The most important thing you should do is the thing that's most important to you. Be sure it's not defined by other people's opinions.
There will always be people in life like the guy who replied "While it is impressive to see another 15 year old programmer (I've never met one in real life even though I've been to three schools in two different countries (I'm a expat kid) ), the actual programming skill required to make games like these are little to none and truthfully i'm not overly impressed."
Ignore 'em and keep working.
EDIT: Oh, I should also mention: don't let the praise go to your head. Another mistake I made. In general, it's it's a bad idea to compare yourself to anyone else -- whether feeling smug and superior that you've accomplished all this at 15 (surprise, I know your secret!) or feeling weak and inferior that you're not as talented as some other person. They're not you, and you're not them. Relative comparisons like that don't matter one bit. Instead, it's far more advantageous to always be comparing your current self to your past self. That's how Carmack became so incredibly good, for example. He didn't wait for anyone to surpass him; he did it himself. That's only possible if you believe you're not as skilled as you could be, i.e. having no ego. Nor did he let people convince him he was wasting his time back when he was working on his early projects.
It's complicated. Just keep working.
ETA: I can point out all kinds of people who wildly succeeded despite huge adversity. You won't see these guys mentioning how they were able to do well despite X. Really, the achievements should speak for themselves. You shouldn't have to dress them up. If you do feel that way, then maybe you need to take a step back and think about what's next. What can you do to level up and take you out of your comfort zone and give you a greater sense of accomplishment.
This past year you have learned a very valuable skill, pump out product. Now you should reflect upon how well your apps performed in the store and determine if you want to continue with the same strategy, invest time in polishing your projects, or maybe simply review your quality standards.
Great job OP, any parent would be proud, any person should show respect. Keep it up, iterate on your ideas and yourself.
Many ideas do "float in the air", so you should take you gut feelings of "what's the next app that should be out there" seriously.
It has happened to me personally that an idea which I thought was "crazy, but perhaps crazy enough to be good" – yet never started working on it – was the same idea a start up had not long before. I could but congratulate them on their genius :)
I had to go google this exact statement to see if you were quoting somebody else. What a profound observation that is.
New programmers (of any age) aren't competing at the level of professional, kickstarter-funded projects. And most people don't know how difficult it is to do this kind of gamedev work when you're just starting out, so it seems like people are labeling this as low-quality just because it's the work of a newer craftsman.
He's out there actually doing something and trying to make his own vision happen, and he hasn't resorted to spammy behavior. It looks like he kept his head down and continued to produce while looking for a way to promote his work, then correctly ascertained that the sheer quantity of work would intrigue people.
It's made without any programming using this app:
... still more games than i have done though :-P
You could have made a useful comment and been polite. Something you could likely consider every time you open your mouth, and I don't mean that in a mean way. Hacker News helped me better modulate what I say.
It was useful to me. I was curious what languages/framework the OP did and I had no idea what scirra was until this post.
> and been polite.
Seriously? I don't see any types of aggression in
> Something you could likely consider every time you open your mouth, and I don't mean that in a mean way. Hacker News helped me better modulate what I say.
This post just reeks of elitism. It's like immediately discrediting a comment simply because of one grammar/punctuation mistake.
Said C coder will be so incensed that they will suffer a stroke, then start speaking in LISP.
I mean, the tool's tagline is "Create Games. Effortlessly."
This isn't an attempt to put the OP down, but let's keep things in perspective.
No software these days is run or built without the help of others. Why make such comment? It is not constructive nor does it aim to develop the conversation.
At any rate, I think that you're so focused on the specific case of the OP that you've missed the point of my post. That's fine. I expected contention over my use of the word "programming", and apparently I should have been more pedantic.
OP said he made 30 apps this year. Which he did. Who cares how he made them.
If he had hired someone out to make them, people would be fawning over him, telling him he's a business tycoon.
I don't understand why you're so quick to try to shit on what he's doing, because you think you could do it in some arguably more "pure" manner, or whatever term you might use.
