My poor neglected Blog!
Haha yeah, I have been neglecting my blog, and not for a lack of wasting time, but more from a forgetting to write in it. But today I decided to take a quick break and write a little bit about my progress with GameDevHQ and my continuing plans. For the last several weeks I have decided that in order to reinforce everything I have been learning, I should try to remake my 2D space shooter game. And just as I had thought, I was struggling with a lot of the things I had learned in December and needed a way to make it all sink in. So this time around I have made sure to add in the C# Survival Guide along side with the 2D program, and I cant even begin to say how much help that has been. Proudly I have completed every challenge that I have come across so far without looking at an online tutorial or watching the review video. For me this is huge because that means I am starting to think like a programmer and problem solving the way that will be required in a real job situation.
Some of the C# challenges so far have been to to understand and use the 4 main types of Variables, int(Integer or number with no decimal), float(this is a number that contains a decimal such as 3.4, or 5.2), string(this can be any type of text or words and is found with “” around it for programing, such as example: string myName = “Joe”;) and last but not least bool(this is a true or false expression, not to be confused with a true or false statement, example: bool isTodaySunny = false;). These are by no means the only variable that are used but so far they have been the most helpful for starting out. After that I spent some time honing (If Statemet Logic) and this is where you ask the prgram a question to see “if” a condition or conditions has been met, and then tell the program to do something based on that result. Another version and of this is called the (Switch) statement. and this is a much cleaner version but also can provide some challenges. I also covered things like “For” loops and my new favorite (Arrays). At first this was very intimidating but now, I am constantly thinking and wondering if I can use an array for something lol.
Now that I have an even better foundation I decided to rebuild my 2D Space Shooter game from scratch watching a little of the videos as possible until after I have completed each task. I am doing this to try a mimic a real life situation where I will be given a list of things to do and there wont be a video to help me get there. I will need to research on my own how to implement something if I do not know how. I have been crusiing a long at a great pace over the last week and am about at the 50% done with the game stage when I have encountered a problem that caused me to take a break today and write this blog.
This symbol along with the one I will post below has cause many a skilled and novice programmer to bang their head on every available hard surface you can find. This symbol to the left maybe not so much as the one I will post below. This symbol is saying “Hey I cant make a this into that” for example: If you have a (private string myName = “Joe”) and you want myName to be used as an (int) the program will give you the above error message because “Joe” is a string of text and (int) stands for a number. You cannot convert text into numbers because letters and numbers will not ever be the same. At least thats how I understand it. Now for the error message that has been giving me and I’m sure countless others a headache.
The ever feared Null Reference Exception! In a nutshell this says “Hey the object you are looking for does not exist” and “the code you are trying to tell me to do, cant be done or reached” because “Null” means void, or essential not there. So if I am asking the computer to find the “green cube and then turn it blue” and there is no green cube in my game I will likely get this as an error message. This is part of script communication which has been a very big challenge for me. My goal by the end of today is to be able to communicate well between my scripts without needing to assign the variable in the inspector. So today is about research, and I’m sure lots of failure. Don’t take that in a bad way, after all some of the greatest people in history were also the greatest failures! when you look at the word FAIL just think of it like this, “First Attempt In Learning”. In the words of Walt Disney “Keep Moving Forward”.
And to conclude I have decided that on top of trying to get accepted into an 8 week career intensive program I am also going to take part in a 100 days of GameDevHQ challenge,and this is Day2. If you are reading this and would like to help keep me on track or accountable just shoot me a message on any social media platform and ask what I am working on today. Or if you are stuck on something yourself maybe we can work on it together and learn as a team. I am excited for the future as this journey continues to take me into an unknown and pushes me to do better. Mahalo for all that have read this post and for anyone who is a continued support to the GameDev community. Make today an awesome day everyone!