Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.

Little Mac doing what
we've all dreamed of
I'm a nerd.  I've long known this fact, and don't really try to hide it.  Hell, when I was in high school I ate lunch in the Latin room with other kids from my Latin class.  I was clearly already beyond all hope even then.  So it may come as no big surprise that I really like video games...always have.  I remember our family getting and NES and  spending way too much time with it.  For the longest time, as far as I was concerned, that Mario/Duck Hunt cart could have been soldered into the damn system and I would have been perfectly fine; but there's only so much of your life you can lose to trying to shoot that snarky dog every time you miss a duck.

I still remember way too much
about his game.
Then I discovered Final Fantasy.  I don't even want to know how many hours I sank into that game.  The numbers.  I think it was the numbers.  Keeping track of all those stats, watching damage numbers fly by with message speed turned up to the max, leveling up, class changes, it was as if someone had wired directly into my brain's reward system.  That's probably what got the snowball rolling.  After that I was always looking for something new to play.

There was even a time when I thought I would program games.  I was always good at math and a relatively logical person.  I dabbled in programming on my TI-83, but once a classmate taught me how to crash it, that's basically all I ever did.  So I never got around to learning to program, maybe because where I went to school growing up Keyboarding was about as high tech as we got.  Also, I've always been terrible at self-motivating, and playing video games was, for 15 year old me, infinitely more exciting than learning how for-loops work.

But it's a new year, and resolutions and blah blah blah.  Usually I don't even bother, but this year I heard about Codecademy and New York's whole "Code Year" initiative.  "That's really neat," I thought.  "I can totally do that.  Besides, it'll look good on a resume right?"  So I started dabbling in the first few lessons up on the site, and that's when it hit me:

"Oh man!  I could write a program that calculates my students' grades and automatically drops the specified number of lowest assignments!"  I spent a good 10 or 20 minutes being genuinely excited about this prospect before this next epiphany:

"Shit I'm old...and boring..."

So screw that (for now), I have a new resolution.  I'm doing my own Code Year and by the end I will have made my own game.  Sure it'll be small, probably without art or sound design, just some kind of text based game; but hey, it'll be mine.  Going from essentially no experience to something I can get other people to admit is a game, regardless of its quality, should be totally doable...right?  So I guess that's what this blog will be about...mostly.  I also reserve the right to make posts about just whatever the hell appeals to me at the time, but I'll do my best to keep it interesting and not stray too far.

*All screenshots courtesy of the good folks at Giantbomb