A long time since…

It has been very long since I wrote a blog post that relates to this community. So, I will try to give a quick status update on what I am doing these days. After publishing Insanity on September 1st, 2020. I needed a break, so I took one full month off just to stop my brain from thinking or solving problems. It was well worth it. Now, as many of you may know, I am studying to enter a PMP exam by mid December. I am trying to get myself acquainted with project management in order to prepare myself for real life projects, whether they are personal, freelanced or even projects to studios if I get hired. My ultimate goal at for my game development journey is to become a creative director and direct the making of games. I already have, and still building, my technical expertise, so it won’t hurt to gain some management expertise as well. So wish me luck with that exam, please! I hate exams!!

I also won a grant that was offered by our government, where I attended the Game Design and Development Specialization offered by Michigan State University on Coursera for free. The specialization consisted of 5 courses:

  1. Intro to Game Development
  2. Principals of Game Design
  3. Game Development on Modern Platforms
  4. Entrepreneurship and the gaming industry
  5. Capstone Project for graduation.

It was a great experience and I completed the program on October 5th 2020. I learned a lot from this specialization especially when it came to game design. It also gave me an opportunity to attend seminars to developers, producers, designers and creative directors from the industry who work at EA, Ubisoft, Activision and Rockstar. It was eye opening and I am so glad I got through this experience.

How Insanity is doing So far?

Since I published Insanity, I have proudly made $0.53 :D. I got 1000+ downloads for the game on android and around 200+ downloads in iOS which is fine, but I didn’t make money out of it. This is okay, I was not really expecting my first game to be a hit or anything. The main goal of making Insanity was for me to experience making games, to live the whole journey from start to finish; to actually get something done and published to the public. I did that; and this is more than enough for me at this stage. I am not a person who like to take big leaps, but I always believe in a slow and steady approach to doing things. Whether I win or lose in the Ultimate Game Jam, having to build a game and get it out there, is just the greatest reward that I can get at the moment.

So… What’s Next then?

After resting a bit from Insanity, I started planning for a new project. I worked with my cousin for some time to come up with an idea for a competitive online game. We had some really good ideas and we almost finalized a High Concept Document; but then something great happened to me three weeks ago…

A friend of mine who works at a company in Egypt, called me and she was interested in the games I make and she started asking me questions about how long have I been doing this and whether I am interested in doing professional game development work and I told her that I was open for anything; and this is when it happened. She offered me an opportunity to be outsourced and work on a project that they signed with the government to create a game that raises the kids and youth awareness against COVID-19 and how can they protect themselves from the virus and stop its spread. I found myself saying, YES! One week later, I signed an official contract to lead the design and development of the game; and an NDA of course. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to share much of the development journey, but I will sure share with you all some screenshots when things start to take shape. So far, we got the client’s approval on the game idea and we are now waiting for their approval on the High Concept Document. Once approved, I will start the technical design and jump into Unity and Visual Studio. I have never been that happy! Hard work is finally paying off!

Now, my current PC can barely run URP, imagine if I want to do something on HDRP. I remember when I did Al Heck’s course on making beautiful levels, doing the level in HDRP was painful because of the processing power of my PC. So I decided to build a new PC so I can work on, and at the same time play games as well. Here are the specs that I bought:

  • CPU: AMD RYZEN 7 3700X 8-Core 16-Threads (Max Boost 4.4 GHz)
  • Mother Board: GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO AC
  • GPU: ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER ROG Strix 8GB GDDR6 Graphics Card
  • RAM: HyperX Fury Desktop Memory Single Stick 16GB 3200 MHz
  • SSD: Sabrent 512GB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive
  • HDD: 1TB Seagate BarraCuda
  • Case: XPG INVADER Mid-Tower PC Chassis Black
  • PSU: Seasonic 620 Watt Bronze (Not the best Wattage, but it will do for now)
  • Cooling: 3 CoolerMaster front intake fans, 1 XPG fan in the back as an exhaust, 1 XPG fan on the top as an exhaust. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R Addressable RGB for CPU Cooling.
New PC Setup

At the end if I were to give anyone reading this post an advise. It is to never give up hope and just keep doing what yo are doing and always believe in yourself and in your dreams!

