Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Getting the Ball Rolling
Kind of wild how a month just flew. Life got real busy there for a while (video commission, logo, vacation), but now my schedule has opened up so that I can begin some serious work on learning XNA and C#. Seems that as excited as I am, I'm also scared to stretch so far out of my comfort zone. Luckily, "outside of my comfort zone" worked out pretty good for me last year and I'm hoping I have similar results with this.
Last night I began really delving in to C# with the book, "Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0: Learn Programming Now!" and am really enjoying it. I ran into a little trouble with one of the tutorials (sadly chapter 2) and I think that I was just jumping in to late in the day. I'm grasping the "why" you are writing the code, but the "where" to put the code is throwing me a bit. Either way, I'm going to start the chapter over again and correct my mistakes. Also, I'm working with XNA Game Studio 3.1 while the book is 3.0. I don't think that should be too big of a problem, but I may need to look into any changes there might be.
On the art side, I really started thinking about how much I want going on in the screen and am pretty close to deciding on more of an arcade look than a high def display. I think this drop in resolution may help me keep frame rates up, but I haven't gotten far enough in my studies to know if this is a concern yet. All I know is that I shrunk down some of the art and really liked how it looked. I went back to look at a few games that I remembered had "hand drawn/scanned" art from the SNES era and was amazed to see how small the sprites really were. Mine will probably be about 100 x 100 pixels which is 2 to 4 times bigger than the SNES ones were.
Maybe its because I was playing a lot of Metal Slug on the Wii, but something about the look just struck a cord with me. It reminded me of a time when Arcade games seemed loud and spectacular, namely around the time that NBA Jam was huge and the Capcom X-Men fighting games were coming out. Just a lot of flashing lights and displays on the screen. My game will ultimately have a very simple play mechanic, but I'd light to add some spectacle to it.
Now, I am well aware of how this sounds. I've also thought that I was getting in way over my head, but I'm approaching this like I would any other project: I break it down into building blocks. Each problem/obstacle will be solved by itself as I get the core of the game created. Then I go in and add to it.
Also, I remembered seeing a few inspirational videos on Nick Campbell's (GreyScaleGorilla.com) side site, makecoolshit.com. The sad part is that I could never find time to watch these and they are quite literally about better organizing your time. I'm going to make a point to watch these soon...no really...I am.
Well, that's it for now. I'm going to continue on with the book and hopefully post more often with my progress.