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how did you get started in game dev?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kablammyman, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. kablammyman

    kablammyman

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    As the topic asks, how did you get started?

    I'll go first.

    I started with klk n' play at the age of 15 (i think it was 1997?). Klik n play is like a primitive unity, but for win 3.1 then win 95.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klik

    Anyway, I knew this wasn't how things were done in the pro world, but it was a good way to wrap my mind around making games. So, I started programming in QBASIC. This was a just to get my feet wet in programming until i was ready to move into C, the language that I was told I should learn if I wanted games. (Back then C++ was still en evil, and slow language!) C and ASM made games!

    So, at 16 I started programming in C. I made games in DOS. I had to use interupts to set the video mode (mode 13h, or 320x200 256 colors) I used bit-mapped graphics I made in code, (think of an array of numbers to correspond to each pixel) and used other DOS interrupts and ASM to get input and play sound effects. I used the good ole' free DJGG compiler that i downloaded on my 33.6k modem, that was dialed into AOL 2.5! I would go to the different chat rooms and personal webpages to learn what resources there were, what books to look at, who would give source code to learn from, and to download other small games to keep me inspired (seeing a small game play well, was inspiring because i figured that i could do that too! )

    I later moved on to programming my games with the allegro game dev library to be able to use graphics i made in MS paint! In those days, having a lib that gave you functions to set the video mode, get input, play sounds, load data, etc was seen as a crutch. you had to write your own routines to re-invent the wheel, otherwise you wernt meant to make games! You were not a man! lol It sounds silly now, but that's how it was. I'm glad I grew up in the 90s tho... because of the hard work I had to do just to draw a pixel on screen, it made me learn a lot, and know more about programming than just making games. It made me take real pride in what I did...even if my games were simple. Not many people were "indie" or hobby game makers back then. Later, when I studied Computer science in college, I also already had a leg up on most other students. It also helped me realize that even tho I loved making games, i fell in love with programming in general.

    anyway, before I rant on how easy people have it now-a-days, and nobody has to earn anything in the game dev world anymore (lol) tell me when/how you started making games.
     
  2. TehWut

    TehWut

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  3. echologin

    echologin

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    that thread is not the same thing ? why did you post the link

    Bah humbug ! Well heres my story.

    I started on a vic-20, ( maybe 14 years old ? i dont remember ) always trying to just learn programing at first, but loved games, doing little animations, playing with vicmon ( asm thing ) Then got a c64 in 80's somewhere and made a plethora of games ( but didn't know what to do with them ! ).

    Anyone remember doing graphics on graph-paper ?

    Then got an amiga 1000 and made a ultima 4 clone ( but again didn't know what to do with it ), but THEN started dating some girl that took over my life for a while ( the amiga with boobs won I guess )

    time passed.....

    I got my 1st job programing PC's in 1990, then on side made a little shareware game called Galactix ( 1992 ) and that got me in touch with Apogee/3dRealms and ID. So we started making two games for some reason, an RPG called Second Sword that we canceled to finish the other game called Raptor - Call of the Shadows ( 1994 ) been making games ever since !!( took 5 years off somewhere in there to hone my music skills ) I Worked at Popcap Games most recently ( for last almost 4 years ). Now I am going indie again and about to release an iphone/ipad music app that I have been working on. ( with unity )

    And id like to say Unity brought back that magic feeling to making games again, so sick of visual studio and C++, linkers, libraries, sdks, frameworks blah ! 23 years of C/C++ is 20 too many
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  4. Vert

    Vert

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    I have always loved video games so I have always been interested in how they were made and wanted to make them. I was 14 back in September of 2003 and over labor day weekend (The first Monday in Sept here in the states) I was watching a show named Call for Help that I think was starring Leo Leporte. That evening Leo talked about a program called GAMER MAKER (I think it was version 2/3/or 5 at the time) and it told me how I could make games without much programming at all. I downloaded it and started using MSPAINT to create basic sprites and other graphics. After just under a year I had taken GAME MAKER past its limits having so many details and scripts running that compiled gameplay protoypes often crashed. This was not uncommon as GAME MAKER was highly unstable at this point in its life. I then wanted to do more, and wanted to jump into the 3rd dimension, after all I felt I had mastered the concepts of what 2d games consisted of, even if the software I had never let me script anything as complicated as I liked.

