GAMEhud Beginnings

written by Creston

We thought you might like to know how GAMEhud got started.  Well, before we tell you that, we need to give you a bit of the back story.

It all starts with the announcement last summer that the MMO Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) was shutting down.  I had played SWG from the beta to just after the release of the Combat Upgrade (CU) and New Game Enhancements (NGE) "upgrades".  After those changes, I just stopped playing and canceled my account.  During SWG's prime, I had enjoyed playing that game so much that I even tried to get a job with Sony Online Entertainment (SOE).  I tried this for two reasons: 1) I felt my skills in project management, as well as server and database administration would be useful for an MMO developer, and 2) I relished the opportunity to further develop the potential that SWG had.  But, that did not happen.  Shortly after applying, the CU and NGE implosion occurred.  After that, I pretty much switched to World of Warcraft (WOW) and canceled my SWG account.

That brings us to the SWG shutdown announcement this past summer.  Hearing the announcement and seeing the outpouring of emotion from players for SWG even today lit a spark in me.  I always had an interest in game development but I never really pursued it.  Now, I was intently focused on developing a video game.  The first thing I did was bring the idea to Chris to see if he wanted to join me.  After some discussion which resulted in further developing the concept, Chris agreed to join me. We were going to be game developers!

So, what do two college educated men do when they want to make video games?  They research and study.  While we were avid gamers and programmed for our work, we had never married the two.  The first thing we did was choose our language and game engine.  Like a lot of people nowadays, we chose to develop our game in C# using Unity.  I unfortunately had no experience in either .NET or C#.  Plus, most of my experience is in ruby, SQL and system / database administration.  So I was really starting at the bottom.  Chris had the advantage of using VB and .NET at work.  Of course, he felt it was more of a curse as I was always amused hearing his cries of "CURSE YOU REDMOND!!!" while I was happily coding in ruby.

With the research out of the way, we focused on studying.  To help me learn C#, .NET and game development, I signed up as a 3D Buzz Member Sponsor and joined their MMO class.  In addition, both Chris and I watched Burgzerg Arcade's "Hack & Slash RPG Tutorials."  We spent 2-3 months just learning and getting a basic prototype working.  Then we realized a crushing fact.  Our aspirations were far beyond our means.  For what we had planned, it would take many more months just to get a legitimate working version of our game programmed.  Plus, neither one of us is a modeler or artist.  That might be OK if we wanted Minecraft graphics, but we wanted a bit more.  Based on our projections, we would not have enough funds to complete the game on an acceptable timetable.  So, faced with this reality, we explored our options. 

Around the same time, we were discussing releasing very early prototypes of our game for public consumption.  Since we also wanted to get as much feedback as possible, we looked at different monitoring / analytics packages.  Nothing that we found really appealed to us.  That is when the light bulb went off.  Well, if we are dissatisfied with what is on the market today, perhaps other game developers are as well?  The idea for GAMEhud was born. 

We decided to build GAMEhud as a platform for game management not just for us but for everyone.  Our hope is that as we continue to build GAMEhud you will find it an appealing service and choose to sign up for a free account and eventually a paid account.  We still plan to finish our game, but our primary focus now is GAMEhud.  We want to help you make better games and in the process learn from you as we continue to develop our own craft.  We welcome you to join us on this adventure.

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