After Hours

Poll: Have you ever tried to write a video game?

Have you ever put effort into developing a video game? Let us know by answering this poll question from developer Justin James.

Many of the developers I know grew up wanting to be involved with video games -- it's a natural introduction to the world of programming. In the last decade or so, the barriers to entry on writing video games has fallen, thanks to mobile development applications and frameworks and systems such as Flash, XNA, and Silverlight. At the same time, game players' expectations have changed, and a simple Web or mobile game can get just as much traction as a big studio production.

I've dabbled in writing simple quiz-style games, but I don't consider that really trying to write a video game. Have you ever put effort into developing a video game?


Related: The Great Land Grab author talks mobile app development and Game developer Michael Romero on Chrono Trigger, C/C++, and Macs.


Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

tom.marsh 1 Like

Circa 1985ish I tried to port a really cool robot wars RPG I found on an Atari BBS to ACOS so I could play it on my GBBS II based (Apple 2) BBS. I might have been 11 years old... ACOS was the incredibly lame, BASIC-derivative, instructional programming language created by the authors of GBBS and GBBS II (back then some software versions were in ROMAN NUMERALS. No shit!) which was a dial-up BBS application for Apple II/IIe/IIgs. (Man, I forgot the nomenclature for referring to Apple gear in BBS posts...)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson 3 Like

Without the new idea, even if you do you got nothing, another tetris clone , strip checkers or something.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin 1 Like

I wrote a version of Trivial Pursuit in Basic on my Commodore 64 many, many years ago. Considering the limitations of the language and the way I had to manage the data, it worked fairly well. One major drawback was that if you miss-typed your answer the program counted as incorrect. I had to put in logic that allowed players to have a 2nd chance to correctly type the right answer - got clunky so I dropped the project.

Slayer_ 1 Like

Then the guy doing the coding gave up, so I am taking over, slowly learning how to make an engine.

apotheon 1 Like

I started writing a text adventure game in the tradition of Zork on an Atari 1200 computer in BASIC. I stopped because it was just getting too complex at the time and I had other things to do. Yes, even kids under ten years of age have things to do. I later figured out that if I had a real programming language at my disposal, I would have gotten a lot further. BASIC made it incredibly difficult to organize code in a maintainable manner.


Back in those days there was a text adventure series for the Apple ][ line called EAMON; I wrote one of those. Honestly, it wasn't very good - I was a teen at the time, and I'm honestly surprised they even accepted my submission. But I've lately been considering getting back into that arena, using TADS or Inform.

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