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About the Author May 10, 2006
I'm one of those people who always click on the about link on a web page. So I figured it was time to add one to this blog. I don't know why I read the about pages, I think I just have a curiosity what people are doing now and how they started. Possibly I also want to figure out if the writer knows what he/she is talking about, but I think I can get a better idea from just reading the page, than by reading an about page.
So do I know what I'm talking about in these articles? My answer to that is, "mostly." On the plus side, anything I write about is drawing directly from what I've programmed in the past. ( Look here for my current work ). On the minus, I just spend a few hours a week making these articles, and since I'm working in many different areas I don't have time to really research a single topic. Also there are always different ways to do things, I just present one.
How I got started programmingI was (lucky?) enough that my parents had a home computer, and when I was 8 or 9 I borrowed disks of shareware games from the library. Games like Hack, Wumpus, and Colossal Cave Adventure. A year later I started writing my own text adventure games in basic. Some people might think this shows prodigious skill at such a young age, but using print, if, else, and goto isn't hard. I progressed from there to gradually more elaborate graphical adventure games. When I was fourteen, I uploaded one to AOL, and it was downloaded about 1,000 times in a week. I asked for a donation of 5-10 dollars, so I figured if just 5% of the downloaders donated, I'd have $500. I ended up receiving $30 total for that game. And it was all from relatives.
I think it was later that same year that I first played Doom. I hadn't seen anything like it ever before, and I was amazed. I soon decided to learn how 3d engines work and create my own. About a year later I had one working. It wasn't as good as the Doom engine, in fact I don't think I can call it 3d. However, I was proud of inventing a fast "elliptical" lighting technique for it. I still have it somewhere, but never made a page for it. I do have a page for a few of the 3D projects afterward though, such as the Old 3D Game on this page.
Programming SkillI don't consider myself a great programmer. If I ever completely stop making mistakes/learning when I program, then I'll adjust my estimate, but that will never happen. I do consider myself about as good a programmer as anyone else( yes, even whatever famous programmer you might think of. ) I've yet to find something someone else was doing that I couldn't. That also means if I can do something, anyone else can too.