Makin’ Games

Although I know a lot about games and I’ve certainly played a significant number, making my own has never really crossed my mind. I came in when consoles were in full swing and so missed the days of easily programmable home micros, and a couple of attempts to learn anything more complicated than HTML have come to nothing.

It’s been at the back of my mind, though. Working on Retro Gamer, I frequently read interviews with people who made masterpieces in their bedrooms before they’d even finished school, which I suppose has made an impact, and then I’ve run into something of a perfect storm: Code Year, talk of the recent overhaul of school computing – which, as someone with an A-level in the useless old-style ICT, makes me insanely jealous – and the push behind the homebrew-friendly Raspberry Pi, all mixed in with a bit of a self-improvement bent on which I’ve found myself.

So Code Year’s been teaching me the fundamentals through building basic applications and games in JavaScript, and on the recommendation of some forum buddies I’ve started learning Python as well. I can’t do much beyond play with variables, but within a couple of weeks I know enough to make my computer draw a grid, simulate a dice roll, or move a sprite wherever I tell it. Baby steps, but I can see how these fundamentals build up into something that could legitimately be called a game.

I’m not going to go so far as to drop everything and embark on a career in development – not the most stable area right now – or get ahead of myself by announcing that I’m creating the next Minecraft, but man,┬áit’s a good feeling when you can feel it clicking. It’s a string to my bow and something I want as a hobby so that I’m not strictly a consumer when it comes to computing.

I will make Shenmue III once I’ve worked out how to get lookingForSailors() running on a Dreamcast, though.


One thought on “Makin’ Games”

  1. Hi Olly – if you need any help drop me a line, happy to help get you started, answer any coding questions you have or at the very least point you in the right direction!

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