Hi folks! If you’re following me on Twitter, you’re probably already aware of this, but I’ve started working on a game in my free time! Which, with a full time job, three young kids, and a dog and a house and everything else life contains, isn’t much actual time – but I’m actually making pretty fast progress!
I have always wanted to create games, that’s actually how I got into programming in general. When I was a kid I asked my dad, who was a programmer, how I could make a game, and he ended up showing me HTML as a starting point (No idea why he picked that but he did). In High School I took a Java class, and I eventually got into web development – which led to my career that I love. But there’s always been a part of me that still wanted to make games.
I’ve had a lot of ideas over the years, and I’ve even spent some trying to execute on them, but I never got very far. Gaming in general seemed to have moved off the web – whereas I grew up with things like Neopets, and flash games, that sort of thing has been replaced with the millions of games we have on our phones. I had no idea how to make anything that could run on a phone, or a Switch, or really anything besides the browser. A few years ago I tried learning Unity 3D but I fizzled out pretty quickly because it was a little overwhelming, and I didn’t really have any ideas I was excited about.
Over Thanksgiving, after our delicious dinner that I made, I was taking a nap, and I woke up with an idea. I won’t give away too much about it right now, but it was exciting enough to me that I got up and started working on it. I wrote down my idea, and kept adding to it. I knew I didn’t want to use Unity again, so I did some research on other tools, and the one that stood out to me was GameMaker Studio 2. I found some really good tutorial series, and the next day, I got started.
Since then, I’ve been working on it almost every day. I’ve been taking most of the weekend to work on it, and spending almost every night after my kids go to bed to work on it.
I’ve been tweeting about it as I work, so if you are interested in reading real-time updates, please check out my Twitter. It’s full of gems like this:
I’m also going to try to post a weekly summary here of the progress, and things I’ve learned, for the long term. GameMaker Studio 2 is a very cool tool, and it’s been really easy to get started – once I had followed a few tutorials, I felt confident enough to start my own code from scratch. I realized after I kept running into bugs, that I was missing the TDD style coding I’m used to – so I looked for, found, installed and improved a Unit Testing extension for GML. I’ll blog more about this, but I also live-tweeted my work on the tool.
I look forward to sharing more about this with people, the response I’ve gotten on Twitter has been overwhelmingly supportive, and I really appreciate it!