    Then in the summer of 2004 I stumbled upon Reality Factory. A game engine based on Wild Tangents Genesis3D. It came with all the tools necessary to edit worlds(A good old BSP editor), unwrap models(lithunwrap) and create scripts(a version of SCITE). Then I was inspired to make my own game to fill the gaming void I felt. I learned what I could using their models and sounds, creating a few very basic scripts and creating GUI's health meters and mainly carving worlds with the world editor. During this time I also came across trueSpace 3.2 and gameSpace light which let me learn 3D modeling at a cost of zero $$. I stuck with RF as they promised a version 2 that would be modern and handle the more objects and use a GPU instead of the CPU based rendering that the Genesis3D engine required. The project was underway but got pushed back for years as the small development team had faced hurdle after hurdle. With such turmoil I looked at The Game Creators and their Dark Basic programming language(as I had already learned Visual Basic as a sophomore in high school) and also their game creator software. FPS creator came around and I even looked at Torque. None of these systems seemed to have the unified feel that RF had. I wanted that all in one experience.

    October 31, 2009 I was searching the web and I found Unity 2.6. Beautiful Unity 2.6 I recalled that I had seen Unity previously when I was searching for an engine and that it was everything I wanted but only on Mac. Here it was, 4 years after the fact and on Windows and FREE! Since then I have been using Unity free and have loved every minute of it. If you are wondering I am still working on my first 3D game project, 8 years in the making, with over 9 revisions under its belt as I have learned more and more over the years and changed ideas concepts and directions. Someday I will complete this project, and I hope to do it with Unity. I think I have finally learned enough that I can start the actual project, now its only a matter of making more time for this hobby of mine and possibly finally fill the gaming void I still feel exists.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  5. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    I first starting disassembling primitive games consoles that people owned but had broken down (sometimes quite "mysteriously" ;) )because of the cheap and not particularly good electronics inside of them. These were games like Binatone's Pong and Hanimex (http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=3&c=659 and http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=3&c=1035 and http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=3&c=684) and the Fairchild Channel F. My family was reasonably poor so the thought of actually owning a working games console was a pipe dream. The only way to get to play these exciting new games was to figure out how to make the broken ones work. Most of the machines I received had no CPU and no memory to speak of. I spent hours mapping out the TTL logic inside in 1977 at the age of 10 and then rewiring them to change the game play. I remember vividly opening up a broken games console (something by Hannimex, it was brown) and finding a CPU inside. WTF?!? Getting introduced to that microprocessor blew my mind. "You mean I can add one to a number without having to reach for the soldering iron?" Maybe a year later, when I was able to read worth a damn (dyslexia FTW! Yeah!) I taught myself 6502 assembly language and wrote a few games, first modifying Pong for the console, then for early microcomputers like the PET 2001 (http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=1&c=191) and NEC TK 80 (http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=1&c=405). I shipped my first game title at the end of April, beginning of May, 1978 on a C15 cassette sold at a few local computer shops and later in an 1/8th of a page magazine ad (when I could afford the publishing costs of an ad). My first game fit in just under 500 bytes of RAM. :) Every morning I would have to get up and wring the oil from the dinosaurs to power the generator to start up the computer. ;) I built, and partially designed, my first computer from consoles I had taken apart. One of the excessively rich kids at school had access to his Father's PET computer. I became really good friends with him for about three months and I wrote a few simple games in 6502 for it, poking the opcodes directly into memory after writing them out by hand on graph paper and calculating the addresses. :) My programming learning path consisted of 6502 --> Forth --> Z80 -- BASIC. Dumbest thing I ever asked about programming was "How do I add 1 to a variable in BASIC?" Too used to the concept of LDA #40, ADC #1, STA #40 or INX/INY.

