Saturday, May 05, 2012

So, I Decided To Create A Superpopular Videogame: Part One: The idea arrives.

The world will want to know the circumstances that led to the invention of The Superpopular Videogame, so here they are:

Yesterday, yesterday being Friday, May 4, 2012, I was lying on my bed in my bedroom,  which is where I keep my bed, and I was tickling Mr Bunches and trying to talk him into going for ice cream cones, because I wanted to go for an ice cream cone but I didn't want to be the one to come up with the idea, because then it would seem like I'm kind of a glutton. Also, Mr Bunches didn't want to go and it made him sad when I suggested going, so I needed him to be happy about it if we chose to go because nothing makes ice cream taste worse than knowing that, in getting the ice cream cone, you have actually made a little boy sad in the process.

So I was trying to convince him of that, but he wanted to stay at home and play his new boardgame, "Wake Up Bed", as he calls it, a game the world (?) knows as Don't Wake Daddy. 

The specifics of Don't Wake Daddy aren't important to this story. What is important to this story is that I said to Mr Bunches:

"You sure like your board games, don't you?"

And at that precise moment all the neurons in my brain fired off at once and I saw in a flash that was exactly like what happened to Saul only in my case I didn't become Christian (I already was one) but I did have an idea for a board game.

A board game.

But a really really cool board game.

I laid back on my bed, in my bedroom (remember, that's where I keep it) and thought about the board game and how it would look and how much Mr Bunches would like it, and probably other people.  Granted, I was not going to get this board game made in time to convince Mr Bunches to go for ice cream, but perhaps we would get it done in time to go for soup in the fall... I could dream.

After a few minutes, a couple of neurons in my brain cleared their throat and said, in neuronese, the equivalent of:

"Ahem. We were actually thinking it should be a video game."


In that moment, laying on my bed tickling Mr Bunches, I had the idea for a brilliant new video game that would be superpopular and awesome and fun to play, and I know it was a great one because I went down to Sweetie and had this conversation:

Me:  Want to know how smart I am?

Sweetie: Sure.

Me:  I just had an idea for a supergreat video game.  

Sweetie:  Sure.


Sweetie:  That is a really good idea.  You should make that.

And with that, I decided to make the Superpopular Videogame a reality, because I've had lots and lots of ideas like for my In-The-Cupboard dishwasher and my EZ Mover closet attachment and my Ergonomic Broom or Mop, but this idea was different from those in two respects:

1.  This idea did not require any actual physical equipment that I didn't already have. If you're going to build a broom, or In-The-Cupboard Dishwasher, you need the stuff those things are made of, like broom handles and dishwasher parts and, probably, Higgs Bosons.

2.  This idea was approved by Sweetie, who has previously only approved of two ideas I've ever had in my entire life, the first being that I should close my old law firm and join my new one, and the second being that I should write horror stories, and both of those have worked out fantastically for me, in that I have written horror stories and have a job that earns actual money.

So, I decided to create a superpopular videogame.

And I knew just how to do it.  I immediately went on my Kindle and I looked up books for programming superpopular videogames. 

Turns out there are a lot of books about programming videogames, and it turns out it is kind of hard to tell which ones are the ones that you might be able to actually use to take me, "guy who owns a computer but doesn't know much about that machine and in fact his laptop is missing the d and ; keys" and turn me into me, "guy who created that game you spent the entire meeting playing on your phone" and which ones are impossible to use/stupid money-grabbing scams.

I read through a bunch of descriptions of books about programming for phones and laptops and tablets and whatnot -- the Apple Whatnot(TM) hasn't been released yet but when it does come out it's going to wow you people, I can tell you as a computer-insider.  [I have been a computer-insider since yesterday at about 5:30 p.m.  Central Time. Maybe Central Daylight Savings Time. I think we're on Daylight Savings Time.][I'm not sure because while I'm a computer-insider, I'm not a Time-Insider.][Yet].

Eventually, I noticed that all of the books I was reading about kept mentioning things that I couldn't understand, and also kept mentioning a word:  Java.

 After skimming through the descriptions of at least 10 different books about programming games, I came to a decision:

"I am going to have to learn what this Java thing is," I announced to Sweetie, who by that time had forgotten that she had (perhaps inadvertently) given me the go-ahead to embark on a new career that would ultimately make us millions, perhaps billions when you count in merchandising from the Superpopular Videogame.

And so I did that: I learned that Java is a computer language, and then I deduced, being a computer-insider, that I would have to learn this computer-language to learn how to program games.

Or so I hope, because I bought, at a cost of $15.95 on my Kindle, which I will eventually write off as a tax deduction to reduce what I pay after I make those billions, the book Java For Dummies, and if Java isn't what you use to program videogames, then only the latter 1/3 of that title is going to be applicable to me.

And this morning, sitting in Mr Bunches' room, which is where we keep Mr Bunches, I began my new hobby, reading Java For Dummies in between playing with Mr Bunches and his stuffed cat, which I was required to occasionally place on my head and then tell to get off my head, because the cat was being troublesome, see, and I assume that this is how Bill Gates got started.  Which is weird, because Bill Gates really should not be playing with my son.  I'm going to talk to him about that, when I meet him at Big Time Computer Guy conventions where we will be billionaires together.

I am totally serious about this, too: I am going to create a Superpopular Videogame, not just because Sweetie told me to, but also because:

A.  My idea is a really really good one.

B.  I can do this using things I already have around the house, like my laptop, and me.

C.  I have been wanting to learn a new language and was going to learn Mandarin Chinese but really, learning computer-ese, this Java, is the same thing only I can use it to make billions instead of just talking my way out of a Chinese prison (which is what I assume Mandarin would be helpful for.)

I spent a half-hour reading the book Java For Dummies this morning - well, 20 minutes, because about 10 minutes of that time was "Get Off My Head, Cat," the game, which is not the Superpopular Videogame I thought up but which might be one I create, too -- and here is what I have learned so far:

Java is a computer programming language.  Other computer programming languages include Fortran, COBOL, C, C++, C#, and A-Flat-Minor.  (Fun fact: I made up one of those languages! See if you can guess which one.)

Java uses object oriented programming.  I didn't know what that meant, but I do know, as you'll see if you go on.

Objects, in computers, are data.  Which means you could have said Java uses data-oriented programming, but you didn't.  Why?  Why make it harder than it must be?

Also, there is something called classes that relates to objects the way houses related to siding, and I was starting to get into that and really learn but then Mr Bunches wanted to use my Kindle to type his name, so I came downstairs to write this.

That is as far as I got today. 



Andrew Leon said...

I call dibs on getting to write your authorized biography once you're a computer billionaire.
Or, even, your unauthorized one.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

What Andrew said. Seriously though...if you go through with this, you'll be my hero. There's nothing Mr. Pagel cannot do.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I think a lot of games now days are made with Flash. I don't know how different that is from Java. Anyway, you could probably take classes at ITT Tech or something like that but really you should farm the project out to India or China. That's how the big companies do it.