Let’s Get This Started!

I am standing at the foot of Mount Ultimate Challenge and wondering where to start!

I have been reading up on game development and trying to select the tools that will help me design on the Ouya. After much investigation and reflection I have decided to learn the Unity 3D platform as its one powerful beast, has a excellent community, good tutorials and its scalable for small and big projects.

It provides me with another dilemma of which programming language to concentration on learning – in the end I decided on UnityScript (JavaScript pretty much) as its slightly familiar to me and seems to be easier for me to follow.

I have also downloaded Blender as it’s free, has a vibrant community online but also powerful enough to take care of all of my modelling needs.

Now I need some tutorials to get stuck into to understand Unity 3D a little more!

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The Start of a Journey

I lead a busy life, work long hours, commute long distances and have a family to love and care for. However, something itches at me… the itch ebbs but is omnipresent… it’s the itch of creativity. My soul wants to express itself, replenish itself and put itself out there in the world to be praised (hopefully) or crushed (hopefully not!)

Due to my busy lifestyle many of my creative ideas remain scribblings in a notebook, barely distinguishable to the onlooker but clear, concise and fantastic to me. In a way this appeases the creative itch in the short term and offers momentary relief, nourishing morsels of creative substance squeezed into daily life.

Yet the itch returns like an excitable puppy demanding attention and I cyclically momentarily appease it… I have decided that this cycle should be broken and I have to commit to a project and move those scribblings from the notebook into reality.

Choosing a Project

A few months ago I stumbled across Indie Game : The Movie, I love documentaries and this one didn’t disappoint my initial curiosity. The film follows the game development process of Super Meat Boy and Fez and it’s a remarkable journey through the pains and jubilations of the creative process. A new updated version of the film is out this month and it’s on pre-order… get involved!

Fez Pixel Art in Creation
Fez Pixel Art in Creation
Level Design Sketches of Super Meat Boy
Level Design Sketches of Super Meat Boy

The film sparked my creative instincts, I love creating things digitally (more than non-digitally) and I enjoy learning code and creating output. I am currently a novice coder but I understand the basic concepts and the process and have created a few flash games using actionscript 2.0. It hit me that learning to code and create some basic games would be the creative project that will appease my creative itch.

It will be a long and tough process and I have no illusions as to the quality of the games I will produce in the first year or so but I am confident that in year 2 or 3 I should be able to produce a game that is fun to play, looks ok and one I can publish on a gaming platform.

Setting the Challenge

I very much like the mindset of Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when she stated:

 If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You, They Are Not Big Enough ”

With this at the back of my mind I was inspired when I receive my Ouya which I initially backed during its Kickstarter Campaign and I realised that I could make my games for the Ouya with the big dream of releasing a game on the Ouya once my coding, design and artwork skills were up to the challenge.

Therefore my Ultimate Challenge is:

  • Release a game on the Ouya system
  • Charge a small fee ($2-3) for the game
  •  Reach a download target of 1,000

It will obviously take me some time to reach my goal and I will learn a hell of a lot during the process and I want to use this blog as a way of sharing my journey and things that I learn along the way. There are lots of people learning to make games, with so much helpful information on the internet that will help me I also feel obliged to share my learnings in order to add to the online learning community.

So follow along!