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In the Beginning...

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After finally establishing a GDNet+ account, it is kind of exciting to write my first journal entry. I thought the best way to start keeping an account of my development would be to look into the past and see how it all began:

Developing video games had always been very interesting to me. Like many aspiring game designers, I drained hundreds of pens and trashed a few thousand trees in my conquest to design the greatest game ever. Most of these 'games' never really amounted to much, but game development does not die so easily.

Eventually I went to college and found myself in the computer science program. Although I enjoyed coding a lot, most of my classes didn't offer material that was of direct use in game/graphics programming. That all changed when I took CS 375: Programming Windows with MFC. All of a sudden, I had the ability to show colors, shapes, and bitmaps on the screen! I could register mouse clicks! It was like a dream come true.

Within the first two weeks of the MFC class I had begun a great plan to take my greatest-game-of-all-time-on-paper and transform it through code into the greatest-game-since-Diablo 1-on-the-PC . Unfortunately, Diablo II came out soon after, and I realized that game development is not easy.

By the end of the semester, I had a fully functional game. I called it 'Exodus' and it involved a little man running around a bunch of rocks trying to evade a spider. It is probably the single worst example of game programming ever. First, it was in MFC using uber-hacked GDI drawing functions. Second, I had no idea there was such a thing as the 'Game Loop'. Without this knowledge, it was hard for me to comprehend how to get the spider to move without basing it on the user's input. Solution: make a seperate thread for the spider!

I managed to dig out a screenshot of the game for your viewing pleasure. I updated the graphics on it about 2 years ago. I am both proud and humbled by my entry into game development.

After college I moved to Kansas City and started working at a chemistry research lab. Game development ceased...until I found GameDev.net.

In a matter of weeks, the hundreds of problems and questions I had about game development were found digging through the deep resources here. I started programming again, and this time, it was a whole different ballgame.

That was over a year ago, and since then I have learned much. Around six months ago I decided to go big or go home. I began development on what is now known as Warmage:Exodus -- an action RPG designed with a shareware release in mind. Since then, life has been crazy. I have been working, programming, contracting out artwork and still learning how to make things just a little bit better.

Warmage: Exodus has been playable for a couple of months, and now much of the original artwork is finished for the tech demo. Hopefully, I'll be able to track development progress with this journal as things move on.

It isn't quite fair to talk about a game and not show any screenshots, but in the meantime I thought a sample of the artwork would be nice.

Caiden, protagonist of Warmage: Exodus

To be continued...
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Thank you very much.

I think this journal will probably be my most useful resource in receiving feedback for W:E during these early stages. I am quite excited about that.

What is really ironic, is that for a year and a half I never checked the journal seciton of GameDev, only to realize now that it's the best section here.

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I'm so glad I clicked on the link to this journal, because this looks like an interesting project [smile].

Good luck, I promise to look each time you update your journal [smile].

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