I’ve realized I want to spend more time on development and reduce the time I spend on my YouTube channel (if you aren’t aware, I run a YouTube channel called PressToJoin). While I really like my channel and will continue to update it, my passion continues to lie in development, more specifically game development. Realizing this is my passion and I haven’t been spending any time to it I decided to start working on some game project.
First I looked through several engines, languages, and ways I could develop games now that my old standby, XNA, isn’t supported by Microsoft any more (granted, I’m sure I could have still used it). After some time searching and not finding a graphics library for C# that I felt was appropriate and continually updated, I briefly considered again trying to dip my toes in the bitterly cold pond that is C++ with OpenGL or DirectX. However it occurred to me around this time that game development, specifically programming, is split across several disciplines and that I should decide what interests me personally. I’ve always considered myself a game programmer without a discipline because I’ve never had the option to choose, I’ve always developed games by myself. So, like any red-blooded internet user of the technology age, I looked up Game Programmer on wiki and came across this article. One by one I cut away the programmer types that either didn’t interest me, or that I knew I was bad at. Leaving one: Gameplay Programmer.
Sure the gameplay programmer is a general role, but when I think about it, that’s what I like to do. I do get some pleasure from developing a system from scratch or developing a graphics loader, but really I like seeing games develop and the mechanisms within them get created. With this newfound knowledge I determined I’d find an existing engine I could utilize in my development but wouldn’t fully create the game for me (i.e. no drag and drop game creators). I considered Unity 3D and decided to test it out this past weekend.
I’m going to say it, Unity is a great tool and I love it. The editor and engine are robust enough to develop difficult to implement items easily yet still requires programmer and development knowledge. So far, I’ve built two small demo sandboxes in Unity. The first sandbox was a basic intro into Unity as I learned the UI and editor navigation (granted I was on my Macbook and not my development Windows machine). The second sandbox is one I am developing after creating the design skeleton of a game I think would be interesting to play and would take inspiration from some of the games that I played growing up. Here are some of the small features I’ve developed in my sandbox level:
There are several other items I want to build in this sandbox before I can start on the game but I think this is a good start considering I’ve done most of this in one day and haven’t used many tutorials (I used one for developing a simple First Person style camera).
Ideally, I’ll post development updates every few days or so.