Some of you may know that I actually studied Game Design, first at college form 2008 – 2010, and then at University from 2010 – 2014! You wouldn’t really know it today though as I’m comfortably sitting at my desk working away on SharePoint and producing MI, it’s a far cry from what I thought I would be doing with my life back then!
Once I started my full time job, it was always my plan to continue making games on the side, and I did do that for a while… I was so focussed on the thought that I wanted to make games that every single free moment I had I would be franticly writing ideas down, in notebooks, on the computer, on my phone, Post-it-notes, literally anywhere!
Back in 2017 I released a game called Super Donuts which, while my family and friends enjoyed, it really didn’t do very well at all and it put me off wanting to make something again. Two whole years of hard work and determination for something like 5 downloads and a few reviews. one of them a 1 star review on android with no comment… Not exactly the outcome I was hoping for. Around the same time I’d started getting back into YouTube after taking a long break towards the end of Uni and starting my job and decided to put all my time and effort into making videos instead.
Making videos became my creative outlet after the somewhat underwhelming success of my game. I found it so much easier to get out there and decided to start making one video a week and see how long I could keep it up for. Well, four years later I’m still very happy making weekly videos as a way of expressing myself outside of the corporate 9-5!
I tried many times in the years since to get back into making games, but every time I was hit with two obstacles, first, choosing a game engine. There’s so many great choices these days I always felt a bit of option paralysis. My last game was made using Stencyl, but I always felt a bit of imposter syndrome from using that, it’s not a “proper” game engine, I also don’t like the idea of using visual programming, maybe it’s because a lot of the job opportunities I have these days include programming, but using Scratch to program just feels like I’m not learning any real life skills that could help me in the future. So I decided instead to try and branch out into some other engines.
Over the past few years I’ve played around with Unity, Unreal, Godot, Game Maker and a host of other engines to try and find one that felt as natural to use for me as Stencyl did, but no matter how many times I tried, no matter how many tutorials I followed, I never felt at home with any of them. With the limited free time I have, what with my full time job, and wanting to keep up making weekly videos, I just couldn’t focus for long enough on any of them to really let the concepts and different programming languages sink in…
Recently on the channel I’ve been reviewing a lot of homebrew games, which are new games for old consoles made by fans of the systems. Playing these has really refuelled the fire of game development inside me! Check out the playlist here to see reviews of all the Homebrew games so far – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcbv4UzwWRK3bSZeYziZjp1riEMdjQoam – Playing these games has helped me remember just why I wanted to make games in the first place. As I’m playing through these passion projects, I can really feel all the love and determination that the developers poured into these creations!
So, I’m excited to announce that I’m getting back into game dev! Not with Unity, not with Unreal or Godot, but with…. GB Studio! Sure, it may not be giving me the programming knowledge I was after from those other engines, but these days I have other opportunities with work to brush up on my programming skills. This is going right back to basics, I used to love playing around with RPG Maker back in the day, and I still have loads of game ideas that never saw the light of day. So I’m excited to see what I can with GB Studio, and after playing and reviewing so many games made using the engine, I feel like I have a good understanding of what makes a good or bad game, and what you can resonably do within it’s limitations, so watch this space! I’m also really excited about the idea of having my own game on a physical Game Boy cart, with a box and manual! Being a collector of Game Boy games it really would be a dream come true to see my own game among my collection!
Below this post are some screenshots to show the progress i’ve made in just two days! I’ll update this more more looks into the development, and may start a Dev Diary over on Itch.io. I’ve decided for my first game to recreate a game I made in RPG maker back in 2014 called Quantum Shift. The game is avaliable to download on my Itch page if you want to see what the original was like – https://retrobreak.itch.io/quantum-shift – I left the game in demo form, but a lot more was planned, so hopefully I can continue working on the story and make what I think will be a really intereting and unique game!
Thanks for reading, hope you look forward to my game!