Rando Post No. 5: … Except for a Game Designer.

Last week, I ended by asking you to remember a certain statistic – that the future career of “game designer” is among the top three choices among children aged 8 to 10, as reported by this article.  This week, I plan to talk a little bit more about that specifically, and how it drops off the chart afterwards.

Many children play video games [citation needed].  At some point, a fairly large number of them want to make some of their own, primarily when they are between ages 8 and 10, as stated before.  However, most of the time, they find other things that they find that they would rather do.


Rando Post No. 4: You Can Be Anything You Want to Be*

As an aspiring game developer, I value the importance of dreaming big when it comes to what one wants to do with his/her life.  I value doing whatever it takes (within reason, and legal) to achieve long-term goals.  But there is a caveat to all of this that adults don’t tend to consider when relaying this to children.  Hints: the parentheses earlier, and the asterisk in the title.

This topic came to me when I saw this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic.  As a little tangent, you may be seeing that publication referenced quite a bit here at CWG.


Rando Follow-Up: Technology, Games, and Education

This is the first follow-up article for the Rando series.  In these follow-up posts, I will look back on the previous posts, try to clarify anything that I didn’t convey clearly, talk about any new information on them, or anything else that must be said.  I will also touch on a few topics that I didn’t write about before because I only do three posts per unit, or they didn’t come to my attention until after I had already chosen the three main points for the subject. Finally, I will share some thoughts on the subject as a whole.  After that will be any brief news, and the announcement of the next subject.

So, the topic of this subject was how technology and games can affect education.


Rando Post No. 3: Those Life Experience Things that Your School Made You Go Through

The reason for the weird title is that I’m not really sure what to call these, so I think a better way to convey what I mean would be: remember Junior Achievement®, where you would repeatedly “learn” about the assembly line by lining up with the rest of your classmates to glue pieces of paper together?

Okay, so that may be putting J.A.(fun fact – technically still ®) in a bad light, so I’ll admit that I liked it because it was a part of the school day where I could just put my brain on autopilot.  Also, that’s not the only thing that I’m going to talk about in this one.  And, to be fair, my last rando post was about how great gamification could be for education, so their attempts to make learning about the “real world” (as opposed to the “fake world” that students apparently live in until they graduate from college) interactive and fun are commendable.  But, as with this toast, I’m done buttering it up.

There are a few examples of what I’m going to be talking about here


Summer 2016 Update

“Rando posts.  I’ll get around to it reeeeaaaal soon.” – me, January 1, 2016

As it turns out, college tends to take more time than high school.  I would normally start working on summer projects in April, but this time I couldn’t until finals week (at the beginning of May), and even then, I couldn’t do much because it was finals week.  But, now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to rest, it’s time to start Summering.

So here’s the deal for this summer.  I don’t plan on releasing anything new, and have no immediate plans for announcing anything new, either.  However, I began looking at Unity over my Winter Break (using this book to start out with, but it’s turned out not to be especially useful for anything beyond the absolute basics – just an introduction to the editor and the kind of things you can do with it), so we may see some terrible Unity games (or hopefully, some good ones) in the not-so-distant future.

On the other hand, I plan on having a new post here every Sunday over the Summer, and probably beyond.  Most of them will be rando posts, but there will also be occasional news updates.  If there’s news.

Speaking of rando posts, I have a plan for them.  I will make three of them pertaining to a certain topic (the topic of the current set is education, for instance), then do a follow-up post with any new information or further comments that I may have, as well as what the next topic is going to be.  I plan on the third education post for this coming Sunday.

Until next time, enjoy this little gem I found while I was doing research for the next rando post.  The Paulding County GA schools probably don’t really want this out in the wild, but I figure if Google can find it, then it’s fair game.  If nothing else, I at least think page 25 is worth looking at [link]. I’ll be back Sunday with the lowdown.


Electric Release!

