About Me

I am an aspiring programmer.  This is the simplest and most relevant way I can think of to describe myself.

My initial exposure to programming came way back in the late 80s with my Commodore 64.  Silly loops expressing a vulgar statement endlessly, short text based adventures, etc.  Then came a book, I vaguely recall a name similar to "Golden Flute" (edit: found it!), which had all the code for a game in it, and this just had to be typed in manually and saved to disk.  I never finished getting it all typed in, and to this day I still wonder if it was actually a valid, tested program or not.  I soon found a make-your-own-adventure editor for the C-64, and had a blast with that.  However, I quickly realized the limits of such a program.  The games I was playing on the NES and SNES were far more polished and advanced, and after trading in my C-64 (tears!) for an Amiga-500, I lost interest in programming and game development.

This was about the time ('94) I hit adolescence and high school (or endlessly boring hell as I remember it).  Other priorities soon took hold, and I wouldn't own another Personal Computer until around 2000, shortly after I got my first apartment and began living on my own.

Diablo and System Shock 2!  On a VooDoo Banshee 32MB card! :-D

I think it was Neverwinter Nights and Morrowind that rekindled my interest in creating.  However, as someone who grew up learning COBALT and BASIC, and had very little exposure to programming in the mean time, C++ was extremely confusing to me.  Subsequently, I relegated myself to stuff which could be accomplished in the editors, and shied away from scripting.

Several years later I repeated a similar pattern with Oblivion and Neverwinter Nights 2, despite having some rather grandiose ideas that never came to fruition.  I also learned about basic texturing during this period, and created quite a few terrain textures for a desert NWN2 adventure.

There was also a retextured set of armor in Oblivion that I created, to fit with an (overly) ambitious, story driven mod.

Finally, after some time had passed, I decided it was time to find out if I even could understand Object Oriented Programming, and so I went to Cplusplus.com, and followed the tutorial there.  About halfway through I had a real epiphany, and the obvious utility of C++ and other OOP languages became apparent.

Deciding that after a single set of tutorials I was now equipped to write a basic game (ha!), I tried to create a text based adventure.  I had some interesting ideas on that front, such as designing it modular so that others could write their own adventure and drop it into the executable folder and play it.  It didn't go terribly far, however, as I once again learned the limits of my knowledge.

A bit later and I decided I wanted to learn 3D modeling.  I took up blender, which I had had some prior minor exposure to (i.e. creating a simple pyramid shape for my NWN2 adventure).  My learning was slow until I stumbled on to an excellent video tutorial from Blender Cookie around the beginning of 2012.

From there I learned quite a lot, and also developed an interest in UE3.  I had a number of overly ambitious plans (surprise, surprise) that never made it to fruition.  However, this did expose me more to game logic, level design, modeling and texturing, and perhaps most importantly coding.

It was at this point that I realized part of my problem was attempting to skip to the finish line.  Its hard to win a race when you haven't ran the middle half of the track!

So, I decided to start over.  I found a simple, open source IDE (Code::Blocks), and looked for a few libraries that would make my life easier by performing some basic functions.  I found SDL, and from there some tutorials on learning how to use it.

That brings me to today, 1-12-2013.  I started this website to chronicle my progress and growth, and hopefully get some feedback (if I can find a way to work some forums or comments or something into this google site).  Eventually I will pay for hosting and domain name.  Until then I will try to update this site with my progress, and continue to learn and grow.

Thanks for visiting! ^_^

My epic intro to programming,                           Random pics of some of my favs.
courtesy of the local C-64 shop.

NWN and Morrowind images from google search.  Captures the
atmosphere of the games, IMHO.

NWN2.  Original normal maps on the left, my version on the right.

"The Shield of the Cult".  I'm sure some rock enthusiasts among you
recognize the engraved emblem on the shield.