Game Development: How did I start making video games? (Part 7)

Before I start, I just want to let you all know that Clayton Belcher (Jolly Crouton Media), Austin Huebner (Austin Pandemic) and I finished creating a new free strategy game called…

Franchise Wars

Franchise Wars

Franchise Wars is a turn-based isometric strategy game we created game jam style!

You can check out and download the game here

Alright gang, let’s finish this series off from where we left off.

I was fast approaching my later years in college. (in fact, I’m skipping so much stuff that happened from the previous post that this blog post would be filled with so many things like cringey college events, samey cafeteria food, bad housing and dealing with dorm mates who stay up until 5 a.m. with a burning desire to create as much noise as-…Oh sorry, I was rambling for a second there.)

So anyways, I was required to take a science related class for my current year, and was suggested to take Astronomy (Not Astrology). It seemed neat, I mean who doesn’t like space and star wars? I enjoyed the class, it’s pretty technical in it’s own unique way (I think with angles, distance, time) but also “outdoorsy” as a science class (at least with what I experienced). I got the opportunity to watch some shows at the planetarium, which was pretty rad. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that my Astronomy teacher asked if I wanted to work there, so I was like “lol heck yea bro, yolo swag noscope hue hue hue jajaja”.

Let’s skip ahead several more months, for our final project, we were assigned to do what was called the Astronomy Integration Project. Because our teacher was awesome, we could create almost anything we wanted to as long as it had some relation to astronomy. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I do the stupidest thing possible and make a video game since I’ve never finished my own one before and we don’t much that much time left?” So I did that. I grinded for hours, this was my first time experiencing something close to would be called a Game Jam (A Game Jam is an event where you generally have a short amount of time to create a video game). I worked at the game for hours, I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off, there was a lot of uncertainty and lack of experience but I slowly put together my first actual game…

Rocket Launch.

Rocket Launch! Created for my Astronomy class.

Rocket Launch! Created for my Astronomy class.

Fly the rocket to accomplish different mission goals.

Fly the rocket to accomplish different mission goals.

Rocket launch had 9 Missions, it was challenging to make in and of itself, figuring out how to wrangle the code in Game Maker 8.1. I’d run into problems like having to create different sized versions of the planets and assets, handling their physics, hit boxes for unique objects like the tail end of a comet, particle effects and so on.

My Astronomy Professor loved it.

So now what? Let’s skip ahead a bit further as I was now required to create an Art Show for my Senior Final for Graphic Design.

I was in the middle of messing with Frog Hop during this time, and thought to myself. Why not have the art show be based on this video game?

So, I did that, I worked pretty hard, skipping some classes to try and crunch away time at it. I’d work hard to get posters printed and put up on walls (only to have people laugh at them and tear them off the walls) and make promotional cards (which also kept getting thrown out) to get people to know about the show.

Anyways, I don’t think I need to say much about the show itself, I had computers setup so that people could play the game, watch a looping video in the planetarium about the game, and some box art pieces for the game.

I’m pretty thankful that the planetarium and computer science department were so generous to let me use their equipment to pull this off.

Shout outs to the CS department, Astronomy department, the Art department, Yoyo games, the passive aggressive college post office guy and the people that kept throwing out my promotional material (I knew where you lived).

Well, that’s about all I got, of course, I could talk about Frog Hop itself, the other game jam games, Nameless, maybe my other endeavors, but for now I think this is a good stopping point.

So what can be learned from this? What is the TL:DR? What can you take from this?

At the end of the day, unlike the game developers who are super young and their first game sells millions of copies, obvious my story isn’t like that. A lot of this journey is, well, a journey! I don’t have it all figured out. Just because I create games and have reached the “other side” doesn’t mean that I’m different from who I was when I started. Even if I got millions of copies sold of my games, I probably would still be the same, just more stressed and way more busier. People think that you have to go on this extremely individualistic quest to self discovery. But honestly, the more I’ve met with older people who have pursued different fields, the more I’ve started to realize that really no one has it completely figured out.

Life is not a destination, it’s a Journey.

Well, that was quite the blog series, I for one really enjoyed writing this series and I hope you found it entertaining/helpful.

Now the question is, what do I write about next? If only my readers could suggest some fun and interesting things for me to write about.



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