The Final Stretch…

Ever since I moved to California as an 18 year old in ’99, I’ve been trying to make a video game. I remember spending my first Friday night in the Academy of Art dorm on Van Ness teaching myself C++ and trying to code up a little Scorched-Earth-ish projectile physics game, thinking ‘surely I can finish this up in a weekend or two, right?’. That, of course, didn’t happen. I got partway through before I learned enough to see that my design was completely brain-dead and needed to be rewritten. So I’d start over and get partway through. Then I’d learn more and start over again. And again.

So here I am, 12 years later. I’ve long since finished school and have a job I love, but there’s still this nagging little itch to for once in my life finish one of these little game projects. And that’s where BombSquad comes in. BombSquad is a game I started writing in 2004, right after graduating from the Academy, as a way to pass the time while applying for vfx jobs. It started out as somewhat of a bomberman kinda game but has since morphed into something very different: a sort of smash-brothers-meets-myth-2-meets-wwf-royal-rumble party game. Anyway, it’s been sitting incomplete on the shelf collecting dust for years, unseen by anyone save some friends and relatives at the occasional family gathering back in Illinois, where its been a hit with my young cousins.

Then, about 6 months ago, I bought an iPhone and started doing some coding for it.  I started writing a game from scratch; yet again reinventing that old wheel.  I got a fair way in to it before I came to the simple realization that I already had a game 75% completed just sitting forgotten in the corner.   So I had one of those poignant movie moments with the piano music and the long thoughtful gazing into space.. and then slowly I put down my shiny new iPhone and began brushing off the creaky old remenants of BombSquad. And now here I am, nearing the end of a montage sequence of late nights and coffee-shop-coding-weekends, almost ready to actually release a game.  Admittedly BombSquad’s been painful to work with; I coded most of it 6 or 7 years ago and I often want to travel back in time and slap myself around a bit given what I’ve learned since, But I’m forcing myself to stay the course; no starting over this time. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s the truth in the phrase “artwork is never completed; only abandoned”. So while I know I’ll never see it as ‘done’, it’s finally nearing time to let my baby go. Stay tuned…


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