Fins to Feet

Heads up!
July 14, 2010, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 NOTE: This post is of a somewhat personal nature. Skip to the final two paragraphs if you want to see the crux of my message. 

I try to bring all of my abilities/affectations/personality disorders to the table here at Fins to Feet – I write, I organize, I sift through research papers and I’ve even dabbled in some technical drawing. But I think I can do a little more.

  Before I made this website – before I even left high school – I used to spend many a restless night wandering the catacombs of cyberspace in search of freeware game-design systems. It has always been a burning ambition of mine to author a game-system of some sort. When I was a younggin, the medium of play was utterly irrelevant to me: I didn’t care if my game was executed on sodden cardboard sheets or on MS DOS. It was the idea that was central.

  I first had a crack at game building in 2003, when I and a neighbourhood friend (both aged 11 at the time) designed a goofy chess-variant with leaping rooks and club-totting cavemen. I even managed to get it published in the Chess variant pages – something that astonishes and befuddles me to this day, considering how singularly unchesslike the game really was. In the succeeding years, I made custom trump-card games (based, in chronological order, on insects, predatory cats, dinosaurs and Marvel/DC superheroes), partook in pen-and-paper romps through fantastical battlefields with my high-school compatriates and eventually shored on the wide banks of the interwebs with my first online “game” (and I had an accomplice in this too) in early 2006.

 And here my desire to develop a game hit a fundamental roadblock: I could not program. Even my more computer-savvy peers (many of whom are now fluent in two or more Computational languages) were only beginner coders at the time. And thus, we had to devise all sorts of artifices to circumnavigate the “programming phase” of our various game-development projects. I tried to learn how to use Game Maker, a scripting-free game-development tool that is still roaringly popular with lazy, wannabe developers like my former-self, but failed to ever release a fully functional game on it. My attempts to fashion games with other freeware development tools were similarly unsuccessful. I was at an impasse.

 We then grudgingly moved into the realm of text based gaming. But even here my troubles with basic programming drastically truncated my options. Finally, we ended up building RPGs and Strategy games centered around Mailing lists and online forums – a process that entailed absolutely no programming skills. Some of these projects were, in a word, embarassing. Others are glorious symbols of my early adolescence. The last time I logged onto or was active on any one of these projects was well over 2 years ago.

 So why do I subject you to this tale of incompetency and unsated ambition? Well, because I’m going take up the challenge once more. And I have fresh armaments. I’m going to design a mostly-but-not-exclusively-text-based educational game on the early evolution of the Aves as part of the Taking Wing series. It will be hosted online – no downloads neccessary. It’ll be a sort of simulation of a “Prehistoric Aviary” where you can amble around, yell at the customer service and, of course, oggle at, interact with and learn about various extinct bird species.

I sometimes like to pretend like I have somethin akin to an actual readership on this blog, so I’m going to throw this question out to you folks: Is there any early bird or feathered dinosaur in particular that you’d like to see in the simulation? You can respond in the comment box below or via E-mail (visit the “About me” page to find it).

Thanks for reading!


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This game sounds like it’s going to be very interesting! I’d like to see compsognathids (Sinosauropteryx, but Sinocalliopteryx would be even better) and basal oviraptorosaurs (Caudipteryx) and deinonychosaurs (Anchiornis, Microraptor, maybe add in one of their derived flightless kin like Velociraptor for good measure), but most of all it’d be great to see some Mesozoic birds that get the short shift: confuciusornithids, sapeornithids, enantiornithines.

Comment by Albertonykus

Hey thanks a lot for the suggestions (and sorry for the late reply). Many of the species you suggested will feature in the game. 🙂

Comment by arvindpillai

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: