Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Update on crazy solo project progress

Hey all!  So, it's been two weeks since announcing that I was learning to code, going the route of some solo projects, and that Gab and I are moving the family abroad.  So, here's quick bulletpoint updates for those who care:

We leave Thursday for France and Spain

No, not for a permanent move yet.  We're still trying to lock down the region we want to move to.  We're about to spend two weeks driving in southern France, and four days in Barcelona to see if anything in those regions captivate us enough to move there.  Fingers crossed, I'd love to get the move underway.  If not though, at least we will have gorged on amazing food and seen some stunning visuals.

I'm learning to code in JavaScript (UnityScript) with Unity

After loads of research and suggestions from knowledgable friends, I picked JavaScript (UnityScript, potato potatoe, the buttons say JS for a reason) and Unity as my jumping off point into coding.  I found a fantastic series of video tutorials that are laid out like a college course with sample projects to create, and I dove in.  It's kind of staggering the amount of educational material out there for people who want to learn this stuff... it continues to come down to a person's motivation to learn this stuff.  It's pretty much all free if you have an even halfway decent computer.

Here's the series I've been going through.  If you want to learn game creation, this is as fine a leaping off point as I could suggest.  The Walker brothers used to teach at SMU Guildhall and posted this massive chunk of tutorials.  They're excellent for someone with a bit of background in art or production who wants to learn the coding side:


Nope, haven't started a specific game yet

Despite nearly busting at the seams with enthusiasm and inspiration for different prototypes, I am not starting a specific game just yet.  I know I could start creating artwork for a game now and be off and running, but I want to do this right, methodically.  I want to get a more broad exposure to coding first, and complete the series of tutorials and test projects before allowing myself to leave "tutorial mode".  If I sat down over the next month and created a ton of art assets, it would be a crutch, the 'safe' stuff I already know how to do, and at the end I'd be no closer to being a self sufficient game creator.

I'll be at GDC

A matter of days after returning from Europe, I will be heading to San Fran for GDC (the Game Developer's Conference).  Not working in an office around friends means it's always going to be a challenge to feel connected to the industry.  Damnit, I couldn't skip my favorite event this year, even though I'm only heading out for Wed-Fri instead of the whole week.

Work space is set up

I've got my office set up and purring along again in the original BitMonster offices... otherwise known as my basement.  I won't lie, I'm basically high on having the flexibility of home life and being productive on my own schedule.  As many clever managers could tell you, if you remove the mandatory structures to people's work, often they're much more productive by holding themselves to their own yardstick.  I want to be down there more than I know is healthy... it'll take a while to learn balance and how to live life focusing on work when I'm working, and not working when I'm not.  But, that's a must.

Oculus Rift

I'm all aboard the VR train.  I've got a snazzy Oculus Rift VR setup going, and I'm loving it.  I have pretty poor vision in my right eye, and perhaps that is somehow beneficial because I'm experiencing none of the nausea or discomfort some people have claimed they feel in a full VR goggle rig like that.  I absolutely love the technology and immersion this technical direction offers, and plan on supporting the hell out of it with my future projects.  I don't think I'd make something yet that *requires* VR goggles, but I'm damn sure willing to bias towards projects that can take advantage of them incredibly well.

I think the companies that are creating all this VR potential are doing a huge part to stoke gamer's and dev's imagination in a time where it's easy to be depressed about various aspects of the gaming industry.  I absolutely want to be part of this stage of gaming.  Yeah, it's not perfect... yet.  I'm not one to wait for all the lights to turn green before moving forward though.

1 comment:

  1. Dude. I love all of this except the Javascript part. Get on the C# train, please.