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Exploit Agency

A game developer in the making

Gamedev Journal 5:

Finally! After months of scrabbling for time, competing with the pressures of too many ambitious projects at my day job, I feel I’m making decent progress. That said, I still can’t quite shake the sense that, no matter how much progress I make, the road isn’t getting any shorter.

I’m also sorry to say the course I’m taking isn’t helping as much as I’d hoped.

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Gamedev Journal 4: Grabbing & Throwing

Hey there! It’s been over two months since my last update. I wasn’t able to immerse myself in gamedev education quite as much as I would have liked (I’m always competing with my day job), but I’m happy to say I have kept up my classes and I have made progress!

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How long has it been?

Let’s see, my last entry was on June 15th, 2015. That makes it a year and, what, five months?

Yikes.

Let’s try this again, shall we?

So, my last attempt to learn game development crashed  & burned. Here’s the short version of what happened…

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Gamedev Journal 3: Infinite Runner Tutorial

It’s been a long while (again) since my last update, but I’m happy to say I’ve made much better progress on my road to making my own games!

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Gamedev Journal 2: Wonky Shadows, UV Mappings, and Hairy Cubes

My gamedev journey is progressing very slowly, but I’m happy to say it is progressing!

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Gamedev Journal 1: Playing with VR, Learning Blender

I’ve been doing this wrong. I set up this blog to post quick updates as I learn game development, but my posts to date have been more like attempts at semi-polished articles. That takes time. The result? No posts, no signs of progress, nagging feelings of negligence and guilt.

Moving on. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

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Your First Three Reactions to VR

I took my Oculus Rift to work last week. My job has nothing to do with VR or games. I just wanted to share some fun tech and see everyone’s reactions.

My own inaugural experience with VR was pretty intense. For several weeks after my dev kit arrived, even the slightest conversational prompt from an unsuspecting coworker would launch me into a fit of enthusiastic blathering about VR and its phenomenal potential as a creative medium. I wouldn’t stop until my subconscious mind detected the incessant drone of my own voice, and then I’d try to qualify everything I’d just said with a dismissive, “…but that’s probably just my reaction. I don’t want to oversell it.”

Turns out, the Oculus isn’t easy to oversell. Everyone who tried it was pretty well blown away. What’s more, I found that there are three first reactions that nearly everyone shares.

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Overwhelmed

Time for a progress update, pitiful though it is.

I had a small amount of success in that I sifted through all my ideas and managed to choose my first project. I’ll describe it in more detail another time. It won’t be a game in the strictest sense, but it’ll be made up of the same building blocks. More importantly, it’s iteration-friendly: I can build it up piece by piece, learning as I go. It can be as small and simple or as grand and ridiculously complex as I’d like.

Perfect! Let’s get started.

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Oculus Rift: First Impressions

My Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 arrived on Friday. I set it up and tried it for the first time the next day. Here are my first impressions.

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Unboxing the Oculus Rift

My Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 arrived today. I was working from home, and it took everything in me not to tear into the box the moment I brought it inside.

Instead, I finished out my day, set up our old digital camera, and made an attempt at filming the unboxing. You can find the result below. The quality is… not great. I’ll see what I can do to improve that over time, but I felt it was more important to capture the moment imperfectly rather than not at all.

About the Name

I love naming things. Sometimes that love is unhealthy. I obsess over it.

The internet isn’t helping. The scarcity of good, meaningful domain names turns people like me into compulsive collectors. I have a lovely little collection of registered domain names I’ll never use. I keep them in a nice display case up on a high shelf. Occasionally I take them down, look them over and imagine all the wonderful sites and apps I could build around them. Their renewal fees come due sporadically through the year. It’s rare I’m able to muster the strength to let any of them go.

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Better to Try and Fail…

…than never to have tried at all.

My name is Ken McGowan. I’ve been programming most of my life, but for most of that time I neglected the main reason I set out to learn programming in the first place: making video games.

I’m working to remedy that, and I’ll use this blog to post my progress as I go. In doing so, I’m hoping to find some other nascent gamedevs and game lovers in the process: to compare notes, share ideas, commiserate, and so on.

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