Blog (Pre-Medium)

Game Dev With The UnderDev’d #1

I’m going to be frank. I’m shit at making awesome things. Or rather, I’m really good at making a lot of slightly-better-than-mediocre things. Jack of some trades, master of (break out laughing here).

But this is not another exercise in getting off on self-deprecation.* What I’m going to introduce today is basically the culmination of what I’ve learned in the last 20+ years of attempting to develop something… an actual, honest-to-goodness, hand-“crafted” video game. It’s pretty terrible, but at least I made (am making) it. Think of this as the first entry in Burpy Fresh Games’ dev blog. A (somewhat less failed) fresh start after 20+ years of failure.

Just to give a little bit of background, I started coding on a TRS-80 back in the …mid 80s, I guess? I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a tape drive so I could store my code, so I would either take snippets of code from the coding book that came with it, type them in, and then mess with them and then shut the computer off, only to have to read from the book again, or I would write my creations down on a piece of paper. Fun.

Over the years, I got a bit better at things. Or rather, technology got better enough** so that I could almost make something. In the 90s I worked up a text based Dragon Quest style Zork rip off in Java, but I gave up after I realized text based adventures were never going to make a come back.***  I also tried to make a Zelda clone, again in Java, but I couldn’t figure out how to get smooth movement without updating the whole screen. I probably should have tried learning something else, but Java was the only language I really knew of that didn’t have crazy memory management issues. But both object oriented programming and I were kinda shit back then, so I gave up.

I gave up a lot.

About 2 years ago, a few buddies and I started going to Seoul Indies, (@seoulindies), and from there BitSummit and BICFest. I met a lot of people, and kinda got it in my head that I could actually try to make something on my own.I got a hold of Unity 4 something, and after a month or two, I gave up and instead took up creative crying and drinking classes at the Y. But then I downloaded Unity 5, and something amazing happened.

I closed, then reopened the program and managed to get my windows back to the same layout I had them before.

This, my friends, was ground breaking. Knowing how to use tabs gave me the confidence to start a new game. The smallest game idea I ever had, so I would have the best chance of finishing it. Now, all I had to do was learn to program, make art, make music, and not completely suck.

Challenge Accepted. Right now we’re about 50% done. I just gotta make it pretty. And functional.

The Burpy Fresh Dev Blog will return with “Controller Clash – Sticking to a Failed Concept.”

*We’re gonna try reeeeaaaaaaal hard…

**1. Yes, better enough. Deal.

***Well… not a major comeback anyway.

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