The First Step

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Famous Chinese Proverb

You must pack your bag with all you’ll need before a journey.
– My life experience

You’ll go down a lot of rabbit holes before you a catch a single rabbit.
– Also my life experience

I used to love game development. Or, rather, the idea of game development — it was an extension to story telling and I always wanted to do that.

Sadly, my initial forays into game development resulted in a few of lack-luster games but nothing with the storytelling brilliance that I’d envisioned. I gave up, moved on to doing a lot of business apps — the usual bread-and-butter stuff that you do when you need to make a living.

But the idea of doing a game with elements that would capture the imagination of the player always remained at the back of my mind.

Recently, the itch to try my hands at a game became stronger again and I decided to give in and give it another go. So starts this journey …

And that brings us to the quotes at the top.

I believe in having my tools set up properly before I start any project. In fact, I’m rather painfully meticulous about such things 😁 While I already have my standard tools for a general coding project, a gamin project requires more. So I started searching and getting tools that I used to use previously together.

And that’s when the going down rabbit holes started …

I wanted to get Tiled since it’s brilliant for doing tile maps and the game I wanted to work on was supposed to have a tile map. (Apologies if you’re reading this and don’t know what a tile map is — it’s basically a way to display a larger playing area on a mobile device using a small number of building block images. Not quite an accurate description, but sufficient unto the purpose? At least I hope so 😛)

Apparently, Tiled does not work with macOS Big Sur beta, which is the operating system on my working machine. Yes, I know you should not run beta software on production machines 😃 But let’s not get into the reasons why. Suffice it to say that I have Big Sur beta and I’m generally happy with it most of the time. But Tiled does not work with Big Sur and apparently this is a known issue.

This took me down my first rabbit hole. I read up about the issue. I tried some of the builds provided on the issue thread. I tried making my own build. Varied levels of success.

So I decide to try building the app using Qt Creator, which is (one of?) the development environments that can be used to build Tiled. That started the next rabbit hole. I installed Qt Creator, loaded the project for Tiled, but it doesn’t seem to compile properly. Now I need to figure out what is wrong there …

And that’s just two of the many rabbit holes that I’ll probably go down before I actually get started on the game I wanted to work on since I have other tools to gather and possibly other rabbit holes to traverse 😁

To be honest, I enjoy this. I’m never happier than when I’m tinkering with stuff. And if you learn something in the process of going down rabbit holes, then all is not lost, right? Right? Right!

I’ll detail what happens with some of these rabbit holes — and the game — as things progress. Hopefully, that helps somebody else go down one less rabbit hole 😅

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