I have decided to work on a small pet project at home. Something that can keep me busy and let me learn new technologies and skills. Something to help spend my time at home more productively rather than just wasting it on doing nothing, watching TV series or playing games! However, I don’t intend to make this a second job. My first nine to five job in visual effects industry is demanding enough as is. I will just try to enjoy what I do and learn at home and apply them to this game project. I will continue to do so as long as I am still enjoying it.
After bouncing back and forth between web applications, iPhone/Android apps, online shops, etc… I came to the conclusion that making a game might be the best for me. It has all the ingredients that I think I like including programming, a bit of AI, some 3D stuff and the interactivity of it and it is also more connected to my daily job which may help. Also, if you have a good story line and game idea, you can create a pretty cool little virtual world that you will be proud of, one day. It is fascinating!
Now after deciding on the type of the project, the next thing to decide on is the type of the game I want to make. Real-time multi-player strategy games are probably more in line with what I have in mind. I was really impressed with the original Warcraft a couple of decades ago and after that I have played every version of Warcraft, Starcraft, Dune, Age of Empire and many others. Today I mostly play Clash of Clans and Clash Royale on my iPhone! I have been always interested about how they make them. So, I guess that is what I am gonna go for.
Wait! No, I don’t want to make another Clash of Clans clone! There are already many of them around. But, I have to say looking at the Clash Royale for example, makes me think “OK, I know there is a lot of work involved to make something like this, but it can still be small enough to toy with the idea and create something, if I remove a few of the extra features from the list!”. It is kind of inspirational!
What do I want to make then exactly!? I do have a couple of ideas, but I think I better keep those to myself for now to save them for the future when I am ready to make a real game. Also, those ideas may change as I get deeper into this. For now, lets just aim for a couple of towers and buildings in a scene and a few types of characters that can walk around, detect and shoot each other, on a network! That will be the first goal! Quite simple!
There is a problem, however! I have never made a game like that and I don’t know how to do it!
The best I’ve ever done as a game, is a breakout game for iPhone called “Breakanator” which is not on the app store anymore. That was quite simple to make. There was not much of an AI to worry about. There was a bit of collision detection calculations to do and some graphic design for the bricks and the GUI. There was no network programming, but involved things like the apple ID check, etc… All in all, nothing big!
This means I have to figure things out and learn a lot of new stuff as I move forward. I will have to read a log of articles and books and test and experiment until I get things right. Hopefully I will run into the correct articles and books and won’t waste too much time in the process. Fingers crossed!
This blog will just be a documentation of the process of the learning and trying to create that small strategy game. If you are reading this, you should know this is not a tutorial! I don’t consider myself qualified to write tutorials on this topic. I will just share what I do.
I am hoping this blog will help to keep me on track and if I hit some dead ends, someone more experienced will magically show up to guide me to the right direction! It may also help some others that may want to do something similar. You never know!
I am not sure what I am throwing myself into!
Let’s find out on the next post.