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.

I sat down and created a blank Unreal Engine project. For my first task, all I had to do was create a ground plane and a box. That simple exercise would teach me about how Unreal handles units and scale. A short time later, I was all done.

Then something happened. I started looking around the editor, perusing all the billion-and-one settings and controls and options, and my mind went blank.

I imagine this is something akin to the first time a would-be pilot sits down in a real airplane cockpit. When most people imagine flying a plane, they probably think about the macro controls: the throttle, the directional stick, etc. The moment you see a real cockpit with its surprisingly vast array of gauges and switches and who knows what else, you realize there are many parameters you hadn’t considered. There’s so much you can’t hope to understand without the necessary experience and context. At best, all you can do is point and ask, “What’s that?

That’s pretty much where I am right now.

I hate being in this position. It’s an inescapable fact that I’m going to have to be bad at this for a while. At best, my work will be sub-optimal. Flawed. I can’t tell you how much that annoys the perfectionist in me. So long as I keep moving forward, so long as I keep working, making mistakes and learning from them, I’ll be fine. It’s just going to take time and persistence.

Next up: 3D modeling. I’ve installed Blender and will be going through some tutorials to learn the basics. More on that next time.