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Crystalline: Deflection - made by a 14-year old!
Started by Caleb P Apr 21 2014 11:47 AM

22 replies to this topic
caleb p gymbyl coding gymbyl deflect
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#1

Caleb P

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Caleb P
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I'm Caleb Place, the 14-year-old person behind my one-man company, Gymbyl Coding (that's a hard-G "gimble", not a soft-G "jimble"). I live in Oklahoma with a menagerie of animals (donkeys, goats, and ducks, to name a few), I love sauteed mushrooms, and I'm a self-taught computer programmer.
 
My app development story starts out with GameSalad and Jar Jar Binks. When I was 12 years old (a couple of years ago), I wanted to look into game development. I made a quick stop-motion animation of my Jar Jar Binks LEGO figure walking, swapped out the graphics in the GameSalad platformer sample, and I realized I was hooked on software development.
 
I made several game prototypes with GameSalad, among which one was a black-and-white maze game named "Bob" which I later turned into a Tiled tutorial, but soon enough I stopped using GameSalad and got into real coding. My dad knew just the thing: Corona SDK. He told me that a 14-year-old had released a game with it, so he wanted me to give it a try.
 
I used a tutorial from the CoronaLabs website called "Corona in 5 Minutes". All I can say is, it didn't take me 5 minutes. To begin with, I couldn't figure out whether you typed the code into the terminal window or the text editor, and by the time I had that figured out, I had several "syntax errors" (whatever those were) in my "main chunk" (whatever that was). While writing one line of code.
 
I finally completed the tutorial, and lo and behold! I got the line "Hello, World!" in my terminal window. Needless to say, I, armed with TextEdit for my source code editor and Preview's annotation features for my graphics editor, took a while to learn Corona.
 
My first "game" was about moving a smiley face around with buttons (I named it "The Useless Game" for obvious reasons). My second was similar, only there was physics and you could jump while moving around. I kept making "games" like these, and in the process, I learned quite a lot.
 
After I was relatively proficient in Corona SDK (and my coding tools had upgraded to TextWrangler and Sketch), I started working on "real" games. I made a Bubble Ball clone (everyone's got to do one of those), finished it, but never published it. Then I made a pretty cool maze game (based on Bob, my GameSalad black-and-white maze game, but with light effects), but it never got finished, for one reason or another. The same fate awaited an endless defense game, a 2D platformer, and runner game. About the time I dropped the runner game, I saw a code sample dealing with particle effects. Before now, I'd drawn all my graphics by hand with Sketch, and special effects were worrying me. I said to myself, "Self, why don't you try making one of those?" The result wasn't very good. I put aside particle effects for a time.
 
As I built project after project, trying to find something I could make to publish, I made libraries on the side. Finally, I focused all my attention on another particle effects library. I finished it, published it, and thus CBEffects was created when I was 13 years old. It was quite a success, because it was free, easy to use, and used a new, straightforward approach to particles that apparently no one had thought of before. Perspective, my virtual camera library, also appeared in the same way, as well as some more less well-known libraries.
 
Ok, zoom forward a bit. Libraries such as Dusk, Cyan, and others surfaced, but I still hadn't created anything to put on the App Store. It was on my fourteenth birthday - after I realized I'd been coding for two years - that I decided I'd have to make a complete game.
 
The idea of deflection (According to the dictionary, 'deflection' fits my meaning closer than 'reflection') had been one in my mind for a while, so I made a quick grid-based light-bending game. My one problem was that it would be too common, so I shelved it, though it was the first game that was really good and had actually reached a publishable state. I kept working, trying to find something that could be my first game, until something struck me about the deflection idea. People have done square-based deflection games, and non-grid-clamped deflection games, but no one had ever made a hex-based deflection game. With renewed energy, I rewrote my game to use hexagons as the playing surface, instead of squares, and you can imagine where things went from there.
 
So, in the end, my programming route has been long and wandering, yes, but in the process, I've learned more than I ever could, had I simply raced onward toward a finished game.
 