If you're just looking for an argument, look elsewhere.
OLD POST: Quality not quantity. While it is impressive to see another 15 year old programmer (I've never met one in real life even though I've been to three schools in two different countries (I'm a expat kid) ), the actual programming skill required to make games like these are little to none and truthfully i'm not overly impressed.
I too am 15 mind you and although I haven't developed any games I have created a RSA secure chatting social network website and app for it too which could communicate between each other using websockets and a node.JS server (this hasn't been published, while making it my partner quit :(, and I eventually lost hope that it would even be used since I was only 15).
I hope this doesn't come off as criticism. Its actually great to see another young programmer such as my self but all I am trying to say is that this is not overly impressing.
Source: 40 year old programmer, started programming at 11, deeply jealous that there were no app stores back then for the zillion games I wrote.
I would avoid talking like this. To me it sounds like you only vaguely know what you're talking about. To non-techies you sound like you're trying too hard.
As someone who started freelancing as a sophomore in highschool I hope I can lend some advice I learned the hard way. You have a head start, which will seriously come in handy when you do something amazing. To get there you have to leave the ego at the door. Your success will be more centered on how you communicate with people, not machines.
Also i'm sorry if it came off like I have a big ego!
Also @krrishd, are you still working on your suicide-prevention app, I emailed you about it a few weeks ago and didn't get a response.
I can't sit down and write a pacman clone or an asteroids game. Therefore, I can say that it takes more skill than "little to none". I am impressed.
I still remember building my first VB Application (A browser), the moving on to HTML, PHP, then teaching a Python Class at my old school and now I'm proficient in Node.JS and know how to use most of the HTML5 API, so I guess it does take time to evolve your skills.
As you described you have already gone through the pain it is to release even a small project and thats what its all about here. I can spend all day telling myself "oh i can do this too, easily" or "thats such a simple/obvious idea" and still accomplish nothing in terms of released products.
So talking him down for showing his simple games and bragging about your own unfinished project wont get you many sympathies around here.
But you are 15, at that age i was mostly playing quake and talking smack all over the internet on how good i am while programming very basic dos based text apps in basic/pascal, so you are forgiven ;) Just take this as advice
When learning, quantity is often more important than quality. If you try to learn by building one big project to be as perfect as possible, you'll always be slowed down by the bad decisions you made early on. By building lots of smaller projects, you don't need to spend time refactoring and regression testing and whatnot, you just finish the current project and use your newly gained knowledge to better build the next.
Some people are smart but not inteligent. And some are inteligent and not smart.
Someone might go great lengths of inteligence to create something utterly complex. While others might go the smart path and create something else. Both creations can become successful or unsuccessful. If one is complex and the other is simple doesnt mean one is better then the other.
No. Just as one-upmanship.
When I was fifteen, I'm pretty sure my main accomplishment was hitting level 40 in Halo 2 matchmaking.
You will probably get lots of valid and actionable advice about branching out to new platforms, focusing on one or two apps, or trying something new -- but more than anything else, keep building things! You've clearly got a ridiculously high level of aptitude and passion.
I don't regret nothing, but I'd sure love being able to write code at that age - If that would make me a better programmer today, which means that I would have to continue writing code for another 17 years :-)
Congrats to the kid.
But now on a more serious note, I'm about twice your age, so not too old to be screaming 'get of my lawn', but old enough to hopefully give you some advice that will resonate.
This projects mean an average of a game every two weeks, even if they are simple, I'm sure this is taking a lot of your time. I'm extrapolating here, so if I'm wrong just ignore me, but I'm assuming you are spending a lot of time doing these and not a lot of social activities. Please please please, do some socialisation with folks within the dev community and in your school and neighbourhood. I'm not going to say these are the best times of your life or whatnot, but believe it or not, when you are older and start looking for jobs, you will start understanding that social knowledge is as much, or more important that tech knowledge, and you will regret not developing those skills at younger age when it is easier to do so.
Again, good work, keep producing, but find some balance.
