The beginning

First of all I would like to welcome you to my humble abode or blog, whichever your prefer.

In this first post I will explain why exactly I decided to create this blog, the project I am working on and the first steps I have taken regarding that project.

Why this blog?

I am nearing the end of my bachelor's and there were still quite some skills I thought needed more work, one being my writing skills. The other reason is that I also wanted to document my own progress while working on a project I have been willing to realize for quite a while now.

About me

My developing experience started when I was around 13-14 years old, before that I used to play around with MS Frontpage and make like 13 different versions of a website with cheat codes on it. I still have the domain name I bought back then which is still used for my prototypes and such. Anyway, somewhere around my 13th or 14th year on this world I got in touch with HTML and CSS, which I found rather easy and I spend some time creating static websites. Not long after, I taught myself SQL and how to use databases in combination with PHP. PHP would be my first actual language if you would ask me. With that skill set I created some rather large websites, which I never published or anything. I then got some minor experience with Java, but all through a WYSIWYG editor and not much coding was done. Got in touch with C# in my first semester at university, made several games and lots of practicals and quite like it (more so in combination with XNA!), we even made a GTA2 game of ourselves in 8 weeks (which unfortunately was not received well due to our AI. Duh, it was an intro course). Somewhere around this time I picked up "all" of my Java experience and started developing for Android. A rather large portion of my time lately has been put into the psychological aspect of games and design like usability engineering and cognitive psychology.

In short: HTML/CSS -> SQL/PHP/JavaScript-> Java (hardly) -> C# -> Java (Android) -> Haskell

The project

The idea is about a game that combines elements of tower defense, RTS and RPG.

I have always liked how tower defense games keep you playing due to gradually making it more challenging. It is also nice that anyone can play them, as the difficulty is up to the player and the rules are simple. Like I mentioned in the "About me" part, one of my first games was CNC: Tiberian Sun (and later all that followed in the CNC series) and ever since I have liked playing them. Especially the idea of starting with nothing, gathering resources and then build and expand your base. The games I spent most my time on were (MMO)RPGs and this project is strongly influenced by them, because they, too, are influenced a little by the idea of "starting with nothing and then improving yourself".

Ha, and that is all I will tell right now, considering the game is still being designed.

Choosing a language and framework

I own several devices running Android and I had some prior experience with creating Android based applications, like I explained before. In my earlier projects I came in touch with LibGDX and I liked it, it had just right balance between high and low level stuff. Since that time, which was in 2011 or early 2012 I think, the framework has evolved into basically the best framework I managed to find.

The choice for Java and Android was not as straightforward as it seems, I spent several days reading about games in HTML5 and it seemed like a viable option. I am not exactly sure what made me decide to not use HTML5 but I think it had something to do with the source code being too easy to find and the options were rather limited. Besides, I already had experience in Java and LibGDX. Talking about LibGDX, it also allows you to port your application to HTML5, iOS and Windows.

Originally I planned on writing several paragraph on which language to use, whether or not to use a framework and if so, which one, but I wanted to get started and I already did this research months ago (of which I can barely remember anything). In fact, I have been coding quite a bit already.

Closing

In this article I have talked a little about who I am, my prior knowledge, the project I am working on and where the idea came from. After that I talked a little about the language and framework I am using (LibGDX, check it out!).

In the next post I will start with the project. See you then!

All tips are welcome, I am here to learn after all.

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