Why am I making games?

Like most people who play games, I had some ideas that I thought would be fun. (that's essentially it, keep reading for more details)

After I am sure she was sick of hearing me retell her my idea for a game when walking our dog, Nic said “Hey, why don’t you learn how to make them?”

Making games was never something I had ever really thought about doing. I choose to study PR and advertising because I wanted to help people find out about interesting games (and maybe to be the person that got to introduce them to the world). I am no artist, and looking at code reminded me of high school math problems which disagreed with me. With these two pathways out, I didn't really see how I could make games.

A job ad appeared for a school that taught people how to make games that was in Canberra. I never thought of, or had any plans to move to Canberra before hearing about AIE. Then after thinking about it the only places we went to in Perth was work, the BP up the road (the knew how to keep a pie hot for hours) our friends and Nic’s Mum’s place. It turns out you can do exactly that in other places in Australia too. I applied as soon as Nic said she would come as well. It sounded way more exciting than most of the places I had been applying for. Guess what I got the job at AIE and the people that work there are awesome.

The very first moment that I thought “Ok, I want to make games” is when I hosted my first game jam at AIE. I was really just there as a chaperone but it was the first time I got to witness the students in their element making games. It looked like a heap of fun and that was when I didn’t just want to be looking at some games website any more, I wanted to do what they did.

I tried learning C# but it ended just like I always though; I am no programmer. People that can code are awesome and I still don’t think I will ever truly be one of them. Fast forward a few months and Adam Ball, a crazy good art teacher at AIE was showing his students this thing he found for Unity3D called Playmaker. It allowed him to bend the computer to his will just like a programmer but instead of having to write out lines of code he was connecting nodes and giving each node a set of pre created actions that he just fed the tiniest amount of details for. I don’t think any of his students really cared but I thought it was amazing. For the first time I was able to follow along with the logic of what someone was telling the computer what to do.

After playing around with Playmaker I was able to get it to do some basic things and that felt awesome. Nic and I made a couple of small prototypes that we found challenging but really fun to make.

Since then I have tried learning some more tools. I dabbled in Blueprints for UE4 but didn't find it as easy to pick up as Playmaker. With practice I probably could have but the the thing that really drew us to Unity was it’s 2D pipeline. Nic’s 2D are is so freaking cool. Have you seen how adorable the creatures in our game look?, and best of all I don’t think her style is seen in games. The quickest way for us to make something that showed Nic’s great art and that would easily(ish) allow me to “program” was to use Unity and Playmaker.

Making games with Nic is super fun. I wanted to keep doing it, so we are.