* You're averaging a product a fortnight. Whoa.
* You've learned to leverage 3rd party tools to increase productivity / output.
* You've learned to actually -ship- product.
* You made the front page of Hacker News.
All of that is incredibly valuable. Who cares if it isn't written in Java or Objective-C or Haskell or Erlang, so long as your customers love what you're making? (And if they don't love it, at least you now know what to improve on next!)
If you do follow the advice of taking longer to make a higher quality product, don't fall into the trap of becoming a perfectionist and never shipping. It's better to ship something and keep improving it based on customer feedback, than to make something that never sees the light of day.
Did you join onegameamonth.com? If not, you definitely should.
That, alone, is huge.
Speaking as a game developer, this is remarkably bad advice for a young gamedev to follow. It doesn't matter whether or not they're "his". It matters that he continues creating. That's the most important thing. He's not making money off of other people's work. He's building a skillset that will serve him for a lifetime. Wasting time fitting society's arbitrary moral standard is time not spent becoming a better gamedev.
Even if he's served with a DCMA takedown notice for some of his apps, it doesn't matter even slightly, because the app isn't the end goal. Talent is. And the way to foster talent is to not stop working.
I'd encourage him to pursue art if he wants to, as it's also a skill which will serve him the rest of his life -- the creators of Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, and World of Goo were all artist-programmers, which seems more than a coincidence -- but it's not a requirement to be a gamedev.
Second, If, as you say, the app isn't the end goal, then don't release it and this issue doesn't even come up.
Third, you said "Wasting time fitting society's arbitrary moral standard is time not spent becoming a better gamedev."
As a parent, that is exactly why I would encourage him to create his own characters. It's not at all an arbitrary moral standard. Is theft an arbitrary moral standard? Plagiarism? If you don't have permission to use the characters, don't use them. These games are available on the official MS site right next to the official ones. Why go down the path of having to potentially have your account suspended, or whatever the punishment is if MS decides your apps are infringing.
Finally, What do you tell the kid the first time they have a successful project and someone rips it off? Don't get upset, you did it when you started, so it's ok? It doesn't matter that he's just getting his start, stealing these characters is just like stealing the source code an releasing it as your own. Are we condoning that as well? In my opinion, it's just as important to learn integrity as it is to build the app.
There are enough issues with writing your own games, you have just made it that much harder.
Of course there are also lots of free assets out there for use, but designers are more hesitant than developers to give stuff out for free.
Anyway, it doesn't matter if his apps are taken down, because growing his skillset is the most important thing, not the apps themselves. No one will fine him or take him to jail, so as long as he's aware that maybe the app might get pulled, then using other people's characters is the best possible thing a young gamedev can do. And plus there's a good chance no one will care.
I encourage my kids to yoink assets for their projects. Once you've succeeded a bit, and feel comfortable with one piece of the puzzle, by all means, work on the next and make custom characters and graphics. It is non-trivial skill and experience, and come later.
Great work and keep it up, OP! I wouldn't worry about co-founders just yet. Keep hacking till you find something you are really passionate about and a co-founder will join you when and if the time is right (probably a t least 3 years down the road for legal reasons)
I agree;don't brag and I don't like how people brag about how you've done so much as per your age group as if that would have limited you. I've done much more when I was in 6-7th grade yet I don't brag about it. on another note;congrats on your efforts and I urge you to continue to in your path.
It's neat that you've released so many apps this year. As others have noted, it looks like you're using some form of game creation engine to make these quickly. I'd encourage you to try to move away from that and learn what's actually happening behind the scenes. Doing this will allow you to make more complex and impressive games in the future. It'll also serve as a tremendous learning experience.
Also, it's really neat that you're young and doing incredible things, but I'd warn against relying on your age to impress people. Try to make things that are impressive regardless of who made them.
I'm one of the developers on a fairly popular game in the App Store (800,000+ downloads). If you're up to it, I'd like to chat with you more about what you're doing. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
Any experiences or tips on how to get 15 again in terms of productivity? :)
I guess in your case, you would probably have to get some sort of job where they are a lot more lenient and give you time for side projects.
