Towards the end of Grade 10, back in 1989, I programmed a baseball simulator.
More accurately, I tried to program a baseball simulator. It was based on the Strat-O-Matic board game. The language I used was Pascal. More specifically, it was probably Turbo Pascal.
I managed to get only one small part of the program I had envisioned working. But, in the end, I got part of it to work. It was a very satisfying conclusion to hours and hours and hours of hard and solitary work.
Did I mention the hours of work?
Almost thirty years later, I have decided to dip my toe into programming again. In doing so, I have discovered that many of the basic concepts and techniques are very familiar to me. It seems some of the hard work with Pascal all those years ago has stuck. My explorations feel more like a homecoming than a journey into the unknown.
Admittedly, I am very much a newbie. There is much much more to learn and, for me, therein lies the fun. There will always be much more to learn. The field is always evolving. Thanks to the internet, there are also plenty of high-quality resources to help keep my learning moving forward.
So, where am I headed?
I have an idea for an web application that might have some commercial value but I’m not holding my breath. I also have an idea or two for some games that I think will be fun. I’d also like to explore what is possible in terms of storytelling. There has to be more that can be done with the internet beyond using it as a fancy distribution channel. And, yes, I have an idea for a baseball simulator. In this case, however, its inspiration is Ookiku Furikabutte and Baseball Stars.
Whatever the outcome, developing the ideas into a functioning reality will be a valuable learning experience. In this day and age, if you can conceive it, conceptualize it, and break it down into discrete and manageable problems, you can build it.
And the importance of breaking a problem into its smaller parts is pretty much what I learned with my first baseball simulator. I was overly ambitious to start, but, eventually, I focussed on one part of the game and got it to work. With a bit more time and focus, I’m pretty sure that I could have developed the whole thing. Now, thirty years later, I have the focus. I need only make the time.