The Only Thing I Ever Wanted To Make

3 minute read

Yesterday I turned 28. For the last 13 years at least I have been very interested in computers and programming in general. I now could not imagine what I would be doing now if it were not for these devices that live in almost every aspect of my life.

Still I haven’t really done much with that, as far as I am concerned. I have made no great websites, services, products, or games. Side projects I may have worked on continuously come to nothing. My will has been eroded to the point where I am not sure if I can even use a computer anymore.

Why am I doing this anymore? Why did I get into computing in the first place?

I wanted to make games

It’s pretty simple really. I have always wanted to make a living making video games. I grew up on consoles such ask the NES, Master System, Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, the DS, Game Gear, The PlayStation. All I ever wanted to do was create content for these systems.

Then as I got a bit older, PCs were becoming more accessible, and I got to see my family start building computers, getting the latest graphics card they could get the hands on, and playing PC games. DOOM, Age of Empires, Unreal, Civilisation, Populous, Settlers to name some. I remember the Microsoft Entertainment pack games when I was first staring at Windows 3.1, Railroad Tycoon played in DOS. Around the time my mother built me my first PC Roller-coaster Tycoon was out and I spend t a lot of time playing that. In fact I spend most of my childhood playing video games, mostly console games however.

When I was 17 I finally got a more modern PC build that could handle the games of 2007. The Orange Box was out my friends were talking about it, and I would spend the new few months playing rather than studying. I can tell you my grades suffered badly for it, but My want to learn how to program games only increased. This was helped by the rise of the web.

Flash games were appearing all over the place, Browser based games like Kings of Chaos and Runescape were new and exciting. If you looked at forums you could find smatterings of help about getting started. And so I did. I tried to learn ActionScript 3 in order to get started. I moved on to PHP when the webpage became interesting, HTML / CSS / JavaScript, SQL. I was given a copy of Ubuntu Linux Hardy Heron, and that started what is now my bread and butter skill.

I went to university, hungry to learn how to do all the things I wanted to do. I had to learn Java, I spent a summer trying to make a tower defence Game in C++, I ran a small VPN service at uni to enable people and myself to play PC games online. I made a few things in Flash in it’s dying days (one which you can still see here). And of course I played a lot of games. I planned games with friends, dreamed of games to make but I never actually followed through with any of it.

5 years later and it’s safe to say I had forgotten why I even learned anything in the first place.

Concerns

It’s easy to say now that I struggle to do anything with computers. After a breakdown in 2012, I have only used computers to play more games and make money in which to live. I don’t really feel any fulfilment about using one. If anything just a lingering but growing dread of having to spend the day on one. I think I should make a game, just to remember what it was that got me here.

And you never know. I may have fun doing so.