April 30, 2015
Wednesday Workout: Coding the Classics
So, I've decided to start streaming some game development -- but I'm not yet at a point where I want to show the game I spend most of my time working on. A dilemma!
What I've decided to do instead is once a week, code up an old video game in the space of an hour or two each Wednesday at 4pm Eastern, over at my Twitch channel. There are a couple of reasons:
- I often tell people who are trying to learn how to code games that I think there's value in simply coding up older, simpler games. But it's hard to know where to start, so why not go ahead and show how.
- Longer term coding streams don't have a lot of closure; you aren't really putting a bow on the game at any time in the near future. I figure there's some value in something a little shorter term -- like an hour or two. See a game from beginning to end.
I did the first one on Wednesday April 29th (yesterday, as I write this post) and it's archived in two parts on my Twitch channel and also on my YouTube channel. I got really flustered with some non-working code in the middle, paused the stream, and came back.
It is really hard to code and talk and pay attention to chat/answer questions and all of that at the same time. I'll get better. Kudos to Casey Muratori and my friend and former colleague Jean Simonet for doing it on a regular basis. As well as anyone else who does it. Yikes.
Finally, I have a little bit of template code that I use to code this stuff up. You can download it here. Just right-click and "Save as", etc. There are build scripts in there for both OSX and Win64. You'll need to download your own copy of SDL2 and install it on either platform. (I go ahead and just put the DLL inside the Windows "Run" directory on my system, so it gets copied every time I make a new project, but haven't included it in the zip so as not to confuse OSX folks following along.)