It was wonderful to meet you lot at PAX. You're a motley crue if there ever was one.
A month ago I started a simple campaign on Indie Go Go to help raise money to purchase a personal license of Game Maker: Studio. Game Maker is a Windows program that allows you to quickly prototype and distribute games to PC, Mac, web and cross platform mobile.
Game Maker is a ton of fun and I recommend it to any new game developers out there. It's actually a powerful 2D game engine and it seems to get better and better every year. If you get excellent at Game Maker and 2D spriting, you'll be a superstar game jammer in no time.
It's not all gravy and french fries, though. It almost never is.
Game Maker stores the entirety of your game (code and assets) in a binary file - basically just a big-ass dump of ones and zeros that GameMaker parses to initialize your project. This is not how software is typically constructed. In fact, it's pretty fucking ass-backwards.
Typically a game is stored/created in an entire file directory of game assets, game and engine code, and ya know, all that charm and whimsey. Anyway, without getting technical, making Game Maker games with a team is kind of a pain in the arse, and using helpful version control techniques is impossible.
I could have looked passed these shortcomings and embraced Game Maker fully, but my light copy of Game Maker Studio was unable to port games made with previous versions of Game Maker. Since a big part of the campaign was to port existing UVic GameDev Game Maker 8 games to web and mobile, I decided that Game Maker Studio was no longer worth the $500 price tag for me. I immediately stopped campaigning.
Let me be clear - I still intend to reward my contributors with the games they have paid for. I will be making them using Chevy Ray's Flashpunk game engine. I find that Flashpunk is just as fun as Game Maker, so I'm thrilled to use it. I'll be working on porting Flashpunk to mobile right away. Flash is actually really big in Victoria, so being able to teach UVic GameDev members will be a valuable use of my time.
Anyway, the whole point of the campaign was to sort of let you know that I'm a real dude, and I'm looking for contract work! I will code you lots of good stuff for $$$!!!
No, but seriously. If you want to make games, you need to a) make games, and b) tell people about 'em. Part b) is the greasier and scungier part of the process. It just feels so weird, ya know. "Hey Internet - Here's this half finished game project I made that sucks because I have just started making games and have no fucking clue what I'm doing." But you NEED that feedback. That is what my campaign was about. I guess. I still have no fucking clue what I'm doing sometimes.
Thank you so much to my contributors, you mean the world to me. With your sweet-ass cash and motivation I've renovated a lot of the house, and learned a hell of a lot about game development in a month. Thank you to Knut and Mags who let me sleep in their glorious house and eat their sandwiches during PAX. I'm so blessed to say that I am getting the feedback I need on a daily basis to continue what I am doing. Hell, I got a free couch the other day.
Being an indie-dude pays off in it's own ways. Some times you get sandwiches. Some times you get couches. What is most important is to keep giving.