How I became an Indie Developer

My story 

I’ve always been rather good with computers. I’ve been building websites since the age of 10, I even dabbled in adobe flash, trying to make those all popular flash games seen online – everywhere. Sadly, programming isn’t easy, and I struggled to sufficiently learn a language. I even took AS level computer science and I got a D, something my friends would argue could never happen due to my computer literacy (I should mention I failed to attend most classes due to time tabling – so it’s a self taught D). For my term project I followed a tutorial and built a unbeatable version of pong in Visual Basic, that got a U, while the rest of the class were working out what an Array was… 

With the rise of the Internet and free information it’s got easier and easier to learn about new topics. Hell, I practically passed university by teaching myself online, yet again I wasn’t one to attend class. Once again… I didn’t do great. 

My dad was a famous video game programmer in the 80s. He notably developed Outrun, single handed and at 16 years old, the worldwide best selling game of the year. Following in my fathers footsteps in a few aspects of life, I found these the hardest shoes to fill. 

So after university, I decided it was time to apply myself to the task of video game programming. I started in August, after a day I had some basic top down shooter up and running. I followed a brilliant set of tutorials by RM2KDEV, I recommend going through each one step by step. It’s a great way to grasp the basics and you’ll have a game up and running game in no time. 

I saw a game jam on and thought it was a great way to learn new techniques. A week later my first game, Zombie 1984, gained top places in graphics and sound and came 5th overall out of over 100 contestants. 

With that in mind I ventured out and took on a new type of game, racing simulation. After a few days I had a simple top down racing game. Whilst it was extremely basic the game itself was not bad. I took some time to develop it and after a few months I had what looked like an end product.

I flew over to see my dad, to say the fact i was now a video game developer  excited him as an understatement. He suggested some extremely important functionality to the game. His advice aided me greatly in polishing the game engine and his knowledge of what makes games fun was a huge influence in the way I made DRIFT 84

After 6 long months of development, the game is almost complete and while it looks similar, it’s a totally different game. I’m showcasing it to the media in a few days and am just finishing the last touches. Fingers crossed! 

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