Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Creating an Online Game

So when I was younger (read like: 13) it was my dream to program computer games, I could think of nothing cooler than that. I learned to program at a young age and started making simple games, in high school where I had one of the best computer science teachers in the country (no joke) Craig Yuranek. One project our class was supposed to make was a tic-tac-toe game using X and O and ASCII characters. I learned how to use the graphics abilities of qBasic (yes, qBasic) and wrote a 3D Tic-Tac-Toe game with a computer AI who had multiple difficulty settings.

I progressed on, learned Pascal, C, C++ and got more into programming. The only problem was that I got more into programming, I seemed to move away from my first love (game design) and started writing "useful" programs, or little applets that would do menial tasks for me or would do my math homework. This was all fine and dandy, but I started to lose my passion for programming.

I graduated from college with a computer science degree and got a job designing websites for Fields & Associates Consulting (which apparently is now renamed to Divix). After that I went to intel and finally ended up where I am today at the PUD.

Throughout this all I have moved further and further away from why I started in doing this whole computer thing in the first place. There is nothing I can complain about any of my jobs, they have always provided a good working environment, challenging problems, and I have been paid well at every stop. But lately I have sorta felt burned out with the whole "computer" thing.

Well I have been kicking an idea around in my head for a few months, and sometime last week I approached Brian Dickman about partnering up with me in designing and building an online game.

I am still working on game mechanics and design issues right now, but I believe I have a pretty solid "framework" of where I want to go. Brian has been working on the back end side working on getting a programming framework and server setup in place. I hope to corrupt .justin to be my graphics designer, I am going to offer him riches beyond his wildest dreams (or like the first $100 our game earns). I have also cultivated a number of people via online channels that serve as 1) current focus group that I run idea's through, get ideas from and in general keep me in check to make sure I am designing something that is "cool" to regular people and not just my little project and 2) a valuable pool of players who will serve as beta testers and potential moderators/administrators if this thing explodes like I hope it will.

Anyway, that is my side project for the next... who knows how long. I am sure it will take some time to get everything setup and ready, but in coming days I will try and post progress updates of what is going on. Today my goal is to perhaps get some rough "first draft" designs done for graphics for the site and purchase a domain name. As soon as that is done I will post the domain name here (don't want some bot scanning this and squating my domain before I nab it) and a rough outline of what the game will entail.


wiivon said...

I'm all over that beta testing. If you need more peeps let me know. Seeing as how i'm still a LOTRO player and also have played COH I have a pretty good idea of how hard it is going from a console player to online play. I also have friends from these games that I can harass to have them beta test too. =)

BTW It's awesome that you're trying this out.

Ryan and Shalisa said...

Of course Y, I fully expect my coworkers to cease and decist all "productive" work during the day time as they are consumed with being piratey on my kick ass game (until John forces my house to be blacklisted from Surf Control :p)