Keep up the good work kid, try lots of stuff out now, find something you like, then go deep. It only gets more fun :)
On top of that, add chores (if you have any), family events, and other misc distractions I'm sure you don't have that much free time. I mean, don't sell yourself short. It's not like you just get to work on stuff 16 hours a day and nothing else.
Sadly, I'm 36, married with a < 2 year old son. Wife is social (so lots of distractions) and I'm an escapist (love to read) and lazy, so I'm seriously envious of you and the OP's dedication and success at such a young age.
Source: My own experiences as the 16-year old (breaking my own rule here for the first time) author of the solid programming language.
P.S. I'm not trying to be arrogant. I just don't want you to repeat my mistakes. Don't be afraid to do things that seem difficult: with research and a little elbow grease, you can accomplish anything, and nothing anyone says can take that away from you.
What you're learning from doing so many different things will serve you well in the future. Out of all of these different apps, one will either catch your attention, or others and you'll have a chance. Keep moving!
Continue to cultivate and live live in a mindset of creativity and possibility, and be wary of doubt worshippers/haters who are busy doing nothing :).
The people have criticizing opinions needs to remember that similar criticism will be given to you by your preceding generation (it may be on any achievement).
The people have motivating/amazement opinions needs to remember that "this seemingly amazing feet" is possible because of the exponential growth in technology and most importantly the exposure to it. If you had similar exposure to technology at your time, you could have achieved same thing.
So, lets appreciate the fact that this 15 year old is "utilizing" his exposure to technology and at the same time don't make him too proud of himself by using words like genius etc which inevitably leads more show-off than learning.
Can't find the game anymore, but I had edited the chirppy sprite (http://i.imgur.com/ccSY4RE.png) to be holding and firing a bow.
I ended up getting a A- on my final for using assets that weren't mine. That's pretty small compared to the sort of things you could run into when you're actually putting this stuff on an app store.
I'd recommend toying around with a sprite editor and getting familiar with pixel art techniques like dithering. You might even enjoy it as much as coding!
Come on, we all started a piece of website/soft/app/gamemaker/whatever trending techno atm when we were 14/15/16.
That's undoubtedly worth these 140+pts.
I see your Minecraft and Mario games are "unavailable". I'm sure you'll keep creating your own IP in the future, like you did with the other 22 games instead of dealing with copyright and trademark infringement. Especially if you want to generate some revenue.
I am not a lawyer. But it will be much better for you to keep doing your own thing (like you did with most of your games), than to be taken down by lawyers working for people who's characters, names, or art you "re-purposed".
What I would recommend is that instead of distributing your time and energy to this many apps, you should stick to one concept and channel all your time into it. I like the games, but they could use some improvement in concept and overall quality, which shouldn't be hard for you if you spend enough time on each and every one. Focusing on one app would allow you to spend enough time, and would help you succeed further in the Windows App Market :)
It made me want to get into programming to do games development, because I still think since UO / EQ, we haven't had a good MMORPG to date.
I ended up in application / web development instead :( got to pay the bills...
Learning a game engine and implementing it is not a trivial task so don't get discouraged by the people saying it's not a big deal.
The important thing now is to make progress with your skill. Do not become stagnant and be content with knowing the game engine. Start doing things from scratch and see where that takes you.
"Zombies have taken over Earth. It is up to you to defend yourself as long as you can. The zombies have an infectious touch that kills you in one touch. Watch out and beware!
Currently does not support touch support."
(Not the grammar, but the irony that a game in which a zombie's touch kills you does not support touch. :P)
Nowadays you can get 100 users pretty easily just by releasing the game. 100 users back then was something I dreamed about reaching some day :)
I doubt anyone ever did.
Wish you the best.
My conclusion is I would encourage them to be more like this kid, but not actually force my will in the end.
This deserves a dedicated blog post