I’m a Game Programmer.. Well Sorta…

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Back track to 1982, Young Tim then 18 writes his first commercial computer game “Simom” for the commodore 64. I got paid about $200 for it, if I recall it correctly, and it was a lot of fun.

For some reason I got serious, got a job and basically stopped programming for fun.

During the next 25 odd years I became a full time programmer and coded in everything from Z-80 Assembler, Cobol, Fortran, Java, PHP, C++ and more.

I “retired” from programming in 2008 to focus on a full time Internet Marketing business which is still doing well but have been probably having a midlife crisis or something, because I want to get back into game programming.

Took a look at Objective-C (thinking mobile platform gaming) but got turned off that because I want to do cross-platform apps and Android is Java (which I know well).

So I decided instead to look into Cross-platform tools and found the Corona SDK which supports cross platform e.g. Android and IOS.

It uses LUA as it’s language, and from what I can tell it seems to convert the code to either Java or objective-C meaning it’s truly cross platform. I don’t know for sure, but curiously what it does is automatically using their build tool connects to their server and compiles it on there and then sends back the code ready to be uploaded to the relevant store.

All done automagically. As a programmer I will say this type of automation scares me because if something goes wrong I am royally screwed because I have no way to see what is going on, but they seemed quite clued up and already boast a good number of apps that have made it to the App stores on both platforms. A good sign!

Whats more, LUA is dead easy to program in, and the SDK for Corona is very comprehensive, so a few lines of code do a lot of work. All that basic stuff like a physics engine, transitions, etc are built into the SDK and easily callable.

So I am determined to forge ahead and get a game up and developed within 3 months.

Will I run into limitations with LUA? Probably.

Will I wish I had of stuck to Objective-C because of said limitations. Maybe.

Will I give up? No! I am determined to get at least one game published to determine if this is indeed a passion or just something I think I want to do.

Graphics are going to be the issue, as I can draw/do graphics for crap.

For now I am actually focusing on learning the SDK and LUA and have to say I am enjoying it immensely. Being so used to writing 500 lines of code for a hello world program in Java (well you know what I mean) you need to type a lot to get a bit done, LUA is totally different and so far it’s making sense!

Stay tuned for more updates soon.

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Tim Buchalka

I am an Android app and games developer, and teacher with 30 years of development experience! And I reveal all my knowledge and secrets in my courses! I spent years as a contract software developer working for government departments, and large prestigious companies like Saab, Mitsubishi, and Fujitsu (to name just a few) in a developer/team lead developer capacity. I am skilled in many development languages including Java, C++, C#, and Objective-C to name a few. For the past 10 years I have been self employed, and now focus exclusively on teaching others how to develop apps for an Android platform and other related technologies (like Java for instance). Over 53,000 students have taken my courses and loved them. Click here to view Tim Buchalka’s courses (current and coming soon ones).

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