Thanks, RnD!

Discussion about Rocks'n'Diamonds, Boulder Dash, Supaplex, Emerald Mine and any other BD hybrid.

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Autofire
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Thanks, RnD!

Post by Autofire » Tue May 23, 2017 4:15 am

It's been a long time...a very long time. I wasn't even sure if my account still worked! (Thankfully I was able to reset my password.) I did my best to proofread my stuff, but I'm certain that I missed something or other, and I don't have a lot of time to spare atm; I need to get back to studying!

I just wanted to thank Holgar, Alan, and all the people who put in so much time and effort to make the RnD engine and so many excellent levels for it. I've played the game since I was a little kid, and even to this day, it has a unique charm to it.

But more importantly, RnD was my first stepping-stone into game creation. From a very young age, I wanted to make video games. I asked my dad to teach me how to write code, but despite his patient effort, I just couldn't figure it out. I eventually gave up, still longing to code but feeling that it was beyond me.

A few years passed, and I still played RnD. I would make all sorts of silly levels. After one update, I discovered these weird "Custom Elements." I was too afraid to touch them, but my older brother eventually discovered how powerful they were.

So I had these Custom Elements to play with, and I made a few things with them. But I wanted to be able to do more; I saw all these cool levels that had custom graphics and sounds and everything! I wanted to figure out how to do that. So I began to look around, and I found ConfEdit.

It took a long time to figure out how ConfEdit worked, but I eventually started to pick apart other levelsets. Based on what I learned, I tried to cobble together an element with my own artwork. It took some trial and error (I had a lot of question-mark-elements for a while), but I was thrilled when I saw my own creation alive within RnD.

And then I went from there and made a bunch of little levelsets. I'd come up with some cool mechanic, and then I'd make a level or two with it. Unfortunately, my dedication to each project would only last a few weeks, and then I'd get tired of it and start dreaming up some new thing to build. Looking into my (very old) directory of unfinished levelsets, I made: a levelset about RC vehicles, one about batteries, one which was a LoadRunner clone, one with LEGO bricks, one about being a Yam-yam, etc.

I didn't get a lot done with each levelset, but I really learned the importance of committing myself to a project and seeing it through. I also learned how to work with GIMP. Most importantly, though, with my new-found enthusiasm, I jumped back into coding, and, with my dad's help, I mastered C.

Eventually, I "outgrew" RnD and moved on to Anura; my greatest achievement with Anura was Mathemagicians. And now, at the present, my brother and I are working on our first commercial indie game! (But I won't talk much about it here; I don't want to advertise.)

All that is to say: Thank you, Holgar and co.! I would not be as good with code if it weren't for this game. I hope that, once my current project is done, I might make a few levels or contribute to RnD's source code or something.

Either way, I'm thrilled to see that the project is not dead! :D

filbo
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Re: Thanks, RnD!

Post by filbo » Wed May 24, 2017 2:17 am

Wow, cool story!

I'm trying to convince my kids that they should start working on Minecraft mods -- they were very excited a few weeks ago when they finally learned how to install them. But they're all version specific, so I'm trying to talk them into trying to port one from one version of Minecraft to another...

I'd try to work it with RnD but they seem to think that's old news :)

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Holger
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Re: Thanks, RnD!

Post by Holger » Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm

Hello Autofire, thank you very much for your post! Great to read about your personal story about your interest in game creation, and how R'n'D seems to have inspired you and took a little part in it. It's cool that your father was able to help you with programming! (I remember the time when I started with my first computer, that nobody in my family had the slightest idea what to do with it, not even to mention programming it, so I had to find it out all by myself, starting with BASIC programming. But I do remember that I loved all those games that came with a level editor to create your own levels.)

Now that I have two children, they also like to create their own games with a level editor (although they sometimes just like to watch recorded games, where I would have urgently wanted to play the game itself in that age). :-)

It's cool to see that you're now into "real" game creation (including programming), and your game "Mathemagicians" really looks very good from the linked site. (I haven't played it yet, although I think that I will try it! I also found it very interesting to read the "tools used" section on that page!) As soon as you have a link for the indie game you and your brother are working on, please put it here so I can have a look!

Thanks again for your post! :)

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Autofire
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Re: Thanks, RnD!

Post by Autofire » Sat May 27, 2017 4:32 pm

filbo wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 2:17 am
Wow, cool story!
Thanks!
filbo wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 2:17 am
I'm trying to convince my kids that they should start working on Minecraft mods -- they were very excited a few weeks ago when they finally learned how to install them. But they're all version specific, so I'm trying to talk them into trying to port one from one version of Minecraft to another...
Yeah, there's a lot of cool stuff you can do with Minecraft mods, but the version-specific part is a huge drawback; I hope that the Minecraft team's Add-on system makes it easier, though it will probably be a bit more limited.

But I'd definitely be interested in porting mods to other versions; I wouldn't think it would be too hard in theory. It depends on how written the mod is, I'd think.
filbo wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 2:17 am
I'd try to work it with RnD but they seem to think that's old news :)
In some ways, it kind of is. When comparing R'n'D level-making to mods for most modern games, R'n'D is somewhat limited. However, I think it's an excellent gateway into more complicated modding tools. Oh, and the level editor is one of the best I've ever seen! :D

Have you ever introduced them to BD2K3 or R'n'D Jue? Or what about Alan Bond's Space Invaders or Pacman? (Search the page for those two levels.)

Zelda and Zelda II are great examples of the engine taken to another level, but the games themselves tend to wear a little thin, IMO. (For all the awesome stuff it adds, Zelda II tends to feel a little dull after a while, due to its extended length.)

Holger wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm
Hello Autofire, thank you very much for your post! Great to read about your personal story about your interest in game creation, and how R'n'D seems to have inspired you and took a little part in it. It's cool that your father was able to help you with programming! (I remember the time when I started with my first computer, that nobody in my family had the slightest idea what to do with it, not even to mention programming it, so I had to find it out all by myself, starting with BASIC programming. But I do remember that I loved all those games that came with a level editor to create your own levels.)
Yeah, it helps to know someone who already knows a lot about code. It seems like it would have been hard to get into code without any help; kudos to you! Back then, if you wanted a program, didn't you typically have to write it yourself? That's what I've heard.

And I do miss the days when most games came with level editors. These days, levels are made in something like Unity or GameMaker, so developers don't need to make their own custom editors anymore.
Holger wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm
It's cool to see that you're now into "real" game creation (including programming), and your game "Mathemagicians" really looks very good from the linked site. (I haven't played it yet, although I think that I will try it! I also found it very interesting to read the "tools used" section on that page!) As soon as you have a link for the indie game you and your brother are working on, please put it here so I can have a look!
Ah, before you try Mathemagicians, I have to warn you that the game's controls are bad! You should probably take a moment to get used to them; entering numbers is...not too easy. If I do anything else with that project, I will certainly make number-entry prompt be more user-friendly.

Sure, I can drop a link to our current project. We don't have a website (yet!), but I'm going to be tweeting often about the game's progress. (This is my main reason for being on Twitter, actually...)
Holger wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 1:49 pm
Thanks again for your post! :)
You're welcome!

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