How to make your own video game

Everyone dreams of making their own game, and with the resources and knowledge available now to those dreamers, it’s easier than ever to get things made. With a little coding know-how and some information, a dream can become a reality and a video game can be born.

The first thing to consider is what game engine you will use. Whether it will be the pixel graphics and minimalist details of various indie games on the market or will be the next masterpiece in terms of graphics and effects, picking someone else’s game engine is superior to creating your own.

The engine will mostly include the foundations for a game, including textures, models, and the base code for scripting events, which is what most modders and game dev’s use to create their own versions of a video game.

Other tools

Frameworks also provide a barebones software that gives you the templates to create whatever you want, while still allowing you to program and code whatever you want into a game. Many frameworks are free, open source, and have dedicated and experienced communities that allow for questions to be asked and answered.

Programs such as HTML or Java are used by real developers to create their games and learning the programming languages behind the games that you are inspired by/want to emulate can also give you an edge. Python, Ruby, and other codes are also just as powerful and beginner friendly.

Create a plan

What is the game going to be about? Dragons, monsters, a hero who is just trying to get the girl? Take a lot of time to flesh out the characters, the backstory, and the various puzzles and challenges in each area. While this probably won’t be the official backstory or plot of the game, having some sort of plan for the game will give a goal to work towards.

Then gathering the tools to create the art and story is next, and various pieces of open source sound, music, and art exist in the world. In addition, Pixel art or even just using graphics or symbols to represent the characters also works as a low budget expense for the first game.

Learning the scripting language is next, as it works like any other script by telling the game what to do and when to do it. If you are using an existing engine, then the language already exists and more than likely has a guide to using it.

Depending on the type of game, scripts can either be very light and not impact the game or heavy and make the game dependent on them.

Create levels.

Then creating levels and working on the characters is the next step, before testing the game and ensuring that everything works out before building more and more. People can help playtest the game and show you how people will play or react to it, and then it can be released to the public.

Creating a game is hard work, and it won’t be easy, but it can be done and you could create the next big hit.

Four Predictions for the Future of Programming

Programming is such a unique industry. Not only does it involve learning about computers in depth, but it is also one of the fastest changing industries around.

Programming languages seem to rise and fall every few years. While some languages remain, the shift can feel very dramatic. Languages such as Swift were nonexistent five years ago but now they are mainstream.

Such trends are only expected to continue. Here are four bold predictions for the future of programming.

  1. Programming will be abstract

The industry is already witnessing trends that include serverless tech, containers and platforms that involve low code. These trends suggest that a future of more abstraction is possible for programming.

The lower-level details that have dominated coding since its inception may not be so important, depending on the environment in which a coder is operating. Some experts believe the infrastructure of how cloud native apps are built will become less important.

With AR and VR getting mainstream attention, it may be possible to build applications with both voice and natural language processing capabilities. It is the type of work modern programmers may have to adapt to in a few years.

  1. AI will NOT replace programmers

Some confidently predict that AI will take over from programmers in ten years. But some experts do not agree. They believe that developers may benefit from AI making their jobs faster, as it can predict their intent in fewer steps.

But programmers will still be necessary, as they are the ones who will build the applications and technologies that modern technology will utilize.

  1. Developers must work with data

Kristen Sosulski, who is an assistant professor of information at NYU, believes that developers will need to learn data analysis in the future. She believes that statistical data analysis, non-linear analysis and machine learning will all be a part of a programmer’s job in the future.

  1. Programming will be taught at all schools

Programming is still in an odd position where the education system is concerned. While administrators and professionals agree that more kids should learn to code, it is still not a requirement at more than a handful of places.

But experts believe that in a decade or two, every profession in the world will require some interaction with machines. Whether it is data analysis, simulations or other processes, people will have to know how to code.

Such mainstream use of coding will mean that schools require students to learn coding when they are younger. It will become a core tenant of the education system.

Programmers who have been involved with the industry for the past 20 or 30 years know how much it has changed. Some of that change may feel natural and intuitive to those who were in the midst of it. But looking from the outside, there are aspects to programming that are completely different from 20 years ago.

Similar changes are expected in the next decade. Some believe those changes will be even greater.

However it turns out, it will be interesting to watch the evolution of programming as technology becomes even more important in everyone’s lives.

Programmers Expose Vulnerabilities with Patient Medical Records

Many medical institutes in the United States use some type of software to manage their records. It eliminates the use of paper, makes transferring information easier, and provides an easy to access database.

Most would assume that such a system is also very secure. But programmers and physicians from the University of California recently showed that vulnerabilities exist in medical record systems.

Are Medical Records Unsafe?

The group of physicians and computer scientists wanted to show that it is possible to hack the medical records of specific patients. And they did it by targeting the connection between a medical record system and the lab devices at hospitals.

Before anyone is alarmed, the study did not target an actual medical institute. Everything was recreated in a controlled environment so proper testing could be done.

The team created a testbed that had medical lab equipment, testing devices, computers and servers. They were able to run the types of tests that patients would get if they went into the ER for surgery or any other type of emergency.

 

What they were able to achieve will worry a lot of people. Not only was the team able to get their hands on information that is meant to be confidential, but they were able to change the results.

Stealing and Adjusting Medical Information

The way most hospitals work is that when a patient is put through a test, results are automatically fed into the system. Some machines may still be analogue, which requires a medical assistant or nurse to do the job in real time.

Say a patient comes into the ER and they get a blood test and an EKG. The results are automatically or manually entered into the system. These records can be viewed online, seen by relevant doctors or transferred to a primary care physician.

The team at UC San Diego managed to infiltrate the system by launching a “man in the middle attack.” It is the type of attack where a computer gets in between the lab equipment and the medical records to steal or modify information.

They were able to adjust the blood test results to show different values. While the test results were normal, the hacker was able to make it look as though the patient was suffering from severe diabetes. Such a diagnosis would lead to a nurse giving the patient specific medicine. And the medicine would cause a healthy patient to go into a coma.

 

Hacks Could Target Important People

While the researchers do not see such a vulnerability as compromising the average patient, there is a worry about how a more important person could be targeted. A celebrity, activist, government official or other important figure could be targeted by hackers, foreign governments or other malicious entities.

The danger is not just about medical information being stolen or the patient being incorrectly diagnosed. The worry is that if such a man in the middle attack were done in real time, patients could be mistakenly given medicine that can kill them.