Sunil's Blog

I make games! Mostly weird ones.

Category: college

Gonzo

I read a Che Guevara manga biography a few nights ago. I always had a general idea of what he’s done (i.e. Cuban Revolution), but was unaware of his other feats and the general specifics of his personality. The manga did a great job of encapsulating the emotions that Che felt through each event of his life. I finished the entire manga in one night, and by the end of it I felt really moved.

The next day I started to think about my own life. I’ve been making these small scale games, hoping that my games do something other than serve as game “candy”. I’ve been working on my second game for the past month, and I have made quite a bit of progress. My only fear being that it won’t be nearly as moving as Inner VIsion. Nonetheless, I’ve been still pushing on, getting closer to the end of it. My only issue with it is that the game isn’t as “political” as I would like it to be. It still evokes important issues, but I’m still hungry for making an experience that sheds light on the shady things that are going on in today’s world. As corny as this sounds, I want to make a game that will truly make a difference.

I then started to think about my third game for the future. Making games is hard, and doing it by yourself is even harder. As I look around the indie game community, I see groups of, at least, 2 people going at it. It’s hard for a programmer such as myself to make art and music for games. Sure, there’s always the exception to the rule. There are phenomenal indie games out there all made by one person, and that’s quite impressive. But for me, I think it’ll be best if I work with some other people.

So with these two driving forces of making a game that can make a difference and wanting a group of people to collaborate with, I decided to start a game development group on campus, codenamed: “Gonzo”. My plan is for this group to meet at least once a week, gather the most important news around the world from that week, and make a little game expressing the ideas behind the selected news. The games won’t be objective, but rather subjective, but at the same time the games will inform the players of what’s going on in the world. In other words, it will be the political comics of video games. Honestly, it seems a bit too ambitious, but I still have to try.

The idea came after I finished up a documentary about, one of my heroes, Hunter Thompson. For the curious, the documentary was called “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”. I highly recommend it, as it shed a new light on him that I never really realized before. His works and writings really exposed America for what it truly is, and that really struck a chord with me. I know it seems silly, but what if video games can reach the came caliber? Why aren’t there any video games about political issues? Sure, there are “simulations”, but it still seems to me that game developers are too scared to take a strong stance and truly say something about what’s going in.

So back to my group, yesterday I made flyers and spread them all around campus. I went to the busiest areas where students meet the most, and taped up the flyers there. So, here I am, waiting if anyone will read my silly flyers and want to make games with me. I’m a bit nervous if anyone will care enough to join me, but I’m still hopeful.

So that’s an update on my life at the moment. For the time being, I plan on working away on my second game while waiting for responses to the Gonzo group. I attached below the flyer that I used. Until next time.

Flyer pdf

2013

Well, looks like it’s finally here. To be honest, I’m usually negative on the whole “new year” thing. The reason being that there’s a new year every year, so what’s so special about it? All that aside, I do look forward to what 2013 brings.

I do plan on changing some aspects of myself this year, and hopefully they’ll stick throughout the years to come. Currently, I have been on my winter break from UIC, and I have got to say, it’s been one of the most productive breaks I’ve had. I have made tremendous progress on my flash game (Inner Vision), which is really inspiring since it shows me where my diligence will lead me.

As well as game development, I also plan on increasing my work ethic when it comes to college course work. So far, I’ve been passing all my classes with little to no hiccups. Sure, I’ve had some trouble in some courses (I’m looking at you Physics), but I always manage to pass them (somehow). However, there’s a problem: I still get Cs. This needs to change. Getting a letter grade of a C shows that I’m just average. This infuriates me like no other, and I hope to focus and put all my effort into my work load this year.

I am also partaking in One Game a Month (http://onegameamonth.com), and I’m really looking forward to it. This winter break was a test to see if I can finish a game I start, but 2013 will be the real test. Game development is a very passionate hobby of mine, and I look forward to making experimental, artistic video games. What can I say, I love art.

Other than video game development and college, I’ve had nothing really to worry about. I do have the side of my brain telling me to find a job and get some cash while I’m on break, or while I’m at the university. This is also the side of my brain I’m not too fond of, since it is an eerie reminder of how much debt I’ll be in after my 4 years of college. To combat this evil side of my brain, I still need to think about what kind of field of work I want to get into. Yes, I’m still undecided. The good thing is is that I know it’s something to do with computer science, so there that huge safety net (or at least that’s what every single old person tells me).

I’ll make a blog post in the future about my career path, as well as the dilemma about pursuing game development as a career, but until then, Happy New Year! May 2013 bring out the best of everyone.

 

Here’s a screenshot of where I’m at with the game:

progress blog

The introduction of the game.

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