So how I started developing video games?
People ask me this question frequently, even the game developers who started developing games log before I did. I’m not surprised, to be completely honest, because I was amongst the youngest exhibitors on all game development showcases I took part in, if not the youngest one.
You must have made an assumption that I started doing that really young. I actually did, you are right. I started developing games at the age of 16 while I was still in high school. When I was creating my first game, I have to made a confession to you, I used to be a weak programmer and worse of that, I also used to be an even weaker student, because I had no interest in anything and I was pretty lethargic as well. I was a really slow user of computer and Internet, but I was catching up my classmates slowly.
As an electrical technician, the only thing which at that time I found interesting was repairing computers. I learned programming in Pascal simultaneously. In spite of having a real hostility to programming, I started playing on my own and creating my very own simple software. That, however, did not help me with grades and I still had problems getting my F records fixed. I was not a diligent student and I was trying all ways of cutting the classes, so I missed some really important ones about programming. I was frustrated with that fact, I knew I can do a lot better, so I needed an inspiration.
During the winter holiday, I discovered GameMaker engine. GameMaker was an simple, but not so powerful engine, because it could only develop games for PC. But its syntax was very similar to Pascal and Delphi, so it was a pretty familiar environment for me. It helped me learn programming basics and OOP concepts on an easier and more fun way. After I read the book called ”A Game Maker’s Apprentice”, and after I developed all of the games from the book, I was ready to do something on my own.
My first game was a western style game about shooting the colored plates, and I still remember the faces of my classmates when I brought this game into school and installed it on one of the computers in one of the practice rooms. Then I got the assignment to make a quiz game similar to the quiz on our local television called “Slagalica”. I managed to develop another game, a classical space shooter with plates as enemies – Oh boy, I like plates for some reason.
The following summer, I discovered that the engine had got its multiplatform development version called GameMaker Studio, and that I was able to develop games for HTML5, iOS and Android platform as well as for PC. After some time of getting everything adjusted, and developing my first Android game called “Doris” by the logical board game I was playing in high school. That game never saw the light of the day because of three things.
The first one – I was afraid of violating copyrights because there was already the Doris game on iOS market, even though my game was optimized for Android market.
The second one – I was not able to do the programming stuff really well. I have never found out where was my mistake, but my code at that time was so ugly and heavy that if I would ever like to restart this project, I will start it from scratch.
And the final one – I was just a low experienced programmer. I had no, absolutely no knowledge about design, market and even I have never paid for anything online, so I was skeptic about paying $25 to Google for opening a developer account.
It took me a whole year to get the know-how and get courage to overcome all of the obstacles above, and meanwhile I developed my first ever published game – Star Shoot. I knew that this was the perfect time to launch my website and publish my first game. Finally I could call myself a game developer.
That was my road to the first game. Although I had no success with it, I learned a lot. The experience I gained was the value I always want to get, and helped me with the second game. Why I did not stopped right there? Well, I just wanted to learn more.