    :)

    I am an old fart when it comes to video game development.

    http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=2&c=738
    http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=2&c=1157
    http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=2&c=1116
    http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=2&c=1192

    I also assembled Acorn Atoms (http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?st=1&c=80) at the age of 11 and 12 to earn pocket money, and when I had made enough, I bought my own Acorn Atom kit, assembled it, then sold it in the back of a magazine. Had a nice little cottage industry going for a while until I had enough saved up to afford my own computer. :) I still have a fully expanded 12K Acorn Atom with the 100KB disc drive taking pride of place on my office shelf.
     
  6. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    My interest in video games started back in 1989 or so (I started earlier with "table game" related things primarily due to my early bounds to lego) through the NES and my inbreed interest in analyzing the enemies patterns or generally anything that was complex in any form, thinking about how to make better ones which initially didn't lead far until I 2-3 years later I started really back on a Intel 286 box with a massive 20mb harddisk (and the football game on it used anything that does didn't ;)) and 5.25" freesbies by toying around with the qbasic driven "monkey banana throw" game and later more text based games.
    Thats then also where I went to later, MUD and text adventures back then on VB6 *shudder* and from there on to low level coding ping - ponging to RAD languages and back until I decided in 2007 that I'm growing sick of reinventing the wheel over and over again (or trying to remain in touch with the continously faster development in the gpu field) and remained on using engines etc instead of trying to work with the lower level or systems like OGRE3D
     
  7. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    If you ever owned a parallel dot matrix printer and the clumsy interface box to make it work from Dragon in Trefforest, I did the firmware for it! :)

    Yes. And writing out my assembler on graph paper too because it made it easier to read (and also read my chicken scratch hand writing).
     
  8. echologin

    echologin

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    Cool


    All i had back then was Commodore 1525 ( in think thats it )

    Yea lol, id go thru books of graph paper for everything ( i just recently gave up that habit )
     
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I'll keep mine short: First pong, then Atari 2600. I got into 8 bits: c64, amstrad and entered listings from magazines. I did primitive text scrolling shootemups. I went onto the amiga: devpac, dpaint etc then finally PC where I served my term as game artist. And now I am indie. During that time I got to make many weird and wonderful games and learn game development the hard way: without the internet (there really wasn't any available net back then!)

    I'm one of the old farts brigade, but I think my soul is still a kid and I still have that sense of fun!
     
  10. galent

    galent

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    Ha!! Graph paper and a 5 color pen. Sprite graphics were awesome! I remember a kind of blur someplace between the Pet, TRS-80 and Vic-20. Until the pinnacle of computing (to this day) the C64 :)

    My oldest boy was whining about the 125Mb demo of a game he got with a magazine, oh about 10 years ago. And I told him that games came in magazines when I was young too ... then I showed him a copy. His first question was, "what's that?" My answer: "code"

    No point in telling him then, or kids today what a 300 baud modem connection was like.

    Dang youn' 'uns got it too easy. :D

    Wait a minute!??! That rings a bell! Hmm, I know I owned a Commodore dot matrix printer, but I don't know if it was Commodore or another maker.. either way I was the youngest kid in my neighbourhood trying to buy stock in aspirin.. damn those things made as much noise as sittin' on the front lines!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  11. echologin

    echologin

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    lol i had a vicmon ( 300 baud ), and my 1st connection I called the art institue of chicago, didnt do anything but display info but i was like WOW my computer is connected to another computer ,it was like magic back then.

    Funny used to download games from my friend , it would take so long id goto his house and come back and it would still be downloading but we did it just cuz it was soo cool.
     
  12. galent

    galent

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    LOL, that's awesome! I use to dial the BBS on the local base (my god did that seem cool!). I wrote several games, a library system, etc... sort of lost interest around '84-'85 had something to do with a girl as I recall...

