Another month, another monthly update. Let’s just jump right into it.
Jumping Right Into It
In last month’s post, I wrote about how I’m developing a platforming game with the Unity game engine. I also wrote a bunch of junk about how I’m basically learning Unity and game development as I go, because this is the first time I’ve dipped into game development since my high school and college days.
Which were really shallow dips back then, to be honest. In high school, I was a member of the niche online forum subculture of TI-83 Plus graphing calculator “game developers” who mostly just hyped up our cool game ideas to each other and rarely actually made them. (Probably because we were all just dumb kids with no idea what we were doing.) (Shoutout to the dumb kids who actually finished and shared their calculator games, and gave the rest of us something to strive for.)
And then in college, I was a member of the school’s game development club—and I actually finished some games! A few small Flash games… right before Flash was killed off as a platform. And a few other small games, the most exciting of which was a two player competitive Snake game… with player 1 using WASD, and player 2 using the arrow keys. On the same keyboard.
Like I said. Shallow dips. Rough around the edges, all of them. Rough enough and small enough that, ten years later, it feels like I’m starting from scratch.
So, jumping straight into developing a big platformer with multiplayer functionality and all the other bells and whistles I’ve never had to consider before… Maybe that was the wrong move.
Near the end of last month I stumbled upon the very good (and very should-have-been-obvious-all-along) advice that fledgling game developers should make a few extremely basic practice games to learn the ropes before they try their hands at making whatever passion project they actually want to make.
And so, for the entirety of this month, Untitled Multiplayer Platformer has been on pause—and instead of that, I’ve been working on a clone of Pong.
Well. Technically, the bare minimum working version of “a clone of Pong” was done a few weeks ago. In the time since then, I’ve just been fleshing it out and giving it a personal touch. Adding all the bells and whistles I usually don’t bother with. Some sound effects here, an overdramatic boss fight there… You know how it is.
I don’t know how long I’ll be on this silly “Pong clone but wait did you just say boss fight” side quest. Probably until I get bored of it, or until I get more enthused by something else. For now, it’s still a useful learning experience, so it hasn’t yet overstayed its welcome.
An Unexpected Revival
In other major project news, I’m working on Porydex again. My competitive Pokémon battling usage stats + Pokédex data website has been dormant for almost a year, and getting back into it now was the last thing I expected. Its game data section is three sets of games behind (BDSP, L:A, SV), and I still don’t do competitive battling anymore.
Then I saw a Reddit thread where someone was asking “what ever happened to Porydex?”, because they used to use it and they liked it.
It always catches me off guard when anyone actually uses a resource I made. Or when anyone reads a story I wrote. Even back when I made the MSPA Prophet, I was surprised that so many dozens of people liked it. And then hundreds. And then thousands.
(I may have some deep self-esteem issues where I can’t imagine people valuing anything I do. Maybe. In theory.)
But seeing that one mention was enough to get the ball rolling. I spent a couple days finishing importing the data from the Sword/Shield DLC, then I made a list of what I need to import from BDSP, and I started doing that and L:A and now a little bit of SV at the same time too and—
Okay, Porydex is a huge mess right now. But I’m enjoying it, and I know how to un-mess it, and I’m looking forward to it being “up to date” again, probably just in time for the Scarlet/Violet DLC.
All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty good month.
Currently reading: Axiom’s End
Do you ever think of yourself a science fiction/fantasy fan, but then when you look over all the books you’ve read recently, you realize it’s mostly science fiction, with the fantasy few and far between?
I wonder if my tastes actually changed, or if I’m just doing a poor job balancing them lately.