Starting from a bit more than Scratch
While this is the point at which I’m starting to document my adventures in game development, I’m not entirely unfamiliar with the process. In grade school I had a habit of picking up microcomputers at garage sales and teaching myself whatever version of BASIC they used… I remember having a TRS-80, an Atari 400, and a TS1000 while in grade school, and a Commodore 64 in high school.
I don’t really remember the details, but I made some kind of graphic-mode action games, as well as designed a text adventure parser capable of interpreting two-word command phrases.
In high school I discovered that someone had done most of the work for me, and I began to dabble with game creation toolkits like SSI’s Unlimited Adventures and TADS and the Adventure Game Toolkit. It was never enough for me, though, I always wanted to do more than the programs would let me, I always dug deep into modifying what I could and working around what I couldn’t.
After high school I majored in Computer Science, taking classes in HTML and Cobol and such, ostensibly to get work resolving the Y2K issues, but really just because I wanted to make video games.
It’s a lot easier these days. We had communities in the past – forums and usenet groups – but nothing like it is now, with Game Jams and game dev discords and everything else. The tools are better, too, more user-friendly, with better support and third-party libraries and many more options.
So I’m not really starting from scratch. In fact, I’m involved in a few projects right now.
Wayfarer is a work of audio interactive fiction I’ve been working on for Burning Brigid Media. It was supposed to be a fairly quick demo, but midway through last year I ran into a problem with app permissions, and I’ve been taking Android Development courses to figure out what I need to do. I’ll likely start it over as a native Android app.
Murder By Clockwork
So I’ll be working on Murder By Clockwork, Wayfarer when I’m at the point where I feel confident in the Android Dev lessons I’ve been taking, and other, shorter-scope side projects as we go along.