I’ve recently, and when I say recently I mean two days ago – started to learn some coding so that I could add a further string to my bow and have a play around with making computer games myself. I’m not letting the fact that I am completely useless when it comes to making anything graphical stand in my way. But I am completely useless when it comes to making anything graphical.
Like, really bad.
Terrible, in fact.
Still, that’s not the point. And, to be fair, I am a huge distance away from needing my own graphical assets to do anything as, so far, I’ve managed to follow a tutorial to make a ball roll around in a box, pretty much.
The last time I had any sort of stab at things like this was when I was at school and I thought that the future of computing lay in the humble ZX Spectrum. I had visions, as a ten-year old child, of creating games in my adulthood and seeing them for sale in Boots, WHSmith’s and Woolworths (as all good games were in those days).
I wrote a game – a text adventure which was absolutely terrible – called Petrol Panic which saw you visiting houses in a town and collecting the letters to spell out the word unleaded which you could then put on a petrol station. And save the planet or some nonsense.
That’s not even the worst of it, though. The houses and buildings you’d visit were all celebrity homes, owned by people who were big in the day. Yeah. I kid you not. And each home was unique to that person. So Michael Jackson, for example (true story, kids) lived in a house that was shaped like a record. I mean… I am a nerd now, but even I am embarrassed by the level of nerd of past me.
But hey, the whole thing got me a Blue Peter badge, so it wasn’t all bad I suppose. The fact that I thought Blue Peter would be interested in my nonsense goes, again, to show what an absolute nerd I was.
And now here I am, thirty years later swearing at my laptop because I can’t get a ball to move properly despite following all the instructions. Which, it turns out, I didn’t. Because I’d muffed up the code. But I solved it myself without having to watch all the tutorial videos until I came across whatever I’d done wrong.
It’s like being ten again. It’s got the potential to be something I really enjoy doing. I don’t know how it will fit alongside all the other things that I really enjoy doing. Because all those things already take up most of the time I can dedicate to doing all the things that I really enjoy doing.
But hey, maybe I can get myself another Blue Peter badge…