Brave New World

Published: Sun 19 March 2023

Category: misc.

This is the beginning of my journey into the world of game development. Well, maybe that's a bit too dramatic. Let me catch you up (don't worry, it won't take long).

A Brief History

I started programming around 2008/9 initially because I wanted to make games, and that's what I spent the first few years doing. Small flash games, back before flash was dead and gone.

As I grew up I realised that programming was something you could actually be paid to do. So I began "taking it more seriously". This amounted to me getting a degree in Computer Science and various other code/computer related qualifications and experience. (I even wrote a book about how to code).

When I began my life as a "corporate programmer" the young game dev part of me was abandoned and left in the cold. I've since been working full-time as a Software Engineer in web development, mainly using Java, since around 2017.

Re-Discovering Game Development

After a few years of trying various different hobbies my mind kept circling back to game development. I kept ignoring it as I wanted a hobby that could "make a profit". Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying indie game development can't be profitable. There are plenty of success stories. But, it's difficult and takes a generous spoonful of luck. Whereas, I wanted something easier.

Following a handful of attempts at chasing the elusive "passive income" I was struck with an epiphany. I get paid enough in my day job that I'm not exactly strapped for cash. Even if I were to find something that could replace my full-time job, would I actually enjoy doing it, or would it just turn into another 9-5 grind.

Instead of stressing about trying to replace my full-time job with some other money making strategy, why don't I just do something I enjoy in my free time. This takes the pressure off having to make money with my hobby and allows me to concentrate on enjoying it rather than monetising it.

What Game Engine and/or Programming Language Will I Use?

There will be a small handful of people who are interested in what game engine or programming language I'm deciding to use to make games. Truth be told, I'm not entirely sold yet. I have some initial requirements and prerequistites that have informed my decision, but I haven't landed on a definite winner yet.

I know, at least to begin with, I want to stick with 2D. I've always found 3D to be difficult to get a result that looks good without a lot of effort. 2D art is more forgiving in that regard. Therefore, Unreal could be crossed off my list, as that has basically no 2D capabailities and is massively overkill for 2D games.

I always want the ability to target multiple platforms and devices without having to jump through too many hoops, or pay an exoraborant porting or licence fee. For that reason, I ruled out Unity due to their requirement to purchase the Pro Version if you want to target consoles.

After a little reason, and crossing a few more options off the list, I came to three possible contenders: Godot, Monogame and LibGDX. All three have some form of cross-platform support. Monogame and Godot (within reason) can target consoles.

The keen reader may have realised that LibGDX cannot support game consoles, yet it is still within my top 3. That's easy, I use Java during my day job, and have been using the language since before I started in the industry, so I have a head start. It felt silly to ignore it, even given it's limited platform support, as in theory I should be the fastest within that setup.

To decide on a winner I plan to make a single game in each. I want this to be fully finished and polished games, not just a quick and dirty game jam style of game. I need to spend time within each Engine/Framework to really know which I prefer.

What Type of Games Will I Make?

No idea. All I know so far is they will have a 2D artstyle. I don't have any specific plans to stick to any particular genre or variety. I want to explore different types of games and find whichever are the most fun to create. Or maybe I'll just move around a lot, who knows.

As an aside, I also want to try my hand at writing fiction books. Which gives me the opportunity to add extended lore or backstory to my games.

That's All Folks

Anyway, I've droned on enough. I'm not expecting this website to get any views, nor am I expecting my games to turn any form of profit (it'd be nice if they did though). I'm not sticking to any formal scheduled with releasing games or posts on this site. I want to make games for me and enjoy the hobby rather than forcing myself to have a 2nd full time job. This website is here so I can keep a record of my journey and look back on where I started.

It's an unscheduled, unpolished, journel of thoughts.