alley. There were several awards for the best scores individually and by team. I bowled in a league when I was a kid, and took a bowling elective in community college so I am a pretty decent bowler. I ended up winning the event and taking home the coveted "Kingpin" trophy. One of my co-workers kept referring to me as the Kingpin in meetings, and my name on status reports got changed to Kingpin.
For the next company bowling event, I decided to take it to 11, so I designed and 3D printed a crown and had my dad make me a purple robe/cloak and bowling shirt. It turned out great and everyone loved it.
After getting rejected for BattleBots, I realized I needed a better theme, and realized I could adopt the persona of the Kingpin and my dad and I built robot Kingpin which competed in the 2019 season of BattleBots.
Origin of FryGuy #
My handle is "FryGuy" online. I've gotten a few inquiries as to why I chose this name, and I suppose I can explain it here even though It's kind of silly. First of all, it is not because I am a fry cook, or because I eat fries all the time (although I do eat my share of them). Also it's not because I smoke marijuana and I'm always fried. I got the nickname in second grade when I had a yellow McDonald's sweatshirt which had a couple McDonald's characters on it, one of which was FryGuy. At school recess when playing tetherball, a kid from another grade always called me FryGuy because he didn't know my name. Anyways, when I made it to Junior High, he saw me again and remembered me as FryGuy. I was looking for an online name to use around that time and decided to choose that one. And the rest is history.