The Beginnings of a Game Developer

Assassin at Crimson Keep was actually the first game I ever coded, although this is not that game. Originally, it was called Assassin's Quest: So You Want to Kill a King out of love for the old Sierra Quest for Glory series, and it was entirely text based in C++. 

Hopefully, you can see that I've come a long way in the past *ahem* decade.

The Spark of Game Development

The idea to become a game developer wasn't something I ever envisioned. I always loved video games, but never really thought about making them. I had fooled around with RPG Maker 2000 (I think) out of high school but it never stuck.

I was already in my late twenties before I knew that making games was my dream. That's when I purchased a programming course online and the end product was the C++ version of Assassin's Quest. Programming, like gamedev, was never really something I thought about. Again, I liked computers, but it never dawned on me to see what was underneath.

Despite being more of an artistic type of person, I fell in love with programming. After a huge learning curve, it just started to make sense and I wanted to dive more into it.

After finishing the C++ course, I jumped into Flash games, which of course, is totally useful now. I actually learned alot, but never finished a real game outside of a pong and brickbreaker clone. I started a million projects, only a few of which got past the "that would be cool" phase. Then I got married, a new job, began producing a a D&D podcast Beholder's Eye with my brother, and time just fell away.

At some point I took a Udemy course (I highly recommend checking out HeartBeast on YouTube or his udemy courses) which reignited my passion for game design, but it just wasn't enough. I felt I had too much going on, and honestly, gamedev probably won't pay the bills. So, it fell back into "Just a hobby."

I kept working on ideas for games, as that gamedev ember will not be put out, but rarely did I write a line of code.

Assassin's Quest continued to be worked on. I would sketch out ideas, start to develop it in Unity, Godot, even Flash, but nothing really came of it. The drive, or ambition just wasn't there.

A Change in the Winds

In early 2021 my wife told me we were having a baby. Rejoice! We'd been trying for over two years, and without any fruit and suddenly (in nine months) we were going to be parents!

There was a switch turned on in my head, almost instantly. I had a purpose. I had to provide for two now. What could I do (besides more overtime)?

I'm not sure how I got introduced to David Wehle's game making course Game Dev Unlocked but it really inspired me that I could finish a game. Those two factors pushed me to complete development on Assassin at Crimson Keep in about half a year.

Finally, after all this time, I finished and released a commercial game.

2022 is already an auspicious year. My daughter was born on Jan 2nd and my game was officially released here on and on Steam.

The Future of Game Dev

I don't know what the future holds. Assassin at Crimson Keep is a solid game. It's small, and I hope my next one will be at least twice as long, but not take twice as long to make; ideally, I'm shooting for half as long.

In the meantime, I have another small free game that I just concepted this morning, based on the adventures my newborn baby. It should be done fairly soon, as it's a simple avoider game. Let's hope I've learned my lesson of time-management with Assassin at Crimson Keep.

- Ben

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