Hello world! (how many of us have written that at some point?...)
It occurred to me that:
- I don't engage in this community nearly enough.
- I never properly introduced myself
Secondly, I hope that I'll be able to share my own wisdom and insight to give back as much as I hope to gain from this community.
Now all that 'formal' rubbish is out of the way, I can introduce myself properly.
Hi, my name is Leon and there is nothing I find more enjoyable than programming games or working on them in ANY way.
It all started with Basic programming on an old Amstrad. Boy that was fun! I always enjoyed programming and figuring things out more than the actual game that I created at the end. I find myself very rarely playing my own games!
Then I got into Visual Basic to teach myself a bit of "real" game programming... how wrong I was! But it gave me insight into all kinds of structures and logic and functions, etc.
So, all these years on. I've written my own versions of Tetris, Pacman, Breakout, Asteroids, Chess, a simple side-scrolling shooter and a simple platformer. I plan to share some of these soon. Most of these are cross-platform and the chess game is networked multiplayer. Really enjoyed playing chess against a friend who was on an iMac!
Also, I worked as a PR Manager for an RTS game called SunAge. As the project was delayed by unforeseen circumstances, it ended up rushed out. This was a major issue as we'd not had time to properly test the game and it went out in a terrible state. Capitalizing on the dire situation, I managed to get the position of Lead QA and quickly organised a team of volunteer testers (money was too tight for paid testers at the time). A month and a half on, we'd squashed such a vast amount of problems that several review sites REWROTE their reviews for the latest patch and gave us scores than were MASSIVELY improved. (If you'd like a copy, feel free to contact me as the game is no longer available in stores.)
Also, I wrote an awful lot of the english text for the SunAge manual and website, being the only native english speaker on the team at the time. My attempt at creative and informative writing! The game story was written before I joined, so you can't blame me for that!
I have two passions:
- Create enjoyable games with a retro-feel. (I'm sick of shiny, bump-mapped, over-the-top 3d models.)
- Write and share easy-to-read, well-commented cross-compatible code.
So now I've started work on the largest and more complex project I've ever undertaken. And I'm sure most of you will groan but my passion always lay in real-time strategy games, so that is my next project!
I'm here to get a few hints, tips and avoid a few pitfalls. But hopefully I'll find a few places I can help and share wisdom.
Probably uninteresting tidbits
- I worked with C++ pointers for months without knowing what the heck a "seg fault" was. Kept hearing complaints from friends of mine and I had no idea what they were. Turns out that all of my code prepared for the occurrence and handled it. I'd heard of dangling pointers and null pointers but I didn't know they cause a "seg fault" error until I debugged code that belonged to a friend of mine.
- I love cross-platform code. As such I've used SDL for most of my projects to wrap the cross-platform code and allow me to concentrate on the game itself. I required a bit more power and switched to using OpenGL as a renderer. So, I wrote an incredibly convoluted piece of code to convert SDL_Surfaces to GLTextures. I still regret that hacky piece of programming to this day.
- On several occasions I have tried to create games well out of my depth. These include trying to create an RTS as my FIRST EVER PROJECT, attempting a 3d-racing game as my first darkbasic project, failing at an object orientated RPG before I even knew what inheritance was and I'm sure many others.
I hope you enjoyed reading introduction and lastly, Hi!