What Games Mean to Me
I dabble in almost any and every genre of games, but some of my (current) favourites would have to be games relating to automation, such as Factorio, AutomaChef, and Satisfactory - as well as roguelikes, like Enter the Gungeon, Gunfire Reborn, or Slay the Spire. Games like these have inspired me to try and make games with layers of complexity, both implicit and explicit.
When I try to design a mechanic, I want to get a lot of mileage out of it. Working on Necromancy Overload, I didn't just want the idea of blowing up enemies to be a single mechanic, but instead I tried to make it so that it would also serve as a means to chain explosions, displace enemies to interrupt abilities like the Druid's AoE speed bonus, etc. I find this allows you to make deeper gameplay for far less work, and helps keep players fully engaged with your game by keeping more of the mechanics relevant all throughout play.
I love designing systems and logistics, which has heavily translated over to my work with programming, including a newfound interest in tool design via Odin Inspector. Creating games is an enormous challenge that I have grown to love dearly. The satisfaction I get from solving challenges in game development is unmatched, and being able to learn new things all the time is very rewarding, knowing there's always more ways to grow.
Superhero Origin Story (or something)
During the pandemic of 2020, I wanted to get back into programming. I had worked in Game Maker, on and off, for over several years, starting in my early teen years, but I had long gaps throughout that time. I was always too anxious to share my work, so confidence and motivation in my work often came and went, so although I still enjoyed it as a hobby, it had mostly been a casual one. I wanted to upgrade to Game Maker Studio 2, but the price-tag dissuaded me, so I looked for another engine. A friend of mine in a Computer Science course had shown me Unity that year, and I was initially intimidated by the vast amount of parts and mechanics to it, but it became a lurking thought for several months. In September, I had decided I would give it a shot anyway, and began to dive in.
I learned much of what I know from online documentation, various game development servers, and YouTube, which ended up being a fantastic source of information, from many quality content creators. My biggest sources of learning were channels like Infallible Code, Jason Weimann, and Brackeys. I spent almost every day learning more and more, working on little experiments and projects to help solidify my knowledge. I had tried working on a small endless runner and a WarioWare-style game before I had started coming across some videos about Game Jams. I wasn't familiar with them, at the time, so when I watched some videos by Miziziziz, where he and 3 other developers would create a game using the same asset pack, I became very interested in the idea. There was something about having such a tight deadline that made me think this would be the pressure I needed to finally complete a full project. I entered my first jam in February 2021, and have become addicted to jams since then. I have had the opportunity to work with other talented artists and developers for many jams I have entered, which has been an enormous boost to my skills and confidence, as well as teaching me many things about collaborative efforts.
Through the people in the communities I'm involved in, others I've worked with, and friends I've made along the way, I finally made the decision that I want to pursue development as a career. Game development has become a major passion of mine, and I would love to be able to work on even bigger projects in the future.