My Journey to Become a Software Engineer… Week 3 — Check!
Hello everyone! And welcome to the end of week 3 in my journey to become a software engineer and developer after an approximately 59 day program! Since it’s both Aloha Friday and Friday the 13th, I thought I’d go over some of the things I’ve accomplished and learned during the week!
So what have I been up to? Well, its been a busy, productive week! Firstly, I wrapped up development on my first game EVER.
I have to say, even though it may be on the simpler side, I had a ton of fun making this, and it challenged me to both think critically and incorporate ideas and creativity in order to design or find assets and implement ideas and weapons!
I honestly never though I’d be able to make ANYTHING close to the functionality that I’ve accomplished, and its a truly proud moment for me. While there are a ton more things I kept thinking of implementing, the core programming and framework are done. The game is playable, bug free, (as far as I’ve play tested) has a full beginning, middle, and epic conclusion. I could spend weeks thinking of MORE things I’d love to implement into this game! From weapons, new enemies, new environments, and challenges, however I know that my time is limited in this program, and I really do want to get to the next game, so I can learn and absorb as much as I can during these short 7 weeks.
Biggest challenge of the 2D Space Shooter?
- Boss A.I. and mechanics.
THERE WERE JUST SO MANY THINGS I WANTED IT TO DO!
From the boss’s movement, to different beam weapons, homing missiles, and how it recognized the player (I ended up using a ray-casting script to check if the player is in front of it). New ideas kept popping into my head at a mile a minute. I was reminded by my tech lead that I should keep it simple to start, as I have a ton more things to learn!
Doesn’t mean that my space shooter won’t have a version 2.0 that’s coming out sometime in the future though. It is space after all — the final frontier.
Next, I tackled the second game course in the program. Stealth Games and Cinematography.
If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs, I wrote briefly about this course yesterday. I was able to get further into it today and boy, is it a lot of information to absorb. Am I still excited?
Even more so now, I think. This incorporates a lot of direction and story boarding, its the side of gaming that a lot of people don’t really pay too much attention to HOW it was done, yet its one of the most impactful things about games! Sharing its story.
In this portion of the course, we are presented with ideas for the cut scenes from a director — through story boarding. It’s our job as developers to come up with the ways to make these ideas come to life! Creating virtual cameras, timelines, and animating objects, as well as adding cinematic elements like fades and panning, are all part of the developer role! And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. I found myself really getting into it, trying to find the best angle, the best shot for what the director had laid out for their vision.
And this is the result of the storyboard that was laid out for me:
Not too shabby right? It took a while to get the timing right, but using the tools laid out for me in Unity, I was able to get the cut scene above made. Playing with the animation curves and timing of frames was fun, and makes me want to look into animation and video editing more!
Things I’ve learned:
- Unity is actually really intuitive to use to make cut scenes. Very cool stuff.
- Perfectionist. I kept trying to capture the PERFECT shot with what was presented in the storyboard, which did eat up a little more time than I expected. But the shots looked REALLY good, and I think followed the director’s vision.
What really excites me about this course is the potential. This is such different content than the 2D shooter and while I did want to learn and experiment more with that type of coding, this is too good to pass up. I am both eager and humbled to be in this opportunity and I’m serious about this, affirmed today after a rousing presentation and motivational speech by GameDevHQ’s founder, Jonathan Weinberger.
Look out Week 4, I’m comin’ in HOT.
Expect to hear more SOON (TM).
— Ryan ,
Aspiring Software Developer and Engineer; Instigator of Fun