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I'm still learning to this day.

Micah Barga, Blogger

November 27, 2023

4 Min Read

One evening, back in April 2005, my older brother, Matthew, called me into his room. Upon entering, I saw that he was playing a game on our computer. It wasn't just any game...it was a game he made himself! It featured me as Power Micah, an alter ego of mine in my series "The Adventures of Micah", and Trekker, the antagonist. We were fighting one another in the same format as most old school fighting video games. 

Very impressed, I asked Matthew about it, who then proceeded to tell me how it was done. It was revealed he had a program installed on our computer that allows you to make video games. It was called "Game Maker" (pretty self-explanatory, right?). The very next day, I decided to give it a try with my first ever video game. Everything was hard at first, as I did not have a clue on what to do and how to do it. It was all new to me. I didn't know how to create score-keeping, health, items, etc. But hey, there's a first for everything. Am I right? And to add to all this, I was 15 years old and still in my freshman year of high school at the time. Despite these challenges, I didn't give up. And eventually, everything began coming together. I was making more games and adding more content. My projects weren't the greatest at first, but they got bigger and better as the days went by. And before you even knew it, I was making games like a pro (well, sort of). Skipping ahead four years, I signed up for a class in college called "Game Development Essentials". On the day I picked up my textbook, I skimmed through it and noticed that the class was going to teach me how to make games using, believe it or not...Game Maker! And I already had four years of experience under my belt! Then comes the first day of class. My professor got to talking about what we were going to do and everything. During her talk, she brings up Game Maker. At that very moment, I raised my hand. She calls on me and I say to her, "I've been using Game Maker for four years". I, unfortunately, do not remember her response right off the bat. But afterwards, I add in "But I've been doing it as a hobby and not for school." My professor then says to me in a goofy tone, "Well now you'll be doing it for school." The class, however, was harder than I expected. Mainly because I always had a hard time getting inspired to learn and staying focused in school. Things just didn't click for me, my mind always wanted to wander, and to top it all off, I was being taught things I never knew in Game Maker. I was also working with the latest version of Game Maker, which was 7 at the time. And I had been using version 5.3A. So of course version 7 has features that 5.3A doesn't. And to think that being four years ahead, I would have gotten this in the bag. I'm telling you, it can be quite difficult working at a lower level when you have this much experience. Oh well. It's in the past. I've already graduated from college and am now well on my way to living my life as I please. 

So that pretty much sums up my experience with making video games. Even after taking Game Development Essentials and similar classes, I've learned many new things with Game Maker and getting certain things to work a particular way. And I'm still learning to this day. Afterall, nobody's perfect. So I don't know everything about making video games, and I never will. In conclusion, I've learned some aspects of making video games in college. But for the most part, I'm self-taught...in all areas and not just one! It can be tough being a one-man video game developer, but if I ever teach it to somebody, I certainly will have a lot to offer. Things like this take time. You're not going to get experienced overnight. I've had my fair share of hardships throughout the years, but I didn't let that stop me. You will face challenges along the way. It’s just part of life. Just keep a stiff upper lip and let nothing stand in your way. Remember this saying: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

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