What's your Inspiration?

General discussion about LÖVE, Lua, game development, puns, and unicorns.
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Zilarrezko
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What's your Inspiration?

Post by Zilarrezko » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:56 am

A bit ago, maybe a few weeks, I lost my interest in programming and learning it. Probably because I hit so many walls with pathfinding and shaders and a whole bunch of other little things. I'm tired of having to ask the forum for ever problem that I can't fix myself, which is basically every time I code. I get frustrated and watch videos on it. Then I get more frustrated because I don't understand what they're saying, or none of the video's help. I really haven't coded 10 functions in the past month or so. :?

There are tons of videos on peoples accomplishments, yet not many tutorials on the advance stuff. Which is probably why most of the time why everyone comes to the forums is because they don't understand the advanced stuff. Most of the people coming in are people who picked up Lua and programming in Computer Craft, a mod from Minecraft (like me). So they have a sort of grasp on the code, yet somewhat not the problem solving side of coding. I haven't even spent more than 6 hours to even make a single game in any engine. Which is a downer, Because I want to learn everything I can before I even really start.

I'm sure I just lack motivation, Imagination, dislike of reading (seriously... I can't read one of those 2 sentence explanations for tables in the Lua wiki without getting very confused), and lack the skill necessary to make a game.

But to get back from my tangent. Start here if you don't like tangents:

What inspires you guys to program?

What get's you up in the morning and code something beautiful. And that in 1 month or 1 week, you start to get something you're proud of?

I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.

What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?

Some of these make interesting stories, and it's one of the few things that I like to read. Feel free to write paragraphs! :awesome:

and just for fun. What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?

Just adding this in, What would you say is your favorite/crowning achievement in your quest of coding?
Last edited by Zilarrezko on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kikito
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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by kikito » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:09 am

It's funny, because your second question answers your first question to me.
What get's you up in the morning and code something beautiful. And that in 1 month or 1 week, you start to get something you're proud of?
That's my motivation. I enjoy building things as much as watching the final product. So it's both an intrinsic and an extrinsic motivation for me.

I define myself as a builder and a problem solver. I like building things, and I also can't stop thinking about solutions when I am confronted with a problem. So the thing I enjoy building the most is tools. I like tools because they are mostly about functionality, but often you have to take into account human qualities like aesthetics and ergonomics. And they solve one problem.

I am pretty sure I would have been a blacksmith had I been born on a different time period.
Zilarrezko wrote:I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.
I started with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ (yeah I'm old) and a book titled "1001 games for ZX Spectrum and Z80" (I could not find a link to the book and the original title was in Spanish). I mostly copied what the book said without understanding what I was doing.
Zilarrezko wrote:What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?
All of them, all the time. If you want to work with computers, you must be determined to never stop learning and sharpening your skills. Until you retire or you die.

I've found that working with other people improves learning a lot. Pair programming with someone is great for tracking difficult or boring parts, but it's also a nice way to learn.

Finally, I've found that teaching others also helps. The simple act of organizing the information in your head so you can transmit it to another human being works as a knowledge stabilizer. And sometimes you discover new things along the way.
Zilarrezko wrote:What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?
It was one of the examples in the book I mentioned before. I don't remember exactly which one was the first one I tried, but I remember the one I spent the most time in. It was a "sink the submarines" game. You played as a ship on the surface of the sea, seen sideways. Submarines would move around beneath the surface. You would fire charges to them, and they would explode. All this was done with the ZX Spectrum codepage layout. So it looked quite awful :D.
When I write def I mean function.

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Zilarrezko
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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by Zilarrezko » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:41 am

kikito wrote:I've found that working with other people improves learning a lot. Pair programming with someone is great for tracking difficult or boring parts, but it's also a nice way to learn.
It seems to be the best way I learn is one on one with someone. It'd be awesome if I had someone I could handshake in real life and learn everything from. I do have one person, although I beelieve he's working on something, and I'd find it pretty awkward to arrange those sessions and plan it out.

I think some of the best and coolest tutorials are ones that no one else seems to do with video tutorials. people like Kieth Peters and NeoSilkyFTW.
kikito wrote:I started with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ (yeah I'm old) and a book titled "1001 games for ZX Spectrum and Z80" (I could not find a link to the book and the original title was in Spanish). I mostly copied what the book said without understanding what I was doing.
WOWY! I think the oldest computer I ever touched was the iMac G3. Used it for classroom purposes in elementary school for stuff like typing. I still type in an odd fashion because I had already learned how to type. Like a fast search and peck. But I use all my fingers except right thumb and ring finger.

