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I recently unearthed an old backup drive from the year 2010.
Curious to see what treasures it contained, I plugged it in and switched it on.
Ah yes, I was 12 years old and creating a film called the great museum robbery.
That didn't get very far, so I began experimenting with stop motion instead, inspired mainly
by the wrong trousers.
With a lot of help from my mother and one of my friends, I made a little 2 minute short
about a ball which sprouts legs and runs away.
Bad as the animation is, it still took an eterinity to complete, so out of laziness
I began learning how to animate on the computer, which allowed me to turn my terrible ideas
into terrible results at an unprecedented rate.
Now animating was a lot of fun, but my obsession at the time was a little game called runescape.
I played this for hours and hours and hours on end, and even made several music videos,
which were... very cool.
I was particularly fascinated though on the rare occasion when something broke.
This felt like a glimpse behind the curtains, and it made me want to know more.
I'd heard whispers that games were made using something called "scripting".
And so one day I searched my computer for that mysterious term, and came across something
called the script editor.
I remember typing some random characters in, and being really excited to find out what
would happen when I ran it.
Of course, all I got was my first syntax error.
After a bit of searching online though, I was amazed to discover that applescript was
mostly like writing english, and I learned first how to display a dialog box, and then
how to make the computer say stuff, which I found endlessly entertaining.
After a while I was ready to create my first game - Speed Reactions.
So in this game you have one second to press the correct button.
Let's go.
Left.
Woah, I wasn't fast enough.
Ok, left, boom, jim, back, ju...
Too difficult for me.
"Press cancel to quit", that's normal!
So I made a bunch of these little experiments and games with applescript, the most advanced
probably being hangman.
But the applescript language is intended for automating tasks, not so much for developing
games, and I started to get bored of everything taking place in these dialog boxes.
It was a great introduction to programming though, here's the hangman script
for example, and you can see it has all the fundamentals, like loops, if statements...
variables, functions and so on.
By now I'd learned that runescape was created with java, so of course that's what I wanted
to learn.
My first java game was noughts and crosses, which I created with what I learned by reading
some of the chapters of a book called teach yourself java in 21 days.
I must have skipped some of the important ones though judging by the horrors I found
in the code.
Like an AI class containing 800 lines of painstakingly coded if-else logic.
Thankfully I was saved from inevitable insanity by a student from the local university who
my dad enlisted to give me a few one-on-one lessons.
With his guidance I created my most elaborate game yet -- the ninja test.
There're a couple of different mini games, but the fanciest is pong, where you need to
survive as long as possible against an apparently unbeatable opponent.
The fanciest thing is that the computer player calculates the trajectory of the ball and
moves directly to the predicted location.
Pretty imppressive.
I take it all back, its garbage.
The next thing I wanted to learn was 3d modelling, so that I could create 3d games.
My first model was this aircraft, with a very strangely shaped rear end.
I followed up that masterpiece with a wine bottle and then a rifle.
I just love the texture work on this model, especially on the back part -- its so obviously
a picture of some floorboards.
I kept at it though, gradually attempting more and more complex subjects.
Here's my first attempt at a human, and an attempt at sculpting his head.
This man has seen things...
I learned a lot from following cg cookie tutorials, like this one on creating a character called
Kara.
As you can see, she remained headless, and to this day I still can't make heads.
Something for the next decade perhaps.
I also made some strange little animations, like this one about a disfunctional vending
machine in the desert, or this one about a mannequin trying to make friends with a robot
he discovers in an old warehouse.
During this time I experimented with a number of different game engines, but I had a really
hard time understanding them.
Finally in mid 2012 I came across the Unity engine, and followed a 3dbuzz tutorial to
create a little space shooter.
From this I learned many of the fundamentals, like player input and movement, collision
detection, and instantiating and destroying objects.
The programming is done in C#, but since it was so similar to java, I was able to create
my second game without the help of a tutorial.
By this time I was really into call of duty, and so I started work on my epic zombie survival
game.
I made some little devlog videos for this, which were some of the first videos uploaded
to my channel.
Hardly anyone was watching them though, which was a problem because I needed to get people
excited about it so they'd buy it when it was done, and at 14 I didn't exactly have
a huge marketing budget.
So I decided to lure people to my channel with tutorials.
