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My Game Dev Journey So Far


RickysSoftware
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It started in the year 2000. My uncle Darrell found some older desktop PC's people were giving away and they had Windows 95 on them as the operating system. I didn't have internet access back then. I just had that computer and my imagination. I would use paint to draw things on it. That's because my artistic side really comes out when I'm actually bored and have nothing else to do or look at. So I make new things that I can see. I was 12 years old at that time. My uncle Darrell came over one day with some floppy disks and he said he was going to teach me how to program in C++. He said that's how you make games. I guess he wasn't able to get it to install on the old PC probably due to limitations of it. I'd say it just didn't have enough disk space. It had a nice 300MB HDD. Thinking about being limited to 300MB today seems kind of crazy. Anyway he showed me the built in BASIC programming language called QBASIC. He showed me how to use if statements, bools, strings, and an input function as well as how to print. I printed Hello World as my first line of code as many programmers do. He told me I could make games using text with QBasic but I couldn't make anything with graphics. A while later I learned about the Draw function while looking at the documents. I figured out how to draw a man on the screen that looked a lot like the 8-bit Mario and I made an animation of him walking across the screen. My uncle Darrell was amazed at what I could do seeing that he himself never learned how to do that. He was more into music than programming though. Still I was a newbie and I did that. I had to draw each pixel individually and move it how I wanted. Years later in 2006 I learned more programming. I learned how to program PLC's in my Electricity/Electronics class. Other than that I didn't really do any other programming for years until 2010. I got visual studio and I learned Visual Basic. I thought man. This is so cool. I can make my own applications. Although I never finished a project I coded just for fun in Visual Basic until 2018. I'd always thought making a game in 3D was way beyond what I'd be able to do until I actually tried it. I got Unity and I started using it. And coming from a BASIC programming language C# looked strange to me and I thought I'd never understand it. I thought what is this "{" and why is it there. How do I write my if statement? It was different. But by the next year I was coding just fine in C#. But before that I thought assets are the ONLY way I'm going to make a game. I almost immediately found Gaia and I thought it was so cool from the videos I saw of it. BUT. I had seriously no idea if I could actually use it. So I'll admit I actually did download it from a pirating site. And I downloaded quite a few other assets. I loved them. But I thought I'm poor. I'll never afford these. Making a game and actually selling it is a dream that I'll never actually realize. But I actually saved here and there and one day I got on the asset store and I went on a shopping spree. I asked people on the forum if they thought it was OK to spend all this money on assets and they seemed to just look down on me and said that's how Unity makes their money. They said I should just do it for free. I would never have went on in my game Dev journey if I didn't buy the assets and I don't regret any asset I've ever bought. I'm glad to have each and every one of them. Gaia has pretty much always been my go to asset for terrain. ever since. In 2019 I started trying to make a Mario game and a Zombie game. I was pretty much making the Mario game for fun and the Zombie game was kinda my dream project I was going to sell one day. But as I was trying to make the Zombie game I learned level design is hard and it's time consuming. Well I thought maybe there's a City Generator asset out there that I can use on my terrain. I found a few assets to generate cities but none generated them on the terrain like I wanted. I thought about it for a minute and I realized Gaia might be able to do it. Because Gaia can spawn those medieval looking houses. And so my new project was figuring out how to make a City Generator. In 2020 at the tail end of the year my uncle Darrell died. It was a devastating loss for me and my family. I had money saved up for Gena Pro. I was so excited to buy it before Darrell died. And suddenly my money had to go towards helping my aunt through the funeral. Around that time I had been talking to Adam about possibly getting a job at Procedural Worlds. Adam heard about my loss and he gifted me Gena Pro. It was absolutely the most kind thing a stranger has ever done for me. Yes I say stranger because at that time I barely knew the guy but I learned he does have a heart of gold. He cares. He really does care. I'd been so excited to get Gena Pro because I heard it was possible to make cities with it. After a while I started watching youtube videos about L-System and how it could be used to make Procedural cities. I followed a tutorial on how to make a procedural town and I learned the API to Gena Pro before anyone else outside of Procedural Worlds as far as I know. I started off trying to make random roads with linearly placed somewhat random Gena nodes. It didn't take long before I realized that's not going to work how I want. So I literally just applied that tutorial project about towns with L-System to Gena Pro in code and almost instantly I had a City generator. I thought it was so cool. I showed the Procedural Worlds team what I was doing and before long I had a job at Procedural Worlds. At the time I thought to myself it must've been Darrell up in heaven putting in a good word for me. Because I never would have dreamed such an amazing thing would happen to me. I'm disabled. I have a mental illness but that doesn't stop me from doing what I love. The team at Procedural Worlds was amazing and I felt like I fit in with them. Clyde was the one that helped me the most and I learned a lot from him. If I needed help with something he would even call me on video and look at my screen to help me solve my problem. I kept having problems mentally though. More so than normal. I'd stay up long hours and I'd get up early because I loved working for Procedural Worlds. It eventually got the better of me and I thought about quitting the job. I did end up quitting and afterwards I felt terrible. I thought I'll never be able to do this. And I quit my game dev for almost the whole year. But when I came back I came back better than ever before and I made great progress on making a City Generator for Gena Pro in a short time. Later I made youtube videos and posts on this forum about the City Generator and I realized people are interested in it. I thought maybe I can make something amazing for my community. I want it to be amazing. Not just another asset you use a few times just for fun and then never use it again. I want it to be like Gaia. Something people feel they can't do without when making a game. Because you know for these AAA studios they have a big enough team that they can make all these large city environments by hand but for developers like me. Just a single person. It would take us a long time to make a nice detailed City. I one day sat down and I calculated how long it'd take to make the city I wanted for my Zombie game and I realized it would take me 20 years to make it how I wanted by hand. And I didn't want to wait that long. So now I'm still working on that City Generator. And we'll see what happens with it I guess.

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