    Funny as h*ll, my father was always a "technophile", always loved tech stuff, never understood a damned thing. I remember in around '82 we got the new 600 or 900 baud modem, and he started using it. Some how he never connected using a modem with actually using the phone. I remember he was so pleased with himself after connecting to that BBS in Japan... until 2 days later when my mother got the $1000 phone bill (for the young, a $1000 phone bill in '82 was your mortgage, utilities, and food for a family of 5 :) He lost his computer privileges for a while after that :D

    Cheers,

    Galen
     
  13. echologin

    echologin

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    LOL yeah i did the phone thing, I think one month was 1200 the next was 500, so then I had to get my own line ( after getting in major trouble, as punishment they would ask for the power cord for computer but id give them the wrong one ).
     
  14. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Do you remember the voodoo procedure to get it to work? Pick up handset, dial number of rotary dial, wait for whistle from other end, flip switch on modem to take over, replace handset! :) Or if you had an acoustic coupler telling your Mother not to talk when she came in the room because error correction protocols hadn't yet been invented! XModem and YModem were in the distant future, and ZModem? Black magic! I still hear a fax machine today and think "ooh! who's calling my BBS at this hour?" Can you remember how to whistle at a 2400bps modem to get it to connect? :)


    This was a stand-alone peripheral for the non-Commodore printers just entering the market like the Epson FX-80, actually, a few years before the FX-80 I think, but it worked without a hitch on the FX-80 too. That was probably my first introduction to "Who the **** designed this hardware?" where the h/w itself had three wires crossed on the output, so something like pin 3 was pin 14 and pin 14 was pin 6 and pin 6 was pin 3. It was also the point in my career that I learned that "it worked on my computer at home" was an actual real excuse, and I would have to put in mysterious magic numbers of timing delays because their absolutely standard VIC-20 computer was just ever so slightly different to my absolutely standard VIC-20. I would strobe the printer awake, then put a NOP loop delay in to wait for the capacitors to recharge, then do a command, wait a different amount of time, then do the next command.

    No... No books... No Google... Nobody to ask... Just being able to read a 6502 hex dump and a circuit diagram and thinking "I wonder how that works?" Makes it all the more frustrating when someone doesn't take the time to use the greatest information resource humanity has ever created and instead jumps on a forum to ask "yeah, how do I left click the mouse button?" :)

    Edit: Actually, I don't think would have said F*** because I don't think I even knew that word back then. It was the late 70's and early 80's. I probably said "The prat that designed this can go get knotted!" :) I was a rebel!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  15. echologin

    echologin

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    "Epson FX-80"

    you know i had an epson, ill have to dig thru my parents attic i never throw out old stuff, i wonder what model it was


    "No... No books... No Google... Nobody to ask... Just being able to read a 6502 hex dump and a circuit diagram and thinking "I wonder how that works?""

    funny i was just talking to hippo about that. it was a quest to find info !! so much fun, now its all at your fingertips

    PS: just lazy quotes need sleep
     
  16. ant001

    ant001

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    my first computer device was a little tegra 2; gosh they where the good old days. its all this eyefinity stuff with screens all over the place with so called fancy stereo vision magic... bring back the good old days of fermi i say; granddad!
     
  17. windexglow

    windexglow

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    I started modding games with my bedroom computer (no internet, so everything I learned was self taught), I think I was 10 or 11 at the time when I started playing with starcraft and unreal tournament 2003's editors. A year later I got warcraft3 and used it's editor, but was still too young to understand what I was doing.

    A few years later I had my first real taste at modding, I attempted to mod the indie game Penumbra Overture. It was the first time I dealt with script, the first time I ever did any modeling. But I had the first taste of modding.

    I than moved back to warcraft 3 modding and really got into it - I joined a clan of other modders and we did some crazy stuff. I probably did this for 2.5 years and by the end of it me and a few friends were really pressing what wc3 could do. At the end I was procedurally generating a 'town' on start with wall-templates. A rectangle with subdivided walls with doors was a building. Took 40 seconds to generate everything, something that would probably take a second in unity.

