Side Questin — Day 1

Immediate detour

A turtle crawling on sand
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Yo,

I can’t stick to the main quest for anything.

Put me in any of the Elder Scrolls games or more recently, Elden Ring, and I’m running around talkin to randos doing anything from clearing out rats, spying on folks, or even hunting for flowers. Main quests are great, but idk, oftentimes I just like to branch off and go exploring.

So here I am talking side quests from the side quest.

I know I talked about jumping straight into Unity before, but I learned that Unity wasn’t quite supported the laptop that I had brought with me on the trip. I’ve got a little Thinkpad Nano that I loaded Linux on for when I went to be mobile. The issue is my distro (Elementary OS) wasn’t officially supported by Unity. Sure I could probably get it running decently but I decided to save it for my desktop at home since I imagine it’d be able to take advantage of the GPU I have in my desktop.

Well I had some time at the airport and on the flight back so I decided to look into another game engine called Godot. I had learned about Godot from one of the exhibitors showcasing their game Dome Keeper. Apparently, Godot created their own language that you can use (among other common languages like C#) called GDScript which shares many similarities with Python.

Dope.

Me and Python are homies.

I ended up downloading and installing Godot, jumped into their docs, and just dove into “Your First 2D Game”.

Learning something new for the first time almost always sucks. Not to say that it’s a bad experience. Just that you’ve got to be comfortable with not knowing what you’re doing, and how to translate your ideas toward the ‘thing’.

Good thing for me, I participate in a lot of activities that I am very much a rookie in (proud bjj white belt here) so I’m perfectly fine being at the bottom of the steepest learning curve.

Back to Godot

The docs are set up pretty well and I was able to cruise through them at a decent pace but one thing that would definitely help would be short videos or better yet, gifs, to quickly show a sequence of clicks on getting through into different menus. I was able to find the different components and options eventually after some exploring, and maybe that’s for the better, but let me know what you think if you end up going through the docs too.

I’d like to add some pictures and maybe some gifs of what I ended up making but for one, it’s on the other computer, and two, you can check out the link to the tutorial above to get an idea of it. Long story short though, it walked through creating a sprite to control, ‘enemies’ to avoid, and menus. There were premade scripts in your language of choice between GDScript, C# and C++ to make everything work as expected and it walked you through using them and linking them up to their respective game objects.

I couldn’t quite finish before my flight landed, but I have most of a game!!

The imposter syndrome in me is not amused.

  • “You literally just followed directions.”
  • “You didn’t even write any code!”
  • “You didn’t really make anything, you just put stuff together.”

That guy is kinda wack though and doesn’t really help anybody or anything.

The positive side of me is like —

“Lets GOOOOOO!!!!!” and firing off air horn noises with his phone in celebration.

I’m happy to celebrate the small wins.

I’ve never made a game before. I’ve never heard of Godot until a couple of days ago. Now I’ve made a mostly working game in just a few hours. Sure basically everything was pre-built for me, but now I’m much more familiar with the components that make up this simple 2D game. I learned about scenes and populating them with game objects. How to apply additional game objects to one another in a hierarchy to make them more robust or “do more stuff”. I learned how to animate these lil 2D sprites by cycling through multiple images. And while I won’t say I learned a new language, I can at least say I’ve been exposed to GDScript and became more familiar with it’s syntax.

All in all I’m counting that as a win.

Now on to Unity.

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