Thanks for your post kikito! I love reading other peoples stories! :awesome:

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easy82
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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by easy82 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:45 am

What inspires you guys to program?
It's my day job as a web developer, but generally I love programming since I was 10. I remember I was fascinated to find out you can actually make .exe files by writing lines after each other, and compiling your program. I felt like a pro. :)

I also love to build. My favourite game was LEGO when I was a child. I also love to draw, and I have a strange obsession to words. Graphics and programming meets in games and websites, so that's why I do these. I used to make little games and tech demos when I was young, nothing fancy, just to show off to my classmates.

What get's you up in the morning and code something beautiful. And that in 1 month or 1 week, you start to get something you're proud of?
For me, it was difficult to actually finish anything, before all the inspiration is gone. The trick is to have fun all the time, and when it's not fun, then leave it for a while, but not for a long time. I have a game I've left for a very long time, but I'm going to resurrect it in LÖVE. Because LÖVE is actually great fun for me, I feel the same that I've felt when I used BlitzBasic. In LÖVE I feel that I make progress, even if it's a little one. Take small steps, and celebrate after accomplishments!

I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.
I used to have a Commodore 64. That explains everything to anyone who is about my age. :) I've learned Basic, and later Pascal, C and C++, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and Lua. I've used engines like DarkBasic, BlitzBasic, Revolution3D and Irrlicht. I've learned painting textures, modelling, creating animations, general game programing. That was a great ride! Sometimes frustrating, but most of the times pure fun.

What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?
Basically, trials and errors. I like to do things my way, but when I start learning something new, I like going through tutorials unti I feel confident enough. After that, my imagination and skills are the only limit. I also use the documentation now and then.

What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?
It was a breakout game in 320x240 resolution, with scanlines that made it look badass. I remember the movement and the controls were smooth, I was proud of it. However, it didn't have a menu, settings and just one level. :)

What would you say is your favorite/crowning achievement in your quest of coding?
Right now, it's my job, but I always have a lot of plans!

Cheers,
easy

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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by DaedalusYoung » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:49 am

I started programming when I was 8 or so on the MSX 2 computer in MSX-BASIC. We had a manual with it with extensive documentation of all functions, so it was easy for me to get started. It's probably why even today I highly value documentation.

I did make some 'games' back then, but that was nothing awesome, so I don't count any of them as 'my first game'. The first game I made in LÖVE I called 'Planetoid' and should still be somewhere on this forum. I made it in a week or so after I found LÖVE, which showed me the great potential of the framework. If I can make something playable in a week, without really knowing the language that much, then there's so much more to be done with it.

And that's what motivates me. Thinking something up, knowing I can make it, and then making it. Especially if I find very simple solutions to seemingly complicated issues, then that's rewarding.

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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by SiENcE » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:10 pm

What inspires you guys to program?

I wanna create something. To bring things to life is one of the greatest feelings when coding. Polishing is not my thing :-/.
Esp. developing games bring me this feeling. Getting in touch with other people and create something new togehter. First you have your own idea, second you have lots of ideas from all members of your team. Third you have to consolidate this ideas into one. Than everyone starts doing graphics, sound, music and code. The first moment when something interactive is useable...this is great :-).

What get's you up in the morning and code something beautiful. And that in 1 month or 1 week, you start to get something you're proud of?
Difficult question. In my job i have to solve complicated problems. Every day. I'm mostly coding on cryptographic stuff. What gets me up? Problems...where I can help to solve them :-).

I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.

Hm...my dad bought an PC back in 1993. I played a very booring game and asked my dad, how does this work. He bought me an very big Book called "dBASE" and said...read and learn. I read this book and tried to code a game. After several month i realized, that dBASE is a Database and not useable for making games. So i got qBasic and wrote my own first jump and run.

In my job I don't code games. I decided todo this as hobby and I'm fine with this :-)

What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?

Looking at other code. Do my own projects. Read Design patterns!! Collaborate with other coders. Fix Bugs ... a.s.o. Everything is important!

What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?
Brain Damage ... a shump, never finished but with Leveleditor and lots of other Tools developed for Dos in 1993-1996!!

Haha, i found it, you can try (use dosbox):
http://sience.schattenkind.net/dosbox/B ... 993-96.zip


Just adding this in, What would you say is your favorite/crowning achievement in your quest of coding?

Coding has often todo with problems you wanna solve. This makes most people totally focused and they didn't realize the real life and other people.

I would say, i learned to not code. Go outside, feel fresh air, meet friends and enjoy life! Friends, Partners and Kids are more important!

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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by T-Bone » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:29 pm

What inspires you guys to program?
Seeing something I just imagined actually come to life in a computer. After just using computers for so many years, it felt almost magical the first time I realized that I was the one deciding how things work, not just "the computer". That feeling hasn't gone away.