    Starcraft 2 beta comes out, and with it the holy grail of modding. Oh so I thought until I tried it out myself - it's editor was a piece of crap. Pretty, but a piece of crap. The release of sc2 killed most of the modding in wc3, and the release of starcraft 2 killed most of the modding in starcraft2 as well.

    So after spending years modding games and working around constraints/limitations I decided to take it a step up. Obvious choice was the super-pretty udk. No matter how hard I looked, I could not find anyone doing things procedurally. Hum, there's another free game development engine? Oh, it's not as prett---wait a second, I can do procedural things with this!
    (when I say procedural, I basically mean generate the level from nothing on startup. I have a huge love for this)
     
  18. galent

    galent

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    Ok, I'm suffering from flashbacks! No one has uttered the term Voodoo to me in relation to computers in over 25 years... LOL. Ahh yes, the early phone coupler, and the sweet sound of someone dialling into your BBS (that meant you were the overlord :) ).

    [edit] I was just sitting back, puzzling over the whistle thing... then I remembered!! I was thinking you were whistling to initialize the device, but that was the phone switch network, not my modem as I recall! But you did have to whistle into the line to clear enough of the static for the analogue modem to get a clear enough signal through!!! Ahahahaha - I"m going into work in an hour, and I'm going to give those d*mned young developers h*ll. First one that whines about his complier being too slow is going to spend the rest of the month hand coding assembler with nothing more than a Hex editor for debug (and they should be d*mned thankful they've got a fancy hex editor!!) LOL


    Books?!! H*ll, I ran out of people who I could talk to! The "computer whizz" guy at the local airforce base ran out of things to add just after "here's how I setup my BBS". You didn't ask questions, you solved problems then "bragged" about it to ... well ... the few others that actually cared. (historical side bar for the young... computer nerds were NOT popular social figures, didn't get staggering salaries, and your odds of getting la.... well... we'll talk about that when you're older, but those odds were worse than winning the lottery. )

    Hex still gives me a headache to read. Pop quiz on which computer did sys64738 work, and what was it's affect? (I found an unintentional use for it later in life :) ).

    @Windexglow - the first game I remember you could enhance was loadrunner, it came with it's own level editor. But for wow factor, Spy vs. Spy allowed 2 player to play... at the same time!!! I remember Blizzard, when it was still "light flurries" :)

    [edit] actually, now that I think about it... we probably "modded" every game we played before those games I mentioned, since we only ever had code to work with :) There's more code in the Mono under Unity than the whole d*mned CMS operating system I'd wager... :D

    Cheers,

    Galen
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  19. steego

    steego

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    do-do-do-do-diiiiiiii-krrrkrkrrkrkrkrkrr :D Ah sweet childhood memories..

    I myself started with a C64, writing silly text-adventures, when I was around 7 I think - it's been a while now. Didn't know anything about assembler at the time, so when I from time to time found a game that was written in BASIC I had a lot of fun modifying them. Didn't get into assembler before moving to the Amiga when I was about 12. But then I "grew up" and stopped fiddling with games and moved on to the demo-scene (which of course was serious work haha).
     
  20. kablammyman

    kablammyman

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    wow, you guys are old!! LOL! This is a good thing however ;)

    I didn't get my first computer until I was 15. It was a pentium @ 200mHz with 32MB of ram and a 2.5GB HDD, (top of the line, baby!) I wanted one for years, but we could never afford one. However, I grew up with game consoles, so I've always loved games, and always wanted to make games. Back then, i would send my "designs" to game companies with a letter, hoping to have them make my games. lol good times. All the rejection made the fire deep inside burn bright! I had to get my games out there, so I guess its up to me to make it happen.

    Anyway, since then, I've worked on ps2/Wii games, DS games, J2ME games, and now I'm with unity for android/Iphone games. At home, I still use C++ for personal projects with openGL, Allegro, or SDL. It depends on my mood, and what i'm trying to do (not everything I work on is a game)

    Anyway, this is good stuff, I love hearing about computer programming from the 70s and 80s, thanks for sharing :)
     
  21. janpec

    janpec

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    This is so wierd if you think that all community engines (Unity, UDK, CDK, Torque, C4, whatever) wouldnt exist if it werent for internet.
     
