I am hoping you reached this page after having read the introduction…if you have not, then please click here and read it to get an idea of what this guide entails.
Its a long story below, if you do not wish to read it, skip down for the final section 😀
The story starts a long time ago, when I was a plump little kid. My world was one where I would play a bit of cricket at times, but most of my day was a mix of being populated by schoolbooks or by superheroes (Superman, Batman…) or some fantastic escapades by a bunch of kids along remote windswept coasts and eerie towers – battling pirates and smugglers! (Enid Blyton and her bunch of kid detectives, the Three Investigators etc) As I grew older, (by a couple of years!!) I started reading the Hardy Boys series of books. This was a bit more cutting edge and more realistic and I would envy them for their adventures, and curse my school for having nothing of the ilk! Add another year or two and the Hardy Boys seemed to get older too with the release of a new series called “The Casefiles”. This had some glossy covers (which had me drooling…yea I know it sounds typically nerdy and sick, but hey books seem to have got ingrained into my psyche real bad)
More interestingly, the boys had now got a van with something known as a modem installed in the back of it, attached to a computer, where they would sit around and hack into anything they wanted! That was intriguing AND exciting, cos in the time of analog telephones in India with internet being unheard of, I just could not fathom how it would be done. (yea magic to me! and one I was determined to try and learn)
A few more years and I got my first computer after a lot of begging and wheedling 🙂 Computers were extremely expensive and this was a reward to me for my consistently good grades. I joined an institute while in school to learn BASIC language and that is where I saw my first few monochromatic games. (I had seen a few games earlier on the ZX Spectrum but those PCs had been prohibitively expensive back in the days) Among the first few games I ever played was Paratroop and Styx and I really loved them and wondered how I could make my own games (and of course hack someone!) 😀
Cut to sometime later, and we finally had internet in India!!! I was one of the first to beg and sell my soul to get a modem with a terrible 14.4 kbps connection cos I thought… modem = yep, that means … hacking! 😀 Well in a sense, it was true, cos me not having any money to buy expensive internet access, had to “borrow” accounts without authorisation to surf the net 🙂 SO yea, I did “hack” something!
So now I had internet and I had the opportunity to fulfill my dream – the big question was how?! search engines were not very optimised back then and whatever search result I got was written in such fancy programming lingo that I could make no sense of it! So I did the most logical thing possible, I decided to try and begin with web designing and do my own page up on Geocities. (especially cos it was free and seemed easy enough to understand)
After a pretty pyschedelic page, I wondered what I should do next. A friend from Canada (yea, a chat friend :D) asked my help on a web design project. They were supposed to make a website with Java applets which was obviously Greek to her. I obviously agreed to help without quite knowing what I was up against, and then began my single minded research into what applets were. I learnt how to use them and within 2 days had an amazing rippling effect done to a photograph, which was sufficient to get good grades and give me brownie points 😀 It was this singular moment that led me to believe that I could actually do what I wanted to! that I need not be specifically educated from an institute. I had learned to do things I could only imagine about a year ago, all through some wonderful people on the internet with their helpful hints and tips.
What was the point of the long winded rhetoric above? (well I hope some of it entertained those who bothered to read!) The real point though is – unless YOU REALLY want to learn, NOTHING will help you. You may do a million courses, hire the best teachers, but without the desire inside, you will NOT “learn”.
- So for all those making their first foray into gaming, I only have the following lines of advice.
- Be passionate about games, so much so that you read everything there is to know about it.
- Read gaming news, know about the industry, know all cheat codes.
- Join gaming forums and read EVERYTHING, even if you do not understand much.
- Play as many games as you can on any platform you find.
- Once you know you want to get into gaming, quit worrying about it being too difficult to understand/learn. Idiots like me can be in the industry, there is no reason why the millions of smarter people (like you) cannot!
- EVERYTHING you need to learn to get into gaming is available out there – on the internet. The gamer community is super helpful, more so than any other community. There is no need to join expensive courses that end up wasting your time.
- You DO NOT need to a science graduate to be a programmer. (I graduated as an architect!) You only need sound logic and ability to focus.
- Likewise you do not need to be a “qualified” artist to make great artwork. All you need is creativity.
- Be proud of being a gamer, and set high standards for yourself. Being a gamer is not a job, its about passion. It is only the passion that will take you through the all-nighters with black coffee as you make your games. You damn well earned your pride at the end of it! 🙂
If you agree with the above, go on to the 2nd part (when I write it tomorrow.) For now, take care and have a great day!
As always PLEASE comment and let me know your thoughts!