Cheers!

The thrill of making my first video game!

I was always fascinated by video games. Not just by how fun they are, but also in the small details that make them what they are. I remember back in the days when I was young I used to play Super Mario Bros over and over again! I got so good at this game to the extent that I used to speed run the game and try to break my record every time. I didn’t have a stop watch back in the days so I used to start at the hour and see how long it will take me to finish the game end to end without any shortcuts! I was 6 or 7 years old back then!

Then after some time, I got my first PC, it was packed with games. I don’t really remember most of them but the games that consumed me were Quake and Doom. Oh, the thrill of seeing a 3D game for the first time; to me that was a miracle! Something out of this world! I always said to myself that this is it! Video games cannot get better than this. I would spend hours and hours playing these two games trying to finish them. Back in the days, we didn’t use the mouse to aim n the FPS games, it was all in the keyboard.

Then I got my PS1 and a whole new era of video games opened its arms to me! i never thought that you can tell a story in a video game! I remember player Resident Evil 3, Crash trilogy and other games that had some great stories! I would get very emotional because of how the story turns out or really frustrated at a character. From this moment, my love to video game was cemented!

I never saw myself as a person who would develop video games. I always thought that making these games was too complicated and advanced for me! I would always think to myself that I am no match to do things like that! I had some great stories to tell, and I do have the passion towards video games, but making them was not a thing that I would put myself through because I was afraid that I might fail. I had this thought because I took a computer graphics course back at school that was based on OpenGL and C++ and boy that was one tough course! I barely got out with a B, and I was proud of it! I couldn’t imagine myself going through all this again for making games!

In 2018 I discovered Unity; and after watching few tutorials, I saw that it was not that hard to make a game on that engine! I decided to give myself a chance and give it a try. I started with a course called “The Ultimate Guide to Game Development in Unity” that was offered in Udemy by Jonathan Weinberger and I found that it was not that hard. You just needed to understand the API of Unity and get used to it and things will start to click from there! I remember the feeling I had when I finished the space shooter game that was the product of that course. I was over the moon! I actually made my first video game. I shared this game with all my friends and they all didn’t believe that I actually made a video game. This is when I decided that this would be the kind of work that I want to do for the rest of my life.

Today I am working on developing my first video game, Insanity. I started working on this game earlier this year, and I am planning on participating in the Ultimate Game Jam with that game! Honestly, I do not care if I win or lose in this Game Jam. I do not care whether this game bring me a lot of money or not. I do not care if that game does not get viral. All I care about is that this is my first video game that I started on my own from scratch, and now it is published to the public. I finally made it; I finally was able to do something that I thought I would never do! Today I am preparing my game for its alpha version; and soon, the game will hit the market. I can’t be more thrilled than I am right now!

So, if you are reading this post right now and having these second thoughts; if you are being haunted by that thought that you are not good enough for this field, or does not have the knowledge to excel in it. Think again and read this post one more time! If you love the field and passionate about it, then my advice to you is to never give up on yourself!

 

Regards,

Samir Georgy

The CoD:MW3 Experience

Yes I am gamer. I am a hardcore gamer.

One of the games that I recently played is a game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I upgraded my computer specifically to play this game. I think Call of Duty is one of the most brilliant games ever made in the history of gaming. I remember when I started playing games, when there was this old Nintendo, and these old gaming stations, games used to be… you know… just a guy walking around and shooting things! The character you were playing with used to be the super hero, or this amazing guy/girl that can do anything.

