Let's see where this goes
I've been a wannabe programmer for pretty much as long as I can remember. Videogames have captured my imagination for years but nothing was ever quite like the synergy of old games which only met you half-way visually. Compared to today's modern AAA titles that leave nothing to the imagination, there's something still charming about lofi aesthetic that requires the viewer to fill in the gaps of detail missing from the visual and audio aspects. As I got older, it seemed programming got more and more convoluted and out of reach and anything that was 'entry level' was designed more to sell assets and 'hook' the user into a platform that some other company would charge huge dollars to use for anything serious.
I always wondered if others out there had those same feelings.
After learning on my how to 'handle' Etoys, and seeing how there's almost nothing but crickets to be heard on the internet concerning it as a serious tool for people who want to explore their ideas, I thought I should 'be the change i want to see'. I uploaded a very early draft of the first of many tutorials I want to write on how to get the most out of it for anyone who feels like I do; that Game Maker Unity and similar tools feel more aimed and squeezing pennies out of people rather than give them creative freedom and Etoys itself, as cool as it is, has a fairly pronounced, shall we say, 'image problem'.
My intent is that working a little bit here and there and hopefully with some feedback from anyone who checks it out, we can start a new renaissance of computer programming by those who do not wish to be caught up in the modern paradigms of the pay-to-play variety nor the old paradigms of abstract jargon that makes no sense to people like myself trained traditional arts.
While this first upload is very bareboned, I am very much intending on fleshing it out, turning them into nicely crafted, ready-to-print PDFs (after all, I went to design school for that kind of thing! might as well put it to use towards something I believe in!) and hope that through the mess of getting this all organized people will hang around and see what ideas I have and learn a little something about not only making and designing games and retro-graphics but also about computer history itself since Etoys is of one of the most influential lineages in the entire history of modern computing.
My past experiences within communities has always to support those pieces of software which I find super cool but always end up seeming super niche. For instance, I started up an open-source netlabel for making tunes with Studio Pixel's PXTone software (later handed off duties to fellow label-mate Argargara who's amazingly kept it alive, albeit in less open-source form on bandcamp). But overall, I've always been into the demoscene since the mid 90's, into netlabels and computer-generated music (even helped a little bit with PSPSeq with Ethan Bordeux by doing mad bug and stress testing and some user support) as well as art of all kinds including comic and lo-bit. In other words, I live and breathe this kind of stuff. I'm hoping now that I am an old(er) fart, I can take my experiences and graphic design education and put them toward good use in fostering the next generation of computer artists and musicians. Maybe...
Please consider a buck or two if you find anything useful or want to see specific tutorials in the future. I'm currently unemployed without any serious prospects for projects that can support even my ever-increasing rent and have no idea what to do with myself other than share the love I have for computer arts and culture and teaching others who feel the way I do that there is a pathway for them and that it is worth learning if they really want to follow it. I know everyone is on hard times and no I don't blame you if you just take everything and run...but even if you can't or don't want to pay anything, feedback is just as valuable to this project as any currency because this project is ultimately about teaching everyone the joys of creating something on your own and your feedback helps not only me, but everyone else in the future!
Thanks for checking out Etoys Club and I look forward to seeing what you make Etoys!
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