Learning: They Say It’s Good For You

Am now more or less back in the saddle of game development for the year after some distractions. Like the bit where I had to fly to the other side of the world.

One aspect of being back to work turns out to be that I’ve chosen projects that require me to learn things. The actual game I’m working on at the moment (working title: You Say Jump, I Say How High) involves working with Flixel’s (very nice) set of features for making platformers – tilesets and tiled levels, collision detection, blah blah blah. It’s well done and all, but this has basically meant I’ve had to learn how to use the library properly.

The other project I’m working away on right now is learning enough Objective-C and cocos2d and general iOS Stuff that I can eventually release an iPhone/iPad game this year. Thus I’m basically putting in a bunch of the grunt work in order to actually be able to make such a game down the line, most likely toward the end of the year. More learning.

One problem with having learning as part of the development process is that it takes so damn long. Honestly, if I were to just make another game that focused mostly on sprite animation and simple interactions, I could have something out much, much faster. But having chosen to work on things that I flat-out cannot do without learning how to do them, it’s going to be a while longer before I have anything to show for it.

On the other hand, there’s that general theory floating around that learning is good for you. Currently I’d say it feels more frustrating than good – I’m spiritually attached to the idea of being able to release games rapid-fire, which learning gets in the way of. Still, if learning these things allows me to do something interesting (and I think both projects should at least be interesting, if not fun or particularly accomplished), then so be it.

So be it.

17 January 2012
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