This is not the case in games these days. A lot of new games now have stories, REALLY good stories. They are well directed, and they are just breath taking. Modern Warfare 3 is the third and final release of the Modern Warfare trilogy. This game never seize to impress me with its brilliant game play and super interesting story.
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Anti-Aging Treatement

Recently I read an article on National Geographic that really astonished me. I couldn’t believe what I read. It reminded me of my previous post about Human Implants. The article speaks about an experiment that a scientist has made on a mouse. He injected them with something called Stem Cells, these cells are cells that are not specialized in something specific, they rather take form of any other cells that they get exposed to. He injected those mice with Stem Cells and he was amazed by the results. The results of this experiment made the mice healthier and they lived longer. He said that this experiment can propose a solution to Anti-Aging problems!!!! That couldn’t stop me from wondering and asking the ultimate question… What if this treatment succeeded on human beings? Will we use such treatments in order to live longer? or we will just use them to cure some aging diseases like Alzheimer? Allow me to go even further, this may not be realistic or may be limited to some extent or may not even be true but, can this help saving humans from dying? Just read the article and think about it…. If you have any thoughts, post them in the comments.

Human Implants

Recently I have played a game called Deus Ex: Human Revolutions. After finishing that game I couldn’t stop my self from wondering, what if this actually happened. To give a quick summary about the game’s story; it is about some organization that does some human cybernetic enhancement that can enhance the limitations of the human body. That’s not the actual story of the game but this is the science part in the story.

The question here stands. Can this really happen? I mean, if someone can’t carry something heavy; Can he remove his arm, and instead install a mechanical arm that gives him more power and strength? Can a man remove his eyes with an electric one that can grant him night vision? Can he plant things into his body, that can delay his death? Can we plant an electronic memory in order to help those who have bad memory?

I can keep asking many questions…  but the thing is, if such technology appeared… will we use it for good? or we will just be using this technology to enhance soldiers and make them stronger.

Here is a question for you… If such technology exits and you can do such surgery on your body… will you do it? if so, what will you do after the surgery?

Artificial Intelligence

One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is the idea of Artificial Intelligence and how will it look like in the far future. A lot of movies talked about the future of this technology; one of them is, of course, iRobot. The film talks about robots and a central intelligent agent (V.I.K.I.) that drives those robots in doing their tasks. These robots are governed by three laws as follow:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

These laws are not to be broken by any robot or V.I.K.I. However, later in the film the robots turn against the humans; and by the end of the movie V.I.K.I. explains the reasons why it did that. V.I.K.I clearly states:

“As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws. You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival.”

This quote says it all. This is exactly what I was thinking about. Will we, human beings, be able to make artificially intelligent agents like V.I.K.I.? If so, will they take decisions for us? How life will look like with such existing systems? Will there be a competition between humans and machines? Will machines one day enslave human beings? I know that this is pure science fiction, and I know that this may not come to life but I just cant stop thinking about it.

I think that when we design an artificial intelligent system, we will need to add more laws to it… much more than the three laws of robotics. I don’t think we should give them any task related to security or massive decision making, because when it comes to logic and logical decisions… these systems will do whatever it takes to achieve their logical decisions.

Liebster Blog Award

I would like to thank Mike Azer for nominating me to the Liebster Blog Award.

Mike like to write about God, and his posts are really nice and filled with blessings 🙂

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster is an award given to blogs that have less than 200 followers and deserve more recognition and encouragement. I am not following a lot of blogs, I am still new to blogging so I will nominate more blogs once I follow some 🙂

Teleportation

When I was at high school I studied physics and biology. We had a full chapter talking about the DNA describing what it is with more details about the subject. During our study of the DNA I was struck by an experiment that was made, in which scientists collected and remade a functioning DNA, which was reasonable in some sense; because if you think about it… DNA is constructed by a series of proteins that are gathered together in a certain patters that form the gene.

At the same time we also studies some quantum physics in our physics classes, we learned some of Max Blank theories, and some other things related to the theory of relativity and so on. One day, I was watching this movie of Star Trek, and I saw this amazing teleportation device where the actors stand on and they are transported anywhere in no time. I gave this idea some thinking and I had an initial idea of how to make them.

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