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Experiments in Game Making

I had an interest in making games as early as primary school, even if I lacked the skills or understanding to do so. In fact, some of my first games were made using Microsoft PowerPoint. I used a mixture of hyperlinks and animations to make basic, point-and-click style adventure games.

I was eventually able to go further after being given an old copy of Flash via Freecycle. Having no knowledge of ActionScript (the language used to code in Flash) I began by following tutorials online, leading to the creation of some (very bad) Flash games. My first attempt was loosely based on some videos I had made previously whilst experimenting with stop motion animation, Worm vs the Aliens. I adapted the code for a basic side scrolling game to fit the theme, but lacked the skill to improve upon it.

A later game, WormWorld was inspired by side scrolling games such as Super Mario, these having been my favourites as a child. Again I based the code around an internet tutorial, but at this point I was capable enough to expand the code somewhat and include enemies and other features. Not being particularly artistic, I kept the graphics simple (ie bad) and just had tried out different ideas. Whilst basic and buggy, I had a lot of fun designing the levels and the game was popular with friends.

Subsequently, I realised that multiplayer flash games could be very fun, although not many were available. I was able to add to the existing game to include controls for two players, respawns and a basic score system.

Although I have not made any complete games since then, I have often experimented with different ideas that I could implement. For example, I created from scratch code for a platformer that worked more effectively than that I had "borrowed" previously! Most notably I found it interesting to apply my increasing mathematical ability from GCSE and the start of A level to making things. An experiment in creating a Star Trek-style spaceship game required the use of trigonometry to calculate the rotation of the ship and the components of its velocity in each direction.

Recently, I have moved away from using Flash, but I continue to enjoy game development of a different variety using the Source SDK, a tool which was used to make commercial games including Portal and Team Fortress 2. I have released several small levels, one of which was the winner of a mapping competition. Right now I am working on a larger, complete mod based on the gameplay of Half-Life 2. After that, who knows what I could make...

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