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How I Got Going

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I had someone comment on my last blog and he had some very great questions to ask. I answered those questions there but I figured I would include my answer here just in case some people wanted to know where a casual game developer like me climbed the ladder growing up. If you are curious about the post where this comment came from there will be a link below. Enjoy!

What first encouraged me to start making games was actually when I was very young and played a game called Roblox. It was a website where you you build, share, and play games with other people and so I used to make games and share them with my friends and brothers. Some of them actually ended up being relatively popular and I had nearly half a million people play my games. That really inspired me to be a game developer and throughout my gaming career I've always been more inclined to make games than to play them. For example, I'd always be the person building in Minecraft rather than fighting and mining - back when I used to play that game that is. That being said, the very first time that I felt I had truly made my mark in the game development world was a mod I made for Skyrim called the Autumn of Whiterun. It was a recreation of the city of Whiterun that essentially made the entire city and surrounding lands a big beautiful forest rather than the bleak wasteland that always bothered me. That mod actually did really well and ended up getting near 100 thousand downloads between Steam and the Nexus. Of course, the mod is and has always been free so I never really continued to spend my time on something that I wasn't getting much out of. After a while I started to pick up game development again and found the Cryengine. It was a free SDK with lots of assets and was relatively easy to use. The latest evolution of the software is the program which I was able to create these images in.

Referring to your question about the struggle to develop a game idea, I've found that the best way for me to go about game development is to start with a theme. A good example is a nearly full hour experience I made on the old version of the Cryengine that you can explore and interact with. I wasn't certain what it was going to be or what it was going to look like, but I knew I wanted it to be a forest at night with a big silent lake. And so, I was able to create an environment based on that idea. Perhaps a better example I could use would be the picture I posted here with the walls and the statue. Originally, the only idea I had was the walls and the forest. After making all the walls and a full forest with a lake (which you can't see all of at all in the scene), I found a position for the camera that I liked best. From that position, I added the house and the dock and eventually thought it would be interesting to add a sunken statue. That statue turned out to be the subject of the scene even though it was the very last thing I added. In conclusion, I find that the best way to develop an idea for your game is to start with something simple and give the world you create a certain personality that will eventually develop itself into something remarkable.

And finally, the programming question. If I would describe my ability to program in one word that word would be: limited. But have faith! I have a few things that I think could be helpful to hear. First of all, my programming background is being self taught in Lua. If you haven't heard about Lua before, I'm not surprised. It's a very basic and relatively under-powered programming language that is used in just about nothing as far as I can tell. And I'm no expert on Lua either - on top of definitely being rusty at coding in general. Don't worry, there is still hope! I am actually currently enrolled in multiple programming classes in order to learn a bit more and maybe get into C++ and/or C# among other languages. So give me a few months and I'll get back to you on that aspect of my game development capabilities. However, I have a solution! The answer is to not code at all! Incidentally, programs I use like the Cryengine have something called a flowgraph that allow you to basically connect the dots between code segments to create scripts that actually work. Granted they might not be as powerful or as customizable as actually writing the code, they are very easy to understand and are great for creating quick and easy scripts to use in your game that require no expertise, just some critical logic. And I know for a fact that other game engines such as the Unreal Engine use very similar flowgraphs to make scripting quick and easy.

I hope this has been helpful, sorry for the massive length :D If there are any more questions I can answer or if you want to see more of what I've done I'd be glad to help out and make another post!

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[color=rgb(29,33,41)][font='Helvetica Neue']Mar 21 2017 06:23 AMHi and I would like to thank you for the images that you posted on. They do look like part of an actual game. But if may, I would like to ask a pair questions. What encourage you to start think about starting a game? And what struggles could you find as you develope the game idea? What could be one of the struggles that could be found in programming?[/font][/color]

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