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History and SDKs

History and SDKs

15 July, 2013 12:07 am0 comments

It kind of happened suddenly. I was busy working on comic pages at my desk listening to indie game dev podcast when the host mentioned an SDK (software development kit, I had to look it up) named Corona. Enthusiastically he commented that ANYONE could make a game with it and perhaps a successful one at that. I’ve been doing comics for a while but knew that it is becoming more and more and niche medium and that if I was going to do them, they would have to be digital. There have been many different ways of doing digital comics but none of them felt quite right for what I was interested in doing. At some point I started listening to podcasts and watching videos of people making games and slowly the idea began to creep up on me. Here was a medium that used pictures and required interactivity where the only limit on what you can do is your imagination.

I’ve been a gamer my whole life since playing ‘Shufflepuck Cafe’ on my Nanna’s Amiga. Another early memory was playing ‘Jill of the Jungle’ off an assortment of floppy disks. I remember playing Doom, Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem 3D on friends PCs whenever I got the chance. My dad would occasionally bring back games from over-seas travels such as Myst, Grim Fandango and MechWarrior. On weekends it would be Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Tony Hawk once the Playstation came out.

I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own art in most mediums, film, music, comics, novels, but never considered making a game before. Games alway seemed like they just showed up from the aether, handed down by the gods of entertainment. When I got older it was obvious they required a tonne of technical skill, a lot of money and a lot of people.

Well, those days have changed. It is an incredible time to be making games right now. The tools available allow small teams and even individuals to create their own games without needing to be rocket scientists. And not only on the development side but the market for games today is ravenous. People cannot get enough of games and now more people than ever can and want to access them. Suddenly making a game seems like the most obvious thing to do.

corona2_GzOLbIAfter looking at the various development kits available such as Unity,  Cocos 2dx, Love, Gamesalad, GameMaker and Stencyl, it turned out that the one I had heard of originally, ‘Corona‘ was the right fit for me. It is cross platform for iOS and Android, has a built in Box2D physics engine and uses a simple language known as LUA. I was interested in learning to program so wanted an SDK that would allow me to learn which knocked out the ‘drag and drop’ engines like game salad. I also knew I wanted to go 2D so I could easily create the art myself so that ruled out Unity which is a 3D engine. After the last couple of months of learning in my spare time I’ve started to get the hang of Lua coding and started putting the foundation of my game together.

In the next post I will talk about how I began learning the basics of coding and making games and how I decided on what kind of game to make first.



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