I have started to work on games that I would like to get into the hands of real people. To do this involves the scary concept of marketing, of letting people know that a product exists. And, like most programmers, this is far from being one of my strengths or things that I enjoy. I would much rather sit at a computer and make things. Making things is, however, only the first part of the story. The more important part (long-term at least) is getting those things that we make into the hands of interested people.
This is where things like social media come in. As much as I, personally, may not like them, they still grant access to a potentially massive group of people. Especially if you post things publicly for all the world to see. I have already seen the power of connectivity through Google and the tutorial that I have been working on. All I did was to put it up on this blog (initially at least, it now has a home at stormtek.geek.nz/rts_tutorial) and now thousands of people have accessed it. Social media should give me the ability to broadcast to a potentially wider audience for very little effort on my part. Simply putting information out there is no guarantee that anybody sees it, especially since I am not prepared to pay for things like advertising at this stage. But not doing so means that people definitely will not be seeing anything. With this in mind I have realised that it is rather foolish of me not to make use of the tools at my disposal.
Which brings us neatly back to the point of this post. I am looking at connecting this blog to social media – mainly getting it to post on things like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter on my behalf whenever I make put something on here. This may seem rather obvious to some people, but for me it is actually quite a large step. Part of getting closer to connecting with random people about what I do, I guess. Anyway, we will see how things go with that over time. My theory at the moment is that it cannot hurt to try.
Alongside this is the point of this blog. Initially it was set up as a medium through which I could talk about or make mention of things that I was learning / involved in. The RTS tutorial I have been working on (I will get back to it at some point, I promise) grew to a point where it almost completely took over here. I think it did highlight that programming, with a particular focus on games, is something that interests me. Certainly the majority of the side projects that I work on are all gaming related. My goal is to actually use this as more of a blog again (I know, weird concept to use a blog as a blog right?) and to use my website as a place where I store larger portions of writing that I embark on – tutorials of various sorts, things that actually work better in a more static environment than a blog. Anything that I put up will definitely get a mention here, and from there it should filter out onto social media and the wide world of other people.
My goal for the next while (few months maybe) is to provide updates on the progress of the first actual game that I am working on. In theory I will get back to the tutorial after that, to wrap things up and bring some form of closure to it. I could continue to grow it indefinitely, but I think it will be better for everyone if it actually reaches a state of completion. The point of the tutorial is, after all, to provide an overview of what is involved in creating a more complex game (incomplete though it is). It was never intended to be a step-by-step process of making a complete game. Once that is done there are further games that I want to make, along with other potential projects that I will get involved in.
The reality is that I have discovered a spark of creativity, combined with skills to actually do something, that shows no sign of disappearing. That is, I think, one of the major reasons why I love what I do. I get to combine creativity and logic in a unique way to make interesting things. My hope is that other people get to discover these once they have been made and find them useful / interesting as well.