Thanks for reading this long, long post, and please support me by getting my game :)
 
 
TL;DR (in other words, the boring, short version): I'm the 14-year-old president of Gymbyl Coding, and creator of CBEffects, Perspective, and other libraries. I just finished my first game.
 
So. Here it is. My first game to be published. It's a hex-based deflection game named Crystalline (not so much because the game has anything to do with crystals as because it's a nice pun). Play it, and let me know how you like it!
 


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#2

Gremlin Interactive

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Nice story :)

I just gave you $.99. Looking forward to trying your game when I get a spare moment!

I wish you the best of luck with it.

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#3

Naomi

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Very nice story  :)

 

Keep up with good work!

 

Naomi



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#4

Rob Miracle

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Nicely done Caleb.



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#5

DavidRangel

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Congratulations Caleb! Game looks great.



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#6

Burhan J

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What a wonderful story. Should be up in Coronalabs' blog.

 

You have always been a part of the community with your tools and it is about time you release your own game.

 

Your game looks great and I will get it to show my support.

 

 

Best of luck! :)

 

 

burhan



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#7

codemanager

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Hi Caleb, It's great to see your enthusiasm!

keep up the good work and i'm sure many more good games you will make,

cheers  :)



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#8

Caleb P

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Caleb P
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Thanks for the support, everyone!

 

Here are some promo codes for anyone who wants a free copy:

9J9LTN96FXXE
JHHLJ4A4HJ66
JKPP9EKXEF3L
MMLYF374X3LW
63TNMFATTPNW
 
- C


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#9

Gremlin Interactive

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Left you a nice review on the Irish app store :)



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#10

Caleb P

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Wow, thanks!

 

- C



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#11

ksan

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Caleb, great job with your libraries and now your game. Seeing your work and that of all other young people on and off this forum I know our future is in good hands. Well done!!!



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#12

thegdog

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Looks cool, Caleb.  Good luck with it!



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#13

sparrowdrunken

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I'll tell this story to my 12-14 old students :) Interesting and good beginning of life.



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#14

Caleb P

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Thanks for the support, hope to come out with a free version soon :)

 

- C



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#15

Max Nelson

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Max Nelson
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Caleb! whats up man?! I don't even know you, but it's nice to know there is someone here close to my age! I am 16 and I made an app its pretty dumb I wont lie. It's a clone of Flappy Bird, called Super Pooper. I am crazy stoked to get way into programming and I hope to see you on the forums! cya.



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#16

Gremlin Interactive

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Hey Caleb.

Been playing your game, it's very fun.
Feature request for you. I find it hard to drag the mirrors around to their destination...

Could you add a control method to just be able to select a mirror and tap the cell you want to put it in?

I think that would make it a lot easier to play.

Thanks!

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#17

nesguru

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Hey Caleb,

 

I just downloaded your app. I'm a huge fan of CBEffects.

 

Cheers,

John



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#18

Caleb P

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@Gremlin Interactive:

I will definitely see about that; thanks for your feedback.

 

@nesguru:

:D

 

- C



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#19

Gremlin Interactive

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@Gremlin Interactive:
I will definitely see about that; thanks for your feedback.

@nesguru:
:D

- C

Awesome! I got the new update today, does it include my suggestion ? Even if it doesn't, keep up the great work :)

Edit: i see you only replied today, which means that naturally, it wouldn't include it :)

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#20

Caleb P

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It includes a new feature which makes it easier to place mirrors (mirrors appear above touch), so see if that's any better in the meantime :)

 

- C



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#21

Caleb P

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I just updated Crystalline. It doesn't have @Gremlin Interactive's idea in it, but it's got some other cool stuff. I decided to push the current version out before diving back into a new problem :)

 

- C



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#22

egruttner

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Hi Caleb, 

 

Another download from here!

Thank you for such a great work.

 

Best regards,

 

Erich.

 



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#23

garrapato

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Excellent job!, I already downloaded your game and itt looks fun

 

Regards




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