Let's build a game

June 21, 2018

Hey there! The winds have blown me in a new direction and this site is now just an archive for posterity's sake. All the new action will be happening at StayWildGames.com. I'll have a writeup detailing the move soon.

It’s time to scratch the itch.

Building a game has always been a romantic daydream, but never in the cards. I’ve been building websites since college and keeping up with the ever-changing web ecosystem has consumed all the time I allocated to learning new things on the computer. I’m honestly not even sure what JavaScript web framework I’m supposed to know at this point. It’s exhausting just trying to keep up. It’s probably why I’m posting this via a Rails app.

It’s with a bit of trepidation that I begin a new journey. I’ve made two large course corrections during my career, but moving into game development would eclipse them both. The first big change I had to wrestle with was going from web designer to web developer. It’s true I never left the design side of things behind completely. If you’re coding interfaces you are still largely working with, and likely creating, design elements. That being said, it took a long time to feel okay with primarily concerning myself with how the site worked vs how it looked.

The second semi-large gamble I made (and eventually lost) was to go all in on Flash. Thanks Steve. To this day my grasp of ActionScript 3 is the strongest I’ve had on any language. I flew around Flex and then Flash Builder. I could (and often did) build damn near anything. I loved the idea of being able to compile to the web and Air apps with relative ease. Hell, I even made a little mini-game for a microsite I designed and built a while back.

Flash mini-game

Unfortunately, Flash is dead now. It makes me sad because I loved working in it. But I’ve started reading a new book and since I’ve opened Unity I’m starting to get a little nostalgic. I know little to nothing about the application so far, but the mention of frames and attaching code to objects is definitely bringing back some memories of the good old days.

And yes, I’ve chosen Unity over a plethora of other choices because it’s extremely popular and cross-platform. I have no desire to reinvent the wheel when it comes to game development environments. I assume that bridge has been crossed thousands of times and I trust the community consensus that Unity is a great tool (undoubtedly with flaws) that will allow me to build great games for the foreseeable future.

So, I guess I’ve got a little C# to get used to. I think I’m going to opt for JetBrains’ Rider for an IDE. I’m used to RubyMine so it hopefully won’t be too large of a departure. This is the fun part of a journey. No idea what to expect and a big sea in front of you. Off I go!