What get's you up in the morning and code something beautiful. And that in 1 month or 1 week, you start to get something you're proud of?
The urge to actually get something done. I have a strong feeling that if I've decided to finish something, I must get it done. That's why Hat Cat was finally finished after three years of development. There were so many places where I could have just got bored and started working on some other project, but I always went back to it because I knew I had decided to finish it and I didn't want to let myself (or my team mate) down.

I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.
I started with Game Maker and RPG Gamer and was really just messing around for fun. When I started engineering studies at my university and took a basic programming class, my first thought whenever I learnt some new concept was "how can I use this for games?". I chose every non-mandatory programming class I could because I was good at it and it was fun.

What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?
By far the most imprtant improvement to my coding skills came when I took a summer job as a coder for a company in the cell phone business. I was doing really mundane stuff, mostly automating some test programs, and that really forced me to learn how you code for real, as in code that actually works in the real world. For the first time I didn't have anyone telling me how I was supposed to solve a given (rather large) problem and getting to choose my own path forward was both fun and very educative. After that I felt like I could tackle more or less any programming problem, for some reason. And that confidence helped at lot.

What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?
My first finished game was probably something in RPG Makes that I've forgotten. It wasn't very good, I wasn't very proud of it as a game. I was however proud of myself for being able to create it. The first game I was proud of was called looπ and it basically had the same gameplay as Hat Cat, albeit a bit simpler and with no real graphics or music. I felt the gameplay idea was really good, but at the same time I knew a game like that needed more than just that to succeed. That makes it even crazier to think that I've actually now made that idea justice by actually finishing Hat Cat, many (maybe six? seven?) years later.

Just adding this in, What would you say is your favorite/crowning achievement in your quest of coding?

Finishing Hat Cat. I put so much time into it, and learnt so much while doing so. It feels so satisfying to have it actually finished :neko: (even though it did have a bunch of bugs at launch, but don't worry they're all fixed now :neko:)

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Zilarrezko
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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by Zilarrezko » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:09 pm

Image

It's awesome to see people posting! Thank you to those posting, It's ecstatic to see your stories!

And I hope to see more! :awesome: :awesome:

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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by Jasoco » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:36 pm

I'd been tinkering with programming since high school when I discovered QBASIC came with every DOS PC. I spent most of my teen years doodling with QBASIC and very old versions of Visual BASIC (1.0) I found on the internet (Before the invention of P2P and Torrents) and later on QuickBASIC which I also found on the internet and was basically (pun!) QBASIC but with compiling capabilities and other features the normal QBASIC didn't have.

I was never that good, but I found a great community on the early internet and did some pretty cool stuff, but still really basic (PUN!?!?!?!) overall. I downloaded many .BAS files and learned a lot about coding from them. But never got too far anywhere. Still, it was fun. A long time ago I even coded the first version of my Eat It! game in BASIC complete with a 3D wireframe of my original Jasoco Productions logo. I was able to do the smooth movement using the technique someone taught me that we kind of still do today where I place the current key input into a variable to speed up the process.
key = $INPUT

I sadly do not have the code for this anymore though a friend said he had the floppy disk with it on it a long time ago but they live so far away I have not gotten it back, nor would I have a way to get it off the disk even if I wanted to.

When the 2000s came along so did my Macintosh love and I said goodbye to DOS and BASIC for a while. In the early days of my Mac usage I used various utilities to try and make games.

Started with TNTBasic, which was so limited and clunky. Not cross-platform at all and never updated. It couldn't do a lot of basic (Come on!) stuff that even BASIC could do. Certainly not a lot of stuff even Löve can do. But it was an all-in-one utility. Projects contained all resources and code and you'd add them all in as objects, but program the code itself. I paid maybe $25 for the privilege. It got abandoned long ago, even the open-sourcing of it didn't take it anywhere. It's dead now. We don't mourn for it. I still have all my projects in a ZIP file. Including the second iteration of Eat It! That project came around the time I discovered PhotoShop Effects. Soooo many shadows and beveling. God it's ugly now, but this was also back when OS X was new. This was how UI looked back then.

After TNT blew up I moved onto a new contender called Power Game Factory. It cost $44 back then and I bought it after trying the demo. I formed a tight bond with the community at the time and it seemed promising. It was built in RealBASIC, a Mac only version of BASIC that was kind of like Visual Basic at the time. But instead of opening up the coding to the end user it hid it behind using only the tools at hand. I never really created any good games with it. I did try to make a sort of Knytt/n hybrid platformer, because that was literally all you could make. Platformers and shooters.

Thing is PGF is still around. You can still buy it. It now costs $55. And is still on 1.1, which came out almost a decade ago. And doesn't even run on any newer Macs since Lion removed Rosetta. (It's still PowerPC only, probably because RealBASIC died with the switch to Intel too. Well, maybe not. They just changed their company name and it's just a pile of poop now anyway.) I feel bad for the people at PGF. They were a fun community for a while. My last post on the forums was May 21st, 2009... Only one month before I joined here. Though I don't think I was even still actively working with PGF at the time. Apparently September 2008 was the last time I was really active there.