  22. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    That would be the C64, had to look it up to confirm that it was the C64 and I wasn't mis-remembering for the Speccy instead which didn't have SYS command, but had similar weird pokes you could do to get odd effects like turn on cassette loading bars for no reason. I used to use it for debugging and jumping back in to the assembler after my game crashed (if you had the cartridge port debugger/assembler add-on) :) What did you use it for?

    Speaking of innovations and everything old is new again: I laugh these days when people look at Minecraft and think it is this amazing game that has never been done before "You can build stuff using blocks!" when in fact Zombie! Zombie! by Sandy White was done on an 8-bit 48KB ZX Spectrum that let you construct wonderful architectural marvels in which to kill your pursuers. I started work on a similar game to Ant Attack, after seeing it, that let the player build huge maps out of blocks, that the engine could scroll or page flip, but no publisher ever showed interest in picking up the game. About a year or so later Ultimate came out with Knightlore and I was like FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Just working out how to store the maps in memory (I didn't use a 2D array for the map) took weeks to figure out and get working perfectly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant_Attack
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_Zombie
     
  23. taumel

    taumel

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    I was playing video game games since the very beginning. Then a C64 arrived at our house, no floppy, no dataset. I completely occupied it and wrote my first game, a multiple-choice-adventure in Basic which i also then could save to a dataset. Next step was the Amiga 1000 (used awesome tools for gamedev like Asm-One, GFA-Basic, Deluxe Paint, Kefren's IFF converter, Noisetracker) and so on ...
     
  24. drewradley

    drewradley

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    In high school I had a class in BASIC programming on an Apple II back when those were the height of computer technology! It was so easy that a couple of us decided to program a text game in our spare time in the class and study-halls. Made a simple DnD game. Been making games off and on since then and things have only gotten much easier.
     
  25. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

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  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    While we're on the subject of being really old farts I must tell you young'uns that you don't know you're born! EEH! in the old old days we had no internet!



    And guess what? no unity. No laddie. In my day all we had was a screen, a prompt and the machine. It were man an' machine. They don't make em like they used to. Bloody nora. OOh where was I? dorothy.
     
  27. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Balderdash and bunkum.
     
  28. echologin

    echologin

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    we had compute! magazine
     
  29. Psyncro

    Psyncro

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    First exposure to computer games: playing Star Trek on a teletype in middle school.

    A couple years later got an Atari 400, membrane keyboard, memo pad mode. I couldn't even afford a programming language after saving up for the computer, so I would just type in the memo pad, which is kind of like notepad, except you only have one font, no word processing features and can't save anything.

    A relative ended up buying me BASIC, so I could learn how to program. Started typing in programs from magazines, but couldn't afford a cassette tape drive to save them, so I had to retype them every time I turned the computer off.

    Within a couple years, I upgraded from 16K to 64K Ram, got a 300 baud modem, replaced the membrane keyboard with a real keyboard, added a cassette tape drive, then a disk drive woo! Not only could I save my programs and games, I could double the floppy capacity if I punched a hole on the side of each disk: 90k / side!

    Started adapting a maze generation algorithm to create a labyrinth full of monsters using pixel art, my own font, had a little dude with a sword I could control that would run around and whack the monsters. My programming skills increased, but not so much on the art :). Made some pong, breakout and adventure clones.

    Later used Cobol on a VAX/VMS system to make a character graphics Depth-Charge the Subs game that became very popular among the University programming staff.
     
  30. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    I still flinch when COBOL is mentioned.
     
  31. Kafeen

    Kafeen

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    I started on the Amstrad CPC 464 I got when I was about 10. First copying code from the manual or magazines that were available. I remember one that always had a selection of 10 line programs. I'm surprised what some of those managed in 10 lines. From there I went on to editing the programs I had and then writing my own from scratch.

