A thought occurred to me today, I analyze video games multiple times a month and can tell the good from the bad, but I have no idea what it takes to create one. A common dream shared amongst many gamers is to one day make a video game. Some of these gamers go on to join the industry, or become independent game developers. Others, like me, continue to think about creating that dream video game, but do nothing to make that dream come true. Sure, some will tinker with Game Maker but give up after the failure to create something other than the included tutorial games. I am definitely part of that group. Passion would kick me in the ass, but reality would kick me even harder; I suck at a lot of the important things that it takes to create a video game, and that would be everything.
The allure of software like Game Maker is powerful. They tout that you need no experience to create video games and that all it takes is some crafty drag and drop, well, that isn’t entirely true. Yes, you can drag your masterful art onscreen, but then nothing happens. You still need to learn how to program what roles that art will play, and you do that by learning their “easy” to learn language. It isn’t easy by any means, and this is probably the point at which most people stop, me included.
I started thinking hard about what it means to me to be a gaming blogger – not to be confused with gaming journalist – and why I believe I have the right to be reviewing video games with utmost conviction. I am not part of the industry; I never learned how to be a journalist or even how to review video games. I’m just a regular dude with little skill that decided to start writing about video games.
Recently, I became interested in the indie video game development scene thanks to the stellar documentary, Indie Game: The Movie. There is a lot that goes into developing a video game, a lot of things that most people will never realize. I want to know more, but outside of interviewing video game developers, I will never truly know what it takes to make a video game. This is why I’m going to try my hand at video game creation, and hopefully end up with something that remotely resembles a video game.
I won’t be learning how to write code, but instead will learn to use a piece of software known as Construct 2. This may make me a laughing stock amongst the community, but I am not willing to embark on this journey any other way. For graphics, I will be using a combination of the included image editor and Paint.net. I will be reading manuals and completing Construct 2 tutorials as needed. I haven’t thought about sounds or the soundtrack yet, but may take a stab at creating music, though I can almost guarantee that I’ll use royalty free stuff. The big thing is that I’ll be using all free software. Most importantly, I will be blogging about the entire ordeal, whether or not a video game ever gets created.
I’m going in with zero knowledge of how to create a video game, but hope to interact with anybody willing to comment on the blogs. While my goal is to create something that plays from beginning to end, I am not guaranteeing a finished product, or a product of any particular quality. If something remotely playable gets created, I’ll find some way to let you sample my creation. Finishing with a complete product would be ideal, but this is more about understanding a small chunk of what the pros undertake when they go to work every day, and finding my place in the wonderful (and crowded) world of gaming blogs.
My plan is to blog a few times each month detailing my video game creation journey. From the main character, to the enemies, the backgrounds, music, items, and whatever else it takes to create my video game.
So, in the words of a famous plumber, here we go!
4. Adding Coins
I am encouraging you to comment below with questions. I will answer some of these questions on every blog that I write, starting with tomorrow’s Genre Selection and Character Creation entry if any questions are present.