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Devin_J
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08 Feb 2007, 4:00 pm

I know a lot of people view video games as pathetic. As a waste of time.
I think that video games, computer games, and the lot, can have a huge impact on a persons life, in a good way. At the very least, it has with me, and I know it has with others.

You see, once I started playing video games, I started to respect the designers. Once I respected the designers, I started to respect the whole team, the programmers, the graphic artists, the lot of them. I started to want to create my own game.

Now, at first, I wanted the quick way. I recall a post on a game development forum on getting a free, easy, quick way of making games where I wouldn't have to program. Most people thought it was a parody of people who honestly thought that that was the best way, people like me, or really the me at that point in time.
Once they found out the truth, they told me that it takes more than a 9 year old who wants to make a game. It takes skill. No self-respecting programmer would work for somebody who has just an idea. You must have talent, you must be able to model, or to make art, or to program.

All of these paths, if learned, would have all the game playing, the 'time wasting' worth it. It's hard to come across something you are passionate about; if games serve as a catalyst, then that is a good thing.

As it happened, I took the path of modeling first. I went pretty far. But a modeler can only do so much. To make a game, I would have had to enlist a programmer-one who would want to make the game his way, not any other way. I began to really want to program. If I didn't want to so badly, I would have never learned. It took many tries. I tried C, C++, Java, C#, all several times. I even tried Javascript, and, unsurprisingly, failed. I would have used it as a jumping point, and so I could not truly learn it.

But eventually, I succeeded. Not with the best of languages, but I did. TI-BASIC was the language, and I at first used it to create a small text adventure, which was never finished. But I put hours into it, wanting to make a game. After two years of wanting to make a game, I now had the skill required. My final masterpiece on the TI-83 was Pong. I could undoubtedly create a better game now, but even before Pong, I had begun to learn other languages.

I learned VB.NET, because it could be better used to make games, and was similar to TI-BASIC (or so I thought). However, the game engines available were available, but usually only documented for C#. And so I learned C#, so as to make games. But even as I began to learn, I also began to use Linux more and more often, and I realized that C# was not really cross-platform, or rather, it was, but all the pieces, all the modern bits, were not. C# 2.0 was not in Mono. And so I learned Python, which I had heard many good things about in relation to gaming.

Since then, about one year ago, Python has been my language of choice. As you can see, all through my programming life, my choices have been influenced by that original idea: I wanted to be a game developer.

In Python, I began an ambitious project. I wanted to make a Text RPG, similar to the one I had begun in TI-BASIC, but more generic, more powerful. I wanted to make a game engine. Although it has been almost a year since that begun, and I have gone far, I have not finished it. What I have done, is learn an incredible amount of knowledge about programming. In Python, with that project, over about 4 months, I learned more about programming than some of my colleagues have over the past 3 years. Admittedly, my knowledge is a bit off-venter, and there are areas that they know that I don't. However, in those months, I truly learned how to program. I learned the true use of OO programming. I learned how to make a program, to do a project, not just the simple API and syntax. I became a programmer in those few months.

My entire programming life, my love of programming (which is itself a valuable skill), all began with my love of games. Since I began programming, my gaming life has receded. I don't play games so much anymore, my time is best spent programming, working, or simply browsing the web. But I will always be a gamer. Gaming has formed my life into what it is. No matter how useless a game may seem, I think that it should be valued not only by its fun, or its seeming uselessness; games hold the power to inspire people to do things they probably never would otherwise.



chesirecat
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08 Feb 2007, 4:17 pm

Devin_J wrote:
games hold the power to inspire people to do things they probably never would otherwise.


yah, like shooting people



Devin_J
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08 Feb 2007, 5:01 pm

Quote:
yah, like shooting people

I think that if you are influenced by a video game to shoot somebody, you were f****d up from the beginning.



RedMage
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08 Feb 2007, 5:25 pm

Video games are life. :lol:



Stinkypuppy
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08 Feb 2007, 6:02 pm

Practically everything has the potential to inspire, though.

I'm glad that you've found games to be an inspiration towards pursuing a major interest in programming, which in itself can land you in future employment if you wanted to do so. But you did this by not restricting yourself to just games, instead branching off into something related to games. I could say a similar thing about watching TV; I saw some of the dancing shows and it looked interesting, so I took up dancing. It inspired me to get off my butt and try something, and it so far has taught me a lot about music too. However, this venturing is frankly not something that many other gamers and people in general do. Just look at all the couch potatoes sitting at home staring at the screen (TV or computer) and never really doing anything from it. Those people who are able to use their interests to launch themselves into other areas will be able to diversify their experiences and get a richer life experience as a result. Those people who don't will only get from video games what they make of it, Aspie or not.


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08 Feb 2007, 6:31 pm

I consider video games with great storylines to be up there with good literature. Only two or three decades ago, comic books weren't considered "literature", and yet many Universities have courses related to them now. I dream of writing my own video game (as in writing the cutscene scripts, as well as laying out gameplay concepts).


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Devin_J
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08 Feb 2007, 6:37 pm

Quatermass, if I ever get around to making a real video game, then please remind me to let you in on it.
Unfortunately, I don't normally have time during the week to do it, as I have plenty of schoolwork to do, so it may be some time, even though I now have the skills to do it.



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08 Feb 2007, 11:45 pm

I've already got a basic storyline in mind that I've been mulling over for a year. It's a dark RPG...


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Devin_J
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09 Feb 2007, 8:38 am

Haha, well, I still have that Text RPG, and I didn't work on it for just 4 months.