    When I was, I think around 14, I got an Amiga 500 and started programming using AMOS. I wrote various little games then including an Alien Breed style game with graphics copied from the zoomed in image printed in a magazine.

    After that I was programming using Pascal in college, but no real games then. In order to get out of college for a day I went on a trip to the University in my town where they had courses useful for games and were just starting one specifically for games development. I had still wanted to make games but never thought about doing it as a career before then. I signed up for the course in its first year and studied there for 3 years.

    A year after I finished University, about 8 years ago, I got a 15 week work placement at a local games company where I was supposed to start developing J2ME games for mobile phones but when I started I ended up working on Megaman Anniversary Collection instead. I've been at the same place (more or less) ever since.
     
  32. rab236

    rab236

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    Game design has just been a hobby to me for my entire life. When I was very young, 5 or 6, I loved making up my own board games and other small physical games. Soon after I started, my games became too advanced, so I started using basic circuits to build my games (those old quiz boards). Soon, my ideas for those became more complicated, too. I wanted to delve into computer and video games, but had no Idea how to begin, so I started making graphics. I used some old drawing application to start making sprites. I've never been much of a programmer, so design was my specialty. I finally started to wonder into game territory. I was using Game Maker (not yoyogames, but Al Stafferi's found here). I quickly grew bored of that, so I started with flash when I was about 8, never finishing a game (I was testing out the language and doing more conceptual things). I used that for a few years. A while later, I stumbled upon Unity in its early stages. It was an overwhelming interface. I then started with GameMaker (yoyogames), making some simple games, none of which I finished (still just conceptual stuff). I hated the syntax of the GameMaker language (which one would have to use to make more advanced games), though, only having used C++ and Actionscript before. After a while, I started with the Blender game engine, but Blender has my least favorite interface of any software out there, and I hate Python. Wondering around, I saw Torque and TGE demos, none of which appealed to me. I took a break from games while doing some 3D design in Maya and some animations in Flash. Eventually I came back to unity and immediately adopted Unityscript as my primary language. Here I am today.
     
  33. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Same, i always felt intimidated in those lectures of my comp sci degree 'COBOL IS SHOUTING AT ME'

    I think before i would designate myself either a graphics guy or a programming guy i started programming the bbc b in the early mid 80s, which was acorns effort for the bbc educational machines, and my first program was compied out of a magazine, it was an art program!

    after that i wrote a few text adventures and indecipherable blocks on screen games then after a little stint on a psion personal organiser that was ostensibly my mohers i got my teeth into programming for the amiga 500 in the late 80s onwards, specifically with AMOS

    those were special days and id like to echo a sentiment someone made earlier, unitys the first thing that made me feel like that again in a long long time, much to my partners chagrin
     
  34. echologin

    echologin

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    i actually quite enjoyed my cobol classes, was very structured ( and one of the few languages i didn't know b4 going to college )

    now RPG is another story that language is horrid
     
  35. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    But you're trying to take over the world so you probably would like COBOL!
     
  36. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    I can trace my path into game dev from my days programming on Symbolics Lisp workstations - years later that got me into Nichimen Graphics, a descendant of the Symbolics Graphics Division but then running their 3D content creation products on Silicon Graphics machines and starting to move onto Windows NT (but still implemented in Lisp - this is why once in a while I'll wistfully say I wish I could script Unity in Lisp). A lot of those Nichimen people went into games and brought me onto their projects. But oddly, it was a non-game project that sent me to WWDC where Joachim gave me a demo and I decided to use Unity for my own projects.

    Technically, though, my first game and 3D programs were on the Apple II when I was in high school - a reversi program and a 3D wireframe surface display. That's where I really first learned to program.
     
  37. galent

    galent

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    We're game devs... technically we're all trying to take over the world!

