Thursday, 16 June 2011

General Update - 16th June 2011

Okay, so my semester of university study is actually over this time. For reals. Had my programming exam Tuesday afternoon, and think I went fairly well. I know I got some stuff wrong like an algorithm for one of the early questions, but I wrote it out in pseudo code and java anyway just to prove I knew some stuff. It's going to be a while before I get my results back, though.

But now that everything's done, I have a few weeks to do some work in my spare time. Build up my portfolio a little, learn some new programs and work on a few projects of my own.

I went down to the local library last week and picked up one of Stephen King's short story compilations, since I hadn't read anything in a while and wanted a bit of inspiration for a psychological horror-based game. So far I haven't had inspiration for that - but his works have inspired some ideas for other small games that I might be able to work on myself. Hopefully I'll be able to do enough with them to be able to pitch something by next  year. At the very least, I want to be able to come up with a few different game concepts to file away that I can bring out when the time is right.

I've started playing around with Flash again since holidays started. I've created a few simple programs so far, and it's proving hard to keep myself from rushing ahead at times. Last night I tried grabbing someone's code for a Pong game, but even though I could see which parts of it didn't work so well and which parts of the design I wanted to improve, my knowledge of Actionscript 3.0 just wasn't enough.

A Flash Program I wrote demonstrating a few basic skills - importing objects to the stage from a library, drawing shapes using ActionScript, creation of working buttons, rotation of objects using code - all that sort of basic crap.


I think the other problem is that for the past six weeks or so I've been learning Object Orientation with Java. So when I jump back to basic code, regardless of the language, it just seems really messy and gross to work with. Especially when the programmers don't format their code right or name variables terribly vague things or whatever.

I don't have much else to say today, but I wanted to post an update anyway. So I think I'll finish with a motivational quote from Jesse Schell, in his book "The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses" - just something that I read today which felt pretty inspiring, but also felt like it could be applied to any field and not just game design.

"Well, here is a little secret about gifts. There are two kinds. First, there is the innate gift of a given skill. This is the minor gift.
[...]
The major gift is love of the work. If you have the major gift, the love of designing games, you will design using whatever limited skills you have. And you will keep doing it. And your love for the work will shine through, infusing your work with an indescribable glow that only comes from the love of doing it. And through practice, your game design skills, like muscles, will grow and become more powerful, until eventually your skills will be as great, or greater than, those of someone who only has the minor gift. And people will say "Wow. That one is a truly gifted game designer." They will think you have the minor gift, of course, but only you will know the secret source of your skill, which is the major gift: love of the work."

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on being finished the semester! Hopefully you have an enjoyable break until the next semester begins. And hopefully you will be able to get some good progress on the game you hope to make in the future blogs. As I had mentioned I had wanted to learn some basic game programming myself, so over the last month I have been teaching myself C++ using the book "Beginning C++ Game Programming". Thus far I have not reached the skills yet to make an action game but was able to make a nice little text adventure with a full inventory system. Small step in the big scheme of things, but an important step for myself. Enjoyable little hobby to keep me busy some nights. I am excited to see the game you come up with by the end of the summer :). Cheers,

    Fraffy

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