Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Introductions are in order...

Who am I?  If you're reading this, you probably have some interest in game development.  My interest in game development started back in the days of the original Nintendo system (the 8-bit version!).  I remember playing Super Mario for hours on end.  The first game I bought was probably Batman for NES, back in 1989.  Good times.

It was around that time that my dad bought me my first PC, an XT with 640Kb of memory and a 20Mb hard drive.  I still remember the monitor: a CGA screen capable of 4 colours!  I would play King's Quest, Police Quest and Space Quest in glorious cyan, red, green, and yellow.  And as for sound, we were taken to aural ecstasy through a PC speaker that only output beeps.

My uncle was the one who introduced me to programming.  He taught me how to program my first "Hello World" on Turbo Pascal 5.x.  I was hooked.  The first app I wrote by myself was a calculator that could add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  I had turned my $2000 PC into an oversized $1 gadget.  Wow.

In high school, I was introduced to Street Fighter 2 and it caught me hook, line, and sinker.  My buddies and I would go anywhere that had a SF2 arcade machine and play for hours on end.  I spent way too much time dreaming about making my own fighting game.

In my high school computer class, the programming language of choice was Turing and I learned it inside out.  After spending way too many hours in the computer lab, I completed my first game: SpartanX.  It was a two player turn-based game played on a grid map.  The goal was to use your ship to destroy the opponent's ship.  The interface was completely graphical with a 320x200 resolution and 256 colours.  I even programmed my own graphics file format and graphics editor (with a "fill" algorithm!).  When you got bored killing each other, I had a map editor where you could make your own battle grounds complete with walls and water hazards.

In 1995, I went to university.  That's where I seem to have lost my passion.  I stopped programming and spent too much time hanging out with friends and doing "university things".  The funny thing was, I was in a computer science program in university and I was working at Electronics Boutique (they sell video games!). I had so much influence and inspiration all around me.  But it was this period of my life that I lost the interest in it.  One thing led to another, and now I find myself as a happily married father of two wonderful girls, working as a database administrator for a large Canadian bank.

What happened?  Why am I not working for Capcom or EA?  I don't know, but it's been a long, long time and I am starting to feel an itch again.

When cell phones began coming out with colour screens and little time-waster games I had a feeling that it wouldn't be long until technology caught up and we'd start seeing more advanced games on more advanced cell phone devices.  I thought that it would be good if I could catch that wave.  Then in 2007, Apple came out with the iPhone.  The games on the iPhone were great: fast, fun, and not too advanced or complex.  This was a market that independent game developers could prosper from.  But alas, there were too many roadblocks.  Development for iPhone was only available on a Mac, and I was a PC user.  We were expecting a second child, so free time was to be drastically reduced.  Also, I heard that the process for getting your app approved and put up on the App Store was tedious and troublesome.  Time went on, and I started feeling like I was missing the wave. 

In 2009, I began hearing about Android, Google's operating system for smartphone devices.  It was said to be a strong competitor to the iPhone.  It was new.  It was Google!  This could be my opportunity.  A few months ago, I took the plunge and installed the SDK and tinkered a bit.  A few weeks ago, I decided to start working on a small game.  Nothing big or complex.  Just a simple time-waster of a game.  Maybe even put it up on the android market for free.  Last week, I started working on some of my game engine components and decided to blog about it.  Here goes...

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Do you know where and how I can install SWYPE on my Xperia 10 ?

    Much appreciated.