    Oh, and on that track, for those that are trying to use COBOL to do it... there are a number of excel33t MMO projects over in collaboration that are just crying for you to join :D

    @EchoLogin - RPG/400 wasn't so bad... RPG 2 and earlier was an experiment pulled off by IBM and US intelligence just to see if programmers could be made to crack. They later used this technique to make spys talk... until outlawed under crimes against humanity by the UN. (proof of RPG2 compilers was supposed to be the "proof" George W. used to invade Iraq - notice how quickly the Brits jumped to join the assault - their coders suffered more than others in the '80s :D )

    My goodness ain't these little strolls down nerd memory lane good for my inner geek :)

    Cheers,

    Galen
     
  38. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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  39. Deleted User

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    Thanks, I didn't know about Iron Scheme. Scheme was actually my first Lisp, in MIT's 6.001 course (which I didn't quite understand at the time, but now I think is totally cool). Too bad they abandoned it for Python, which I think was Unity's first scripting language back when it was a toddler.

    I asked about adding languages to Unity a while back:

    http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/7732/is-it-possible-to-for-a-user-to-add-another-mono-l.html
     
  40. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Totally doable. Someone did it on a project I was on, we found out when he spent three weeks working on a feature, checked it in, that's when we discovered it was in his own little DSL he had created and copyrighted. As Lead, I insisted he change it to C#, he refused, we found another programmer, he found another job. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  41. twitchfactor

    twitchfactor

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    I'll keep this brief, although my history is long and torrid.

    Back in 1983 the put Apple II's in my school. I started making BASIC games, because it was faster than doing stop-motion animation.

    I got my first computer, an Atari 1200XL. After making a few games in BASIC and wondering why I couldn't do what some others were doing, I learned Assembly (De Re Atari, Assembler Editor cart and 30min compile times w/no debugger).

    In 1985 I officially became a "professional" game maker, making games for Atari 8-bits, C64's, Atari ST's and Amiga's.

    I've worked for many companies, big and small, including; Antic Publishing, Electronic Arts, Crystal Dynamics, Psygnosis, The Collective, and Rockstar. Some career highlights include; Madden Football, The Strike Series (Desert, Jungle, Urban, Nuclear), Legacy of Kain, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Medal of Honor and a myriad of others.
     
  42. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    I know who you are...
     
  43. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Was a huge fan of psygnosis when i was a youngun, fair play to you
     
  44. taumel

    taumel

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    Yay, there was a time when Electronic Arts was really great, like Broderbund, Interplay, LucasArts, Irem, The Bitmap Brothers, Namco, Cinematronics, Activision, ... to be fair Electronic Arts is still publishing a few good to very good games, just with some more annoying DRM, oh well...
     
  45. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Totally awesome! I envy the opportunities you have today compared to what I had access to when I was 10. Unity3D and other engines and game maker tools blow my mind every time I look back on how far we have come.

    I think you have a chance at a good career as a developer, in games, or anything else, just stay away from trying to make your first before MMO until you are at least 18 or 19. :)
     
  46. EyeSix

    EyeSix

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    Sounds vaguely threatening :)
     
  47. kerters

    kerters

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    Wow!, Jungle Strike was one of my fav games back in the days.
    Legendary! :)

    What was your job on this series ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  48. twitchfactor

    twitchfactor

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    Many people do. ;)

    Indeed. Good thing I also know who Justin is.

    On almost every game I've worked on, I've been a multi-disciplined developer on the project (art, design, production, programming, music, etc). On the Strike Series in particular, I'm the co-Director/Designer. I also actually appear in the game (in multiple places).



    I am amazed the access people have nowadays. Things like cheap hardware, open-source, the internet and of course AWESOME engines, like Unity give today's budding game maker astonishing opportunities.
     
  49. steego

    steego

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    Yeah, but what they are missing out on is the technical insight you get from programming an Amiga in assembler with little other documentation than the hardware reference manual :D
     
  50. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Where the hell did you get a hardware reference manual? I had a .TXT written in German that I downloaded from a BBS and a couple of photocopied sheets of paper the game development house gave me. :) It was a full year or more before I found out the blue books existed!
     
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