Where do games come from?

I decided to spend at least part of my time in Montana working on a game idea that’s been bouncing around my head for a couple months.  It wasn’t much, at the time, just a static sprite jumping and double jumping around platforms.  I spent most of the break working on getting collisions working the way I wanted. (DLH helped.)

So it was a surprise to me that it fascinated my nieces and nephews.  My youngest nephew, Cooper, was especially fascinated.  He asked if he could play my game, which, since there is nothing to play yet, he couldn’t.  Which led to him whining to his mom.

She asked, “Coop, where do you think games come from?”

Without pause, Cooper replied, “God.”

“Quiet,” his mom said, “You don’t want it to go to [Dawson’s] head.”

But it’s too late.  I am the creator of worlds, the almighty of my own digital realm, the Phil Fish of whatever project it is I’m working on right now.

I explained to Cooper that game development is a lot of hard work.  I taught myself through a huge stack of books and years of practice starting in 5th grade.  He grabbed a book, which led to another discussion about how it needed to be a book on game development.  A children’s novel wouldn’t do.

Exacerbated, Cooper more demanded than asked, “how do I make a game?”

Now, programmers are a persnickety bunch.  We like things precise.  If he had said, “How do I make a game similar in style to X but with gameplay like Y using C++ and SDL?”  I’d point him in the right direction.  If he narrowed it down to “… using Lua and an existing engine” I would have pointed him to my tutorials.

However, he is six.  I’m thinking he’ll figure it out if he so decides, but he might need a few years.

Posted in Montana, Travel.

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