Dan, a few questions.

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Dan, a few questions.

Hi dan, I'm in love with your game, i cant stop playing it.

alright, my questions for you are:

1. Did you go to college?
2. If you did, what did you major and minor in?
3. What inspired you to make this game?
4. what college did you go to?
5. which kinds of software do you use to make the game?

I'm asking because i'm in my freshman year of college and i want to do what you do.
Honestly, you may have inspired me to pursue game development as a career choice more than any other mainstream game/game designer out there.
And how can you not be inspirational? you are making this game all on your own, you probably don't have the best amount of cash flow to build this game all by yourself let alone market it. YOU, Dan, have inspired me. I have never made a review, rated a game, Written about how much i love a game on my facebook page, constantly trying to get my friends to play or buy it.
Your game to me is like Call of Duty MW3 is to 9 year old children -"the bestestestestesterest game i've ever played ever"- and i cant believe it.
You inspired my lazy self do do something i would NEVER do and write about how much i like a game.
I applaud you.
it's one thing to sell a game to someone.
it's one thing to get someone to like a game.
it's one thing to get someone to like a game enough to actively write about it and promote it to his/her friends.
But it's an entirely different thing (and pretty damn rare.) to INSPIRE someone.
You have done all of those things to me.
Even if i am one person out of the 7+ Billion on earth, you are still an inspiration.
Perhaps, one day i may even get the chance to work with you on the next NEOscavenger sequel, if not well... i can dream cant i?
Here's hoping.
Good luck with your game, good luck in your life, and i hope you make bazillions of Whatever currency you want.
I hope you always will remember, that you inspired someone.
You inspired Me.

Thank you for a great game.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Have an amazing day.

Actually, Truly, Sincerely,

~Daniel C.~ ~FL~

I was surprised to find he actually worked for Bioware on AAA titles for 7 years prior to setting up Bluebottle, I assumed at first he'd have come straight out of education or from making web games like a lot of other indie devs. But how wrong I was, the man knows what he's doing obviously! I'd quite like to know the answers to some of your questions too.

Great to see budding programmers inspired by this game anyway, indie is the future!

Wow, thanks! I haven't been keeping up with the Discussion/Suggestion forums lately (in-game bugs and real-life hardware failures been keeping me busy), but I figured I'd poke around while having coffee today, and I was greeted by this. Thanks!

Before I answer any questions, I want to point out that I think the most important thing, from what I've experienced, is being a good student. I've had top-notch colleagues who studied everything from programming to history, and some who even skipped university. The thing that all the good ones had in common was that they were hard workers, they took learning seriously, and always tried to improve. It's your drive and dedication that will take you places.

With that bit of preaching out of the way, I'll get to your questions :)

1. Yes, I went to the University of New Hampshire.
2. I majored in physics, with a minor in materials science.
3. Probably too many things to list here, but: Rifts, GURPS, Fallout, Silent Storm, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Civ 4/5, Shadowrun, Road Warrior, Blade Runner, Arcanum...I was big into pen and paper RPGs when I was younger, and still love cracking open the handbooks today. And video games are a real passion of mine. I've always loved playing them, and tinkering with them.
4. Oops, I jumped the gun. UNH!
5. FlashDevelop, mainly. It's free, and amazing for writing AS3 code to compile into Flash. I use a modified Flixel as a game engine (had to rewrite the tilemap to use hexes). And I do most of my artwork in Photoshop CS4 using a Wacom tablet.

I chose physics because I wanted to know the core rules for life. I wanted to create more efficient sources of power, and/or space travel. Still do, actually.

But I realized, like junior year in university, that I really wanted to make games. I think physics was a great curriculum for learning how to learn and solve problems, and I credit it with much of my success. However, I only had one programming and one art class each, over the whole 4 years. So hopefully that shows how much one can teach oneself :)

I actually didn't get a job in the games industry until 2004, 5 years after graduating. I gradually worked my way into it by doing side projects like modeling and texturing for mods, while I worked my day job as a web designer/developer (back in 1999, anyone could get a job in web design).

Working at BioWare taught me a ton about the games business, programming, and art. Probably in that order. I'd totally recommend getting a gig for a studio for the learning experience. Though, beware that many will not allow you to sell game projects on the side (part of the reason I retired). So university and non-game jobs are just as valuable.

Anyway, thanks for the uplifting praise. And hopefully some of this info helps!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Wow, thanks!
so im trying to teach myself right now some C++

OH MY GOD...
i can already tell this is gonna be a long road, but theres no way im giving up!
lol

Are there any tips you can give me for starting out?

Yeah, don't start with C++!

Seriously, though, C++ is a tough one to dive into. I've tried more than once, and I always get annoyed at it. It's powerful (about as powerful as one gets), but you also spend more time fixing memory issues than making games.

Some of the memory managed, C-like languages are probably a better place to start. You learn a lot of the basic ideas, which translate into C++, but you can skip some of the more annoying parts until you have your legs.

ActionScript 3 is about the fastest game-making language I've encountered. The time to go from nothing to user-input-controlled pixels is very short. It can do a lot, and the community support is pretty unparalleled.

If you prefer to avoid Flash, consider HaXe or Unity. Both are C-style language-based, and deploy to a wide range of platforms. I'm interested in trying HaXe (with NME) for my next project, in fact. Both Unity and HaXe use C-style languages, but give you some choice in which you use.

C# is also a good place to start. It's the basis for XNA, which is used on PC and Xbox games. I found it almost as easy as AS3, and a bit more powerful. Lots of support out there too. But beware that it may only deploy to PC and Xbox.

So yeah, C++ is a tough horse to tame, especially if you're just starting out. Don't cause yourself more pain than necessary :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Haha, good advice!

Just opened up the AS3 Comp and the community seems really helpful!
thanks Dan!