After PGF's gears stopped turning I revisited an old friend. QuickBASIC. Thanks to the power of Intel and the advent of DOSBox I was able to realize my dream of creating an adventure game. It started out as an RPG. Turn based. Really cool. Modeled after EarthBound. It was an RPG because of the speed limitations. I couldn't have live enemies on screen as moving sprites would slow it down to shit levels. I coded that thing using the power of QuickBASIC until.... I ran out of memory. Damn. I guess even DOSBox couldn't make it have infinite memory. It was a sad day. I was in mourning. I had such an awesome thing going.

Image Image

After that disappointment I had no where to go. I didn't know about Löve yet. As far as I knew there was no way to code anything without using C or something. But thanks to Apple and iOS and their improvements to JavaScript speed I decided to try my hand at HTML5 game creation. This was a while before any HTML5 game creation utilities would come along to make it easier. No JavaScript Box2D. No easy sprite systems. I did it all by hand using DIVs and SPANs and code I created myself. It was shitty. But I made some progress. But it was certain I wouldn't get too far with no knowledge of how to do it right. I always hit walls and had things stop working because there were no error messages when something couldn't be done. JavaScript was designed to fail silently. So the problem could be anywhere. And you'd rip your hair out trying to figure it out. But I had a pretty solid engine, implemented touch controls for the most part (It even detected if you were on iOS and put them on screen if needed.) and had a really robust scripting system in place much like my DOS version. It even had moving sprites. But that ended up slowing things down occasionally...

Image
lol references! Try and figure that one out! I'll give you a cookie!

Fortunately one day something better came along. I don't remember what blog it was now but someone posted about an up and coming game framework called Löve. So naturally I tried it out. And fell in love with its power and price. Now it's been 5 years.

Of course my first project was the same one I've done before, an update to my Adventure Engine. Unfortunately I have no screenshots since it requires 0.7.x and that version stopped working on OS X a few years ago. Doesn't matter. I'd rather recode it from the ground up than try and use my 5 year old code.

So what's my motivation? I dunno. I code what I feel like but I never finish a project. Maybe one day.

On the bright side, I did almost complete one game.. My Löve version of Eat It! is 90% complete. But for some reason I lost interest for a while. But it looks amazing thanks to retrotails. I just need to polish it and fix some of its code and make the game actually fun. Perhaps one day. I was gonna post a screenshot but my code is from an early version of 0.9.0 and so much was changed so I keep getting silly errors and just give up for now. Too lazy. I'll recode some of it, add a state system and do it better. One day I'll do that and submit it to reviewers like RockLeeSmile or something.

As for how I learn my stuff? By seeing how others do it of course.

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Re: What's your Inspiration?

Post by veethree » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:15 pm

Before i start, I'd like to mention that i'm solely a hobby programmer, I have no plans to do anything programming related for a living.

What inspires you guys to program?
The satisfaction of figuring something out, Solving a problem of some kind, Fixing a bug. Things like that. I look at music in a similar way, which is a more prominent hobby of mine. It's like a puzzle, with music it's finding notes and sounds that go together, With programming it's finding lines of code that work.

I'd also like to know, how everyone got into programming.
The first programming language i ever played with was Pawn. This was when i was like 12 i think, I was playing sa-mp on a server called Total Stuntage, And i wanted to try and make my own server. I played around with that for a while, Until i transitioned to making simple little programs with visual basic. At some point, I got interested in making games, I tried doing that with visual basic, But that didn't work too well for obvious reasons. So i did some research on 2d game engines, And found löve. The friendly community, Good documentation and baby blue website pretty much got me hooked.

What steps did you take to improve your skill? Did you read a manual? Did you watch tutorials? Or maybe a tutor?
I followed plenty of tutorials at first, but after i grasped the basics of lua i tried figuring things out myself. If i couldn't i'd just ask the kind individuals on the forums for help.

What was your first game like? Were you proud of it?
I'm fairly certain my first game was a pong clone. But my first game that wasn't a direct clone (Still not an original concept or anything) was Pop. I've made many versions of that game since, But when i made the first one, I didn't know how to use tables properly, So it was just a single ball that you'd "pop" with your mouse. And i was definitely proud of it, It felt somewhat original next to a pong clone, And i polished it quite a bit.

What would you say is your favorite/crowning achievement in your quest of coding?
Figuring out tile based collision detection and response. It's poorly implemented, Code is dirty as hell, But i figured it out on my own. And i take (some) pride in that.

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