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Its been a few weeks since my last post but I thought it about time to update everyone on my progress and what Ive been up to. So the last few weeks I have been busy learning and trying several different learning platforms, along with my continued learning at GameDevHQ. Out of the other platforms I tried was, LinkedIn Learning, and Packt.com that has several courses offered in Unity and C#. What I found though was without a doubt GameDevHQ has the best program due to the way it was structured and the ease of introduction into complex ideas. So lets talk a little about each one, starting with LinkedIn Learning.

This program was very enticing and I may look at taking some of it up again in the future, but for starters it can be very pricey. After the 1 month free trial it can cost up to $40 a month for the subscription service. This could be a great perk if you are currently in a job that would pay for the service. Overall the layout of the program was very nice and the learning track was fairly easy to follow. I started with a learning program on lighting and had a lot of fun playing with different lighting aspects in Unity. I started by creating several 3D flat plains, and then applying a basic material to them. This was especially fun because in this part I learned about the basic properties of coloration and how you can adjust the metallic aspect or smoothness of the coloration. I also spent a little time playing with the skybox coloration, which I did not know could be done. Part of this setting is accomplished by also playing with the rotation of the skybox to create the effect of a setting sun. You can even use this feature to create night time scenes. I settled on this fun red hue that could be an alien world or even something apocalyptic. After that I set up my panels to form a box and then placed a few basic shapes inside so i could play with lighting and shadow effects as seen below.

This is the first box with all of the walls blocking out the light. I added a spotlight inside the box for the shading effects.
Here I used one of the walls to mirror the outside world creating a unique shadow effect from sides and from above with the spotlight.

After this I spent a great deal of time on the Packt website reading all about C# and coding. This is a great source of information and has good walk through on writing the code with explanations about what each entity is, such as variables, methods, classes, user interfaces, etc. Not to say these topics are not covered by GameDevHQ because they are and quite extensively, but it was nice to see this in print and have a different way to relate to the topics. I would highly recommend this website as a great learning and reference tool, plus its very affordable coming in at $5 a month if I remember correctly. As a added benefit if you just purchase a book from them singled out, it will come with downloadable content to match the teachings of that book. If you are more of a learner that needs the book aspect this could be a great way to go. I will say though that it does take a lot of reading before you start to implement code or Unity, so be prepared for that.

And of course as you know most of my learning has been through the amazing team at GameDevHQ and that brings me to a fun update. Seeing as I have made the decision that I am going to pursue this career of computer programing/development I will do whatever it takes to make this happen. The team at GameDevHQ has offered a course for a while now that could help with just that very thing. This is an 8 week intensive all immersive course that will by the end of it put me in a position to jump into the programing field. Call it a fast tract or boot camp if you will. But this does not come easily, as I have learned in order to be accepted into this course I must first go through an interview and pass a coding challenge. So for the next 2 weeks I will be focusing on just that and preparing in any way I can for my first ever coding challenge. I am more than excited because even if I fail, the opportunity for growth and learning is unparalleled, and if I fail it gives the team there a chance to give me constructive coaching and place me on a learning path. This will allow me to hone the skills required to take this course, and achieve my current goal of becoming a paid computer programmer and game dev. My first step in doing this is to start from scratch on the 2D game I just built and see if I can learn new and more efficient ways of writing the code. I must say this has already been more than helpful, as it had been more than a few weeks since I wrote most of the base code for the previous game, and had forgotten a few things already. Mahalo for taking the time to read this and I will continue to post on my learning and job hunting journey.

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Joe Kuka

Joe Kuka

I am a self taught game developer and love pushing myself to learn new things.