The only problem is that I was very self consious about my voice, so I pitched the audio down
several levels to sound more manly.
[2012 Seb: Hey guys, welcome to this Unity tutorial on how to create a zelda-style health bar]
The video was about 30 minutes long, and contained nuggets of wisdom like --
[2012 Seb: So um, when we start scripting we need to think about... what does this script need to be able to do?]
You heard it here first folks.
The tutorial did actually get a fair number of views, but I then abandoned the zombie
game because the code was a horrifying mess and everything kept breaking.
Instead I started this new project in 2013 - where you have to build out your base, and
use different weapons and so on to survive against hordes of invading aliens.
If I've ever been consistent on something though, its not finishing what I start, and
so I soon moved on to creating a slew of similarly unfinished titles.
To be fair though, I do think that creating loads of little prototypes like this is a
pretty good way of learning.
Towards the end of 2013 I entered a challenge to finish a game, and try earn at least a
dollar from it.
So, I spent the month making May the Best Man Win, a pretty unremarkable tower defence
game where you compete to be the best man at your best friends wedding.
I put it up for sale, and was over the moon when several nice people actually bought it,
making it the first money I earned from game development.
[Pewdiepie: Next up, last chance supermarket].
This was a game I made for a 48hr game jam called Ludum dare.
Essentially, you need to rush around with your shopping cart and get everything on your
christmas list, while also trying not to crash into the other frenzied shoppers.
This was perhaps the first game I made that was actually fun to play, and I was super
proud of it and made a whole behind the scenes video about my process of creating it.
It went on to win first place in the fun category of the competition, and also enjoyed a brief
moment in the limelight after it was played by a certain swedish gentleman.
[Pewdiepie: "Well that game was pretty cool, I like it"].
Well, I clearly peaked in 2014, so I'm afraid its all downhill from here.
Infection was my first time collaborating on a project -- I teamed up with Daniel, who
did the art, and later on Thiago, who made music, and together we worked on a number
of little games, like This Little Piggy, which is a game about making potato salad.
By this time it was 2015, my second last year of high school, and in that year, everyone
has to pick a project to work on for about 6 months, and then present it to the school.
I chose to start creating tutorials again, so I bought a microphone with the bit of money
I'd made from the supermarket game, and started creating animated diagrams for my first tutorial
on the A* pathfinding algorithm.
I followed that up with a series on modeling, rigging and animating characters in Blender,
then creating a 2d platformer controller, and finally procedurally generating caves
with cellular automata.
I enjoyed working on these so much, that once I finished highschool, I decided to not go
study, but just keep making tutorials.
I was already earning some money from ad revenue and occasional freelancing, and I also then
started a patreon page, where people have been incredibly generous in supporting my
work.
So in the past few years I've been much more focussed on creating tutorials than games,
but I did find some time to work on some small projects, like spirit rover, a game where
you have to write instructions to send to a little mars rover called spirit, to guide
it through the treacherous terrain; or Splotch, made with my friend liam, where you draw lines
to try bounce balls around obstacles and into their gates as quickly as possible.
There was also Swordfish, a game about hacking, but in a very hollywood action movie kind
of way.
In this last year though, I've been trying something a little different, which is to
take a topic that I think is interesting, and spend a couple of weeks to a month researching
and playing around with it.
And then, unlike with my usual tutorials where I'd just show how to create it, I've been
trying to show more of the entire process - so the initial experiments, as well as the
bugs and roadblocks and the random tangents along the way.
I've been having a lot of fun with this series, especially because its given me the freedom
to tackle things that are a bit out of my league.
For example clouds was a recent project I undertook, and I couldn't make a tutorial
on it because I wasn't able to get it run fast enough to be useable in an actual game,
but I think it still made for a pretty interesting coding adventure video.
Well.
In a nutshell, that's been my first 10 years of learning programming and game development,
and of creating youtube videos.
It's been hugely motivating to have so many people actually watching and responding to
the videos, so thank you all for that.
And an extra huge thanks of course to those who've been supporting me in all of this on
patreon.
It's been an interesting ten years for me, with lots of weird projects, ranging from
being a fly trying to get up someone's nose, to creating a terrible little console to play
snake on, so I'm curious to see what the next decade has in store.
Thanks for watching, cheers.