Yet another blog where the title of the post should be “It has been a while”. While this is fitting, it doesn’t explain much, so let’s get into that!

My latest posts have been related to “Games to Poop too”, and I have been playing the same game for the last 6 weeks or so, Outwitters, but I haven’t wanted to take the time to write about it. I’ve been busy with something else.

I have been doing a little drawing, but I haven’t felt the desire to post it on here. I’ve been busy with something else.

Now before I unleash the proverbial cat, or if anyone is really on the edge of their seat right now let’s call it a lion, my newest activity is contained within reason and rational. It is something I’m passionate about, but I also have a family and a full time job, so I’m keeping things in perspective, and have labeled it “hobby”. This hobby has been in the works for a number of years with it’s highs and lows, but now that I’m in South Dakota, I’ve taken the opportunity to concentrate on learning to program. This is something that helps me at work, because everyone I work with is a programmer, but it also helps me pursue my passion.

Indie game development has been on a steady incline since Al Gore invented the internet. He didn’t, but you can always rely on Fox News to spread a ridiculous rumor. Things like Steam, The Humble Indie Bundle, Xbox Arcade, Wii Ware, whatever Sony has going on, and the mobile space, have really given small teams the medium to publish and market their games. Tools like Unity, Game Maker, Stencyl, etc have given these same teams the tools to develop something in a timely mannor. No longer does a person have write an entire game engine by scratch.

Games have been my passion since I was 5 with the NES, and I’ve always had the underlying dream to be a game developer. In college, while studying motion graphics and animation, I began to seriously question the financial viability of that path. Later as I began to talk to people in the industry, and the big game culture began to creep out on personal blogs and news sites the dream of being a game developer began to diminish. Being a blind cog in an enormous machine for years does not intrigue me.

Indie game the movie

This is where the concept of indie comes in. I was aware of the scene, but it honestly wasn’t until I watched Indie Game: The Movie, that I thought I could get into it. I was inspired by the touching stories of every one of them. The passion, and the personality they put into their work was intense, it was personal and an extension of themselves.

I’ve been self teaching myself programming for months now. I started with JavaScript, then went to Python, and now I’m getting deepest into the Objective-C world. Not necessarily because I want to make iPhone games or anything, but because the MacBook is a fantastic development environment. Also, with the popularity of Apple these days, I can’t see a reason not to explore the games on mac. I started my journey with Lynda.com, which is fantastic for learning the basics, but NOT great for retention. I need something with assignments and I even considered going back to school, but have recently been going through “The Big Nerd Range Guide” and the challenges at the end of each chapter have been fantastic. I’ve always learned better through application and problem solving on your own is invaluable.

xcode

But now I’m at a bit of a crossroads. I have 3 game ideas that I’ve been slowly fleshing out, and I’ve been doing some programming exercises, but at what point do I just start making games? Is it best to just start going on a prototype  and learn the programming techniques as I go? If anyone has any advice in that regard let me know.

That is my path toward something new. A hobby, that so far is saturating my every free minute. At work I listen to podcasts, and at night I code/prototype. BTW, if anyone knows of some great podcasts related to game development I’d love to hear about them.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: