Day 1 Post Show

So I finished my first day yesterday at Full Sail. I'm going through my morning routine before my second (and I'm actually a little short on time).

The First Day went okay overall. I met a lot of people and I have to say that I am really pleased with the mentality of all the students at the school. Everyone is very friendly and over-the-top willing to get to know each other. I am sure this all comes from everyone wanting to find what class mates would make good team mates in the up coming projects.

So the first class is a English Composition gen ed class "Full Sail Style." This means we are writing a "preliminary game design document" for a game idea we think up with our randomly assigned team. I am not very crazy about this class because I want to get my hands on doing some actual game development work. A lot of kids I met were liking this class because they like the idea of being a designer. I think designers are awesome but I would rather get going on how a game works before trying to "design" my perfect game.

I had a great discussion with two new guys I ment, Shawn and Ian, about prototype development as a method of game design. My argument was that students should focus more on developing a few key feature ideas and work to develop small prototypes that reflected that idea. Focus on those before proceeding to develop a document that is too large or crazy with details. This philosophy comes from my past experience on a student project. Shawn and Ian, being super cool and very nice about the whole thing, disagreed with me. Ian's point was that prototyping would tend to "diminish" designer's ideas and keep them from dreaming. He did agree with me that a promised concept in a game that usually fails is a result of a dream list that was never truly thought out.

My big brother/mentor Raj threw a good point into this whole discussion. According to him, people who believe that through testing of ideas destroys dream of designers is really more afraid of being proven wrong then anything else.

I feel that the development of all creative products (games, websites, ads, etc) are in the end an excercise of creative engineering. There is a science to it all.

Well I am continuing programming my 2d game. I got my tile maps up, basic collision grid and spacial paritioning up and working. Now its time to actually do some freaking input and test!

I'll post some more later hopefully.

Allegro is the things dreams are made of

In my journey to attempt to create a 2d game for the first time, I've used many a tool. I have found my favorite: the Allegro gaming library.

First Pass at Tile-Based rendering - 1 1/2 days

I am going to cry. Seriously.

Month 1 pre-show

So here is the preshow for Month One at Full Sail.

Currently I am in my two "Gen ed" courses. These are Behavorial Science and English Comp. While I'm gonna try to test out of these, they will serve as my "intro" courses to Full Sail.

So I am not too excited about these 2 but it will be a good way to get used to going to school and walking around as well as getting to know some of my fellow students.

Outside of School , I've been trying to keep busy with some pet projects. During the summer, I started to transition from more "scripting" style languaeges (C# primarily) to get into C++ code. So far it has gone very well. The large scripting experience and basic programming knowledge I gathered have helped out immensely.

Since this first month is without getting into code, I've started working on my second big c++ project. The first was a rigid-body simulation using OpenGL for graphics (with GLUT for input and generally making it easy). My second project is going to be something I've always wanted to do: create a 2d side-scrolling game. I am not going to for the BEST solution here, in fact, I find that I learn better if I attempt something new with only the knowledge I currently have. When I get to roadblocks, then I'll start expanding rather then cramming insane amounts of theory into my head and then trying to execute. It is just too hard for me to learn programming that way.

So I do have an idea for the side scroller but I want to stick to my philosophy: design by programming. So my grand idea is shortned to simply: a 2d side scroller where the player can move up, down, left, right. Thats it. My philosophy came from 1 1/2 years of time I spent on a student project at Purdue to develop an educational video game. I pulled these key things out of my experience with the project:

1. Story is the Devil of Student Game projects.
2. Story is not Design.
3. Design never comes before Game Mechanics.
4. Game Mechanics start with Input.
5. Design start with Game Mechanics.

So these rules have forged what I feel "design by programming" stands for. I'll go more into my thoughts later on the subject as a student, but for now I have a player to move in four directions.

Actually I just gave up.....

So this blog actually came about because...well the title says it all.

I had always tried to start and maintain a blog. During college I started working on websites and was enjoying the backend aspect. When mentions of a blog came about I kept trying to build my own but failed over and over again due to horrible design of the actual site and lack of interest. Well that is all behind me now! I gave up and decided to just start a blog and on Blogger since it was linked to my gmail account (and anything linked to google must be on the path to enlightment).

So let me introduce myself for those who don't know me..thought most of you in that regard...I'll just jump to the point.

  • My name is Naveen Nattam. I like games.

  • I went to Purdue University, IN.

  • Got interested in programming for games.

  • I wasn't in CS. Made a decision to go to Full Sail in FL.

  • I got engaged to the lovely Laura Corrine Skowronski.

  • Now I am in FL about to start school.

Okay now that the grammer nightmare is over, I'll go on to what this blog's intention is.

For the most part, I am keeping this as a log of my Full Sail experience for a few people who have asked about it. The side points are to keep a log of my own development experience as a student aspiring to be a game programmer for a development group. The final benefit is to keep my friends and others who are not so much intersted in what I do but my well-being (I hope it is my well-being).

So I'll start posting some more in another and leave this historic memorial post my itself!