First of all, Robot Wants It All
is currently 25% off on and Itch.io
, for both of those Summer Sales! So grab it if you don't have it! Trust me, you need it. You know, to live.
As for me, I have been very quiet. What I've actually been doing is puttering away in Unreal Engine, using only Blueprints. I have an idea of what game I'm making (an action-RPG where you play a wizard) but the gist of it is that I'm trying to follow tutorials and learn how to implement all the various features I really want to have in games. So far the game consists of running around a default map, and there's an item on the ground (random item, Diablo style) which you can pick up and equip to adjust your stats in a pretty thorough inventory system. That's the whole game. But it's feeling really solid though! I don't intend this to be any kind of big fancy game, I'm just doing it to learn. It may never even be completed.
Working in Blueprints is really interesting and cool. It's kind of limiting and clunky, but there's just something really fun about linking up nodes with wires to create functional code. I wouldn't do it if I were going for an efficient way to get my ideas onto the screen, but sometimes it IS a lot more efficient. For instance, if you want to make an enemy that runs at the player, navigating around obstacles, that's literally one node with a couple of inputs, while it would be several files
full of hundreds of lines of code and data in C++ (granted that's just because the Unreal Engine guys have already implemented this algorithm for you - if you use their C++ system, you could also probably do it in one line of code, since you're just calling the function they wrote).
But the whole thing is a whole new paradigm that I'm really enjoying as a hobby. And I think I can make something real and playable doing it, I just have to let go of my need for full control, because sometimes you try to do something and you find it's basically impossible. But the things you can do are plenty impressive enough, you just have to adjust your expectations to what it can do rather than what you imagined doing. Anyway, I think it's a cool way to learn fancy game making, and there are thousands of tutorial videos on Youtube that can guide you through it, if you're interested in a fun version of game programming that isn't too serious.