After two years of on-and-off Valve-Time development, Electric is finally up for whoever wants in on Indie DB! I’ve chosen Indie DB as my distribution platform to reach a wider audience, and to save on bandwidth on my self-hosted server. For the first time ever, I actually released a full game!  Also, now that I can do other things without the guilt of not doing Electric, I’m going to start doing other things, like continue to learn Unity!  <The sound of those weird party whistle things!  Also confetti!>

I still plan on maintaining Electric, but for this release anyway, all new Electric stuff will be put up on Indie DB.  If you have a bug report, submit it by “contacting” me from Indie DB.  If something new comes up, I’ll probably do a quick post here linking to it, but the main attraction will be there.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience, such as:

  • Get someone else to make graphics for you
  • After hard-coding a whole game (even in BASIC), Unity looks really good
  • Actually good AI is kind of hard
  • Multiplayer is really hard (though I actually learned that from something else, just during Electric’s development time)

And so much more!  Also I learned that “laser” is spelled “laser” and not “lazer.”  I wish I’d caught that error earlier.

I do plan to revisit Electric in the future.  As in, for a while, until I get actually good, that’s probably all I’ll make.  I figure that the best way to get good at making games (for me, anyway) is to just get really good at one kind of game (like how Code Masters is with racing games or Valve with FPSs), and then figure out what I learned from that to apply to other things.  Next up is the Unity engine, maybe still 2D, the idea being that I can transfer the logic fairly easily (translating from BASIC to C#, of course), unless it turns out to be more trouble than its worth, what with C# being so much more flexible (meaning that a direct translation would be stupid), and the fact that I don’t need to deal with drawing functions (meaning that a direct translation would be even more stupid).  But I’ll worry about that later; I plan on getting very familiar with Unity before I start on a big project like that, so you won’t be seeing that any time soon.  Nothing is set in stone, anyway.

The change log is short for this one.  Normally I would use bullet points, but there’s so few of them that it doesn’t really matter, so I’ll just list them.  Graphical bugs involving the trees in the background have been fixed, when a plane blows up pieces fly out, and the damage of the charging weapons has been cut in half because they were WAY too powerful before.  Some issues with setting controller axes have been fixed, but if you have a joystick with a throttle control, I still recommend having it set to around 50% so that it doesn’t assume that you want the throttle to control everything.  Overall, it’s functionally pretty much the same as before.

One more thing, on an unrelated topic: rando posts.  I’ll get around to it reeeeaaaal soon.  Bad life sim things that middle and high schools put kids through sometimes.  Classics.  And then, a round-up of things I’ve learned about these things since.

Last but not least (the previous item was least, for the weird people like me who were wondering): happy new year!



I have been completely silent for the past, like, eight months or something, so I need to apologize and explain why.  Electric is just about done, for real this time, but I haven’t put it up yet.  I’m thinking it will go on IndieDB, but I still need to do a little more research on that.

Other stuff: During the summer, I worked on a thing that my old high school’s help desk is using (oh yeah, and I’m allowed to call it “old” now, because I graduated) starting Monday.  I learned Python to make it, and “finished” it in about a week.  If I have the leisure, I may put a more generalized version up… here, or somewhere or something.  We’re still figuring that out, since it’s not a game.

Also I learned more C++, and more recently, some SDL, so I can make stuff in two real languages now.  Once Electric’s out the door, I’m disowning BASIC.

Also, I’m in college now, so that’s a thing.

Also, I also thought that I should also maybe also learn some Unity3D stuff (also, of course).  So we might see that in the future.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… yeah, that’s what’s up.


Electric RC 2

Sorry, we’ve been running Valve time with this one (no we haven’t – it got released eventually), but Electric RC2 is out now.  It’s actually been mostly done for a little while, but a bunch of time got taken up with school projects and the like.  So, here’s the new stuff.

  • Background textures have much fewer glitches around the edges of the woods
  • The aimer mod doesn’t lie (for real this time)
  • Flare packs now include 3 flares
  • Various frame rate bugs fixed
  • The installer is about 2/5 the size it used to be
  • The installer has the correct icon

Rando Post No. 2

A few weeks ago, I complained about e-learning days.  I had another one a few days later.  It was also horrible.  But, as it did last time, my Econ homework was nice.


Rando Post No. 1

I’m going to take a moment to complain about school.  If you don’t want to hear about it, you don’t have to read it.

As you know, I’m still in high school. (I’m a senior, which means I’m almost done, though.)  My school is taking advantage of these modern times.  We have a 1 on 1 netbook deal, where every student has a school-issued netbook.  This year, the school initiated a new program – the e-learning day.