Thanks for writing in Eric. I was afraid I was not going to hear anything. I welcome all feedback, negative and positive.. I can't learn from silence. Was it clear what was going on? There is more explanation in the blog.
I updated the thread title as you suggested.
I was actually a driving force behind bringing Houdini to Insomniac about 3 yrs ago now to build the world of Sunset Overdrive. The learning curve is steep, though getting people (design, art, etc) to buy-in and even try to use it is was the bigger hurdle, I had just begun to play, so we hired a guy from the film world to do the work.
I would love to find a gig where I get to use Houdini on a regular basis. The adoption of houdini has been much slower than I expected to be honest. I thought at the time this was the future and it would spread like wildfire.
Of the handful of people I know doing houdini work in game studios, they are all primarily focused on level art - which makes sense. Though VFX and lighting is a good one too.
I have no problem with level art at all, I'd be happy doing level work too, my best friends from my last gig were all senior and principal lvl guys. I just have a decade of building characters, so to me, it is the next frontier, and a niche I don't see anyone else exploring as actively. Plus I selfishly see potential in how it can benefit making characters and assets because that is what I have done for years - so I don't have to think too hard to come up with problems to solve, or tools I've wanted for years.
I am trying to update my blog every week with a new tool. Hopefully In another day or two I will wrap up my "smart UV's" - which adjust to fit and orient to the texture underneath them. Its the first piece of tech towards a much bigger optimization tool I have had in the back of my head for a few years now.