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A developer's creative journey.

Micah Barga, Blogger

February 16, 2024

8 Min Read

As a kid, I would always fantasize whenever I was in love. I would always imagine my crush being in danger, whether it'd be getting kidnapped by bad guys, chased by monsters, whatever. Along with these fantasies, I would imagine myself as a superhero swooping in and saving my crush's life, who would then be so grateful that she would kiss me and make me all happy and stuff. After 4th grade, at the age of 10, I started realizing my destiny in life, which is to make video games, movies, and cartoons. With this lifelong goal, I’ve decided to create my own series that would feature my entire family and friends, and a variety of made-up characters too! Plus, I’ve played a lot of Mario’s games throughout my years on many Nintendo systems and I love them! I’m a big fan! Mario is my inspiration in all this! So with that, I got out a piece of paper, pencil, and started jotting down all my ideas for what games, movies, and cartoons I wanted to make. During this time, the series was just called "Adventure".

I have made many databases for all my planned video games and comic strips revolving around my series. Unfortunately, they all got lost at one point in my life. My guess is, I left them lying around somewhere, causing them to be mistaken for trash. Most of them were remade between 6th and 7th grade between the ages of 11 and 13. And I still have them to this day! At the age of 13, just as I was starting 8th grade, I made my very first comic strip one day using the program "Microsoft PowerPoint". It contained three slides. The first two pictures were of me as an alter ego in my series named Power Micah. The last one was of me in my normal state fighting an evil troll scientist named Trekker, who is the antagonist of the series. Upon saving, I titled the file "The Adventures of Micah".

Three months later, I decided to create two sequels: "The Adventures of Micah II: The Trekker Gang Strikes" and "The Adventures of Micah III: The Mysterious Kidnapping". After the completion of these two comic strips, I went back through the first one and added in more drawings to help it resemble a cartoon better. Eventually, all three comic strips were extended, and have been given a complete makeover, so that they better resemble a cartoon. The extension part was great advice given to me by my good friend Wesley Hauwiller, who had seen all three of my comic strips shortly after their release. I mailed a floppy disk to him containing the first comic and loaned one or two CDs with the other two stored on them. Before I move on, I just want to take this time to thank Wesley for supporting me with this goal. He's been doing so since him and I first became friends in 4th grade, from the very moment I introduced the series to him. I also would like to thank him for all that he's done to help me reach my goal. Keep up the good work Wesley! God bless! Sometime later, I came to the conclusion that "The Adventures of Micah" and "Adventure" were sharing the exact same contents, especially with how they both had Power Micah and Trekker. So, I decided to change the name of the series from "Adventure" to "The Adventures of Micah". Three months into my sophomore year of high school, at the age of 15, I made my very first platform computer game starring me, Sarah (a friend of mine in "The Adventures of Micah"), and Trekker under the title "Super Micah Friends", which was supposed to be a parody of "Super Mario Bros.".

The player's objective was to rescue Sarah by guiding me through every level while avoiding all enemies and obstacles. Along the way, the player could pick up items that would either score them points, add additional lives, or load them up with firearms for protection. The player could also score points by destroying any of the enemies roaming the level. At the end of the game, the player would fight Trekker, who was holding Sarah hostage. One month later, I created a sequel to the game titled "Super Micah Friends 2: Operation Doubled!!" This game involved saving not only Sarah (again), but also Wesley (my best friend in "The Adventures of Micah"). Throughout this game, I was aided by another friend of mine in the series named Jessica. A second player would take control of her, making for a co-op platformer. Despite being controlled by another player, Jessica was faster than me, but didn't jump as high. She would also disappear instantly when colliding with an enemy or obstacle, making it so that Player Two could no longer get involved unless Player One grabbed a ball that brought her back. In both of these video games, I gave myself the exact same outfit that I wore in their respective comic strips, as well as the exact same mission. Sarah, however, had a different outfit in the first game. And in the second game, Wesley and Sarah were kidnapped by Trekker instead of by his henchmen, the "Trekker Gang", as stated in the comic strip. One year later, I came to the conclusion that "The Adventures of Micah" and "Super Micah Friends" were sharing the exact same storyline as their respective comic strips. With this, I went through both games and completely altered them to resemble their respective comic strips, eventually renaming them both to whatever comic strip they were depicted by. So there you have it! How "The Adventures of Micah" came to be from start to finish! After putting an end to the "Super Micah Friends" era, I decided to make "The Mysterious Kidnapping" into a platformer to even things out with "The Trekker Gang Strikes" and the comic strip before that, which eventually became "The Quest to Save Sarah".

After finishing 8th grade at the age of 14, which was my last year of middle school, I decided to remake my three comic strips into books. I got to work on them as soon as summer vacation 2004 began. It was all done by hand. I wrote what was happening in pen, sketched the page in pencil, traced over everything with pen, and colored in the entire page with colored pencil. Right when I began my freshman year of high school at the age of 14, I came up with another Adventures of Micah story that I did not want to make into a PowerPoint comic strip, but rather a book so long, it would have to be broken down into chapters. During that time, I had only designed the book cover and wrote the first one or two pages. I eventually decided I wanted to finish my other three books before writing this one. I did, however, adapt it into a platformer after completing "The Mysterious Kidnapping" platformer, which was during my junior year of high school at the age of 17. The game was titled "The Adventures of Micah IV: Trekker's Fiasco", which is exactly what the book is called! I even made two additional platformers after this one. They were "The Adventures of Micah V: The Disappearance", which was based off of an assignment I did for English III, and "The Adventures of Micah VI: The Runaway Car", a story idea given to me by English III classmate James Marks after introducing the series to him one day in class. For "The Disappearance", the assignment was to write a story talking about men and women being separate from one another. While writing mine, which was not "The Adventures of Micah" themed at the time, classmate James Marks asked me what my story was about. After answering his question, he asked me why I wasn't making it Adventures of Micah themed. So with that, I decided to completely rewrite the assignment Adventures of Micah themed. Thank you James for inspiring me to do this!

As a matter of fact, I got a little too inspired, as I ended up failing the assignment for not following directions. Turns out, we weren't supposed to make our stories about searches and rescues, which is exactly what mine was about. But, at least my teacher Mrs. Spiegel told me it was creative on her comment. Not too long after making "The Disappearance" and "The Runaway Car" platformers, I got the idea of combining their plots with the "Trekker's Fiasco" book, while it was still being written, in an effort to extend the storyline. And that's exactly what I did when I got to work on it. When the games were first made, "The Disappearance" and "The Runaway Car" were separate storylines from "Trekker's Fiasco". I reworked them into midquels three years later. And then another two years later, combined them with the "Trekker's Fiasco" platformer. At first, "Trekker's Fiasco" was split into two parts due to the amount of space it was taking up on my laptop. But after finding a way to shave off a few megabytes, I was then able to combine both parts and make them one whole game file, which is what they are now to this day. I hope you all enjoyed this origin and, stay tuned for more Adventures of Micah!!!

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