Monthly Archives: May 2016

I Made a Game: Space Shooter

I Made a Game: Space Shooter

The last few weeks I’ve been happily sidetracked. I haven’t stopped writing poems or submitting… I have been learning to code!

Learning to code is something I’ve always wanted to try. With the help of Lon Böder, Liam Kincaid, and their great patience, I was able to understand the concepts of coding. I built a game using the programming language Ruby. A tutorial I found and worked through was based on a spaceship collecting stars. I felt it was missing something…so I added Starry The Pony! And some carrot cake for her to eat in space, of course. Everyone knows ponies make everything better.

Starry The Pony illustration from Fellstone Tales by Liam Kincaid.

 

Here is Starry, striving mightily for the carrot cake.
Here is Starry, striving mightily for the carrot cake. (It’s 100 Points!)

 

After spending some time with Ruby, and building a game, a friend introduced me to Unity. Unity is a powerful tool set for building games! You likely have played games on your mobile phone that have used Unity – or even on PC – Gone Home, and the recently-released Firewatch come to mind. (Here is a showcase of Unity-made games if you’re interested. It’s quite impressive).

I worked through this star-collecting space tutorial which I modified to include Starry and carrot cake (because those things are instant improvements to anything!), I downloaded Unity.

Screenshot of Ruby code from Starry in Space game.
Screenshot of Ruby code from my Starry in Space game.

 

This tutorial in Unity is a Space Shooter. Arcade-style, with minimal movements and player objectives. Even though it’s simple. and barely even a game, it was a lot of fun to build. I never thought in my entire life that I would be capable of even following along with coding or instructions about coding. But I did! I was an abundance of fun. I learned a great deal, and am inspired to create more games in the future. Maybe even some first person exploration story-driven games that I am becoming so fond of! Wouldn’t that be just the most beautiful merge of story-telling, art, symbolism, music, and poetic flair? I am really, really looking forward to learning more.

So, yes! You can play my space shooter game (here). Not much to it, but still amusing.

Screenshot of Space Shooter.
Screenshot of my game! Space Shooter.

 

Doing these little projects made me appreciate and understand more: that growth comes from extending beyond normal comfort levels.

I’ve known this intellectually for a long time, and have been told it countless times, too. The reality of the truth of it reawakened me in a positive way. Instead of thinking, “Oh, I’m doing something not related to art or poetry right now,” and feeling guilty (!) about that…I will be thankful and open-minded, looking for new possibilities and inspiration. Time spent doing new things is not wasted time. Time spent doing anything is growth. Expansion. New material. A viewpoint enhancer. Another tool to enable you to be more you than you knew you could be.

Keep creating and being great!

Love,
Penney

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