Greetings weary traveller...
Something like the above line was how my entry into the world of online gaming looked like, when I first discovered the internet, and with that, MUDs, around 1998.
For those of you who weren't around back then - a MUD (Multi User Dungeon) is a text based multiplayer role-playing game, played over the internet via Telnet or specialized MUD clients.
My fate was sealed - too much time playing MUD and too little studying (chemistry) caused me to pursue software development instead.
At the same time I always knew what I really wanted to do was make games.
I started writing MUD zones - one made it to my mud of choice - "Land of Legends" - but unfortunately it closed down for good several years ago.
At the same time I also started trying to write an online game on my own. First a MUD, but soon I wanted to go graphical and started working on a 3D isometric engine. This was around the year 2002, and I was programming in Java.
I lost motivation on and off, tried a little C++ and OpenGL and as I was using .Net professionally also took a look at XNA.
One of my main reasons for giving up several times was how hard it was to get acceptable game art. I knew I would never be able to draw or model an even remotely acceptable monster, let alone a main character...
Then I discovered Unity and the Asset Store - it is now perfectly feasible to make a complete game demo with high quality graphical assets bought for tens of dollars, as opposed to the thousands of dollars one would have to spend to have a 3D artist create something custom.
This gave me hope - even though a finished commercial game would of course need a real investment in custom assets a complete and polished demo can be made for a few hundred dollars.
I also had a personal breakthough in pathfinding. Where I have been implementing A* several times in the past it has always been on graphs - discrete node based structures. How to do this in a continuous space like a polygon puzzled me.
Then one day when reading on the internet I found a few ressources that explained it to me, and I quickly implemented a simple polygonal pathfinding algorithm.