Welcome To The Arcade

BurgZerg Arcade circa 2010

The Beginning

I have been thinking back to when I first started BurgZerg Arcade. I started BurgZerg Arcade to be a spin off of BurgZerg, a group of players from Lord of the Rings Online that I played with. It was going to be a repository for all of the little games that I was making at the time. Most of them were mini games based around Lord of the Rings at the time.

Most of the games I made with c++, but I wanted to start looking at some of the game engines out there and see if they could help speed up the process for me. I tried several of them out, but eventually settled on Unity. It was still in version 1 at the time, but they had plans for iPhone support (it was a completely different editor back then) and I was enjoying the early days of iOS development back then.

The YouTube channel started when the NDA lifted on the beta version of Unity 3. I was posting some screenshots of what was new to the unity forums, and decided to create a couple of videos as it made things easier to demo for people that did not have access to the preview version. Looking back over all of the first batch of videos does bring back a lot of memories of the early projects. Hell, there is even a small card game I had made with SmartFoxServer back then.

Live Streaming

This led into the livestreaming days. I started with Ustream back then. I saw a few other streamers using it (there were not a lot of them back then) and there was really no one else in the game except justin.tv. Really it just came down to the fact that the majority of the streamers seemed to like Ustream more, so I went with them. After a while it had grown to having anywhere from 50-200 people on there just chatting. This led to a constant 24 hour stream of sorts. I was not on the stream 24-7, but I kept the stream running.

In the morning I would come down stairs with my coffee and do some regular work. It was hard, but I knew that if I started responding to the stream, not much work was going to get done. I would make sure to do at least the basics done before looking at the stream. It always felt weird to see people from all around the world sitting there waiting for me to start. There was really no plan for the day, but we were always making smaller games. We would have a theme, or some assets to start with and just go from there.

I have to admit, that was the period of time that I liked the most. My golden era. It was a small community that would always be there to help one another. People of all ages from around the world with the same hobby just chilling and hanging out.

Video Series

This led to the days of making more videos. It was much simpler back then. Sit down and hit record. Done something for 10 minutes (the longest video YouTube would allow back then), stop and upload. Getting a YouTube partnership back then was about the perks that came with it like longer video length. The view numbers were never enough to worry about ad revenue.

This is where the Hack’N’Slash series started. I have always loved playing the open world rpg style of games. Asheron’s Call was my first real online game. There are so many memories from that time of my life, both just solo exploring the world, and grouping up with others in our clan for the tougher quests.

Teaching High School

Fast forward a few years, I ended up being a Computer Science teacher at a local high school. Sure, we have textbooks along with other resources for teaching, but sometimes it just feels like the current generation just needs something different. I grew up with written instructions. I still use it to this day, but I find that my students will watch a 10-20 minute video covering the same subject matter rather than spending half of that time reading. Now this is not every student, and for those the written instructions matter.

I have a lot of videos and playlists that are marked as unlisted on YouTube that I made just for my students. Nothing fancy, just hit record, then do something. Just like before. I always left them private so students had the chance to comment on them without the worry of being exposed to trolls on YouTube.

This is where the new BurgZerg Arcade starts. I have quite a few little channels and websites that cover different topics. I want to consolidate some of them under one umbrella. The main focus would be content for the classes that I teach, but now open to everyone. Later on there is a possibility to gamify the content by award badges for completion, and displayable user profiles. That is pretty far down the road though.

Looking Forward

The immediate plan is to have the first two courses for the website be introductions to Python and Introduction to Javascript. This is because my Introduction to Computer Science class is mostly Python, and the upcoming Introduction to Game Development will be using the Babylon Game Engine.

After these two courses are done, I will be taking a break to make sure those two are up to the level that I want, both in content, and presentation on the website. The next will be whatever course I am teaching in the upcoming semester. After the first couple are done, and the format is refined, the process of getting new courses out should be faster and easier for me.

Well that is it for the first blog on the new BurgZerg Arcade. I was planning on a sub 500 word update but as usual, I either have a bullet list, or a wordy series of sentences.

Until the next time, have a great day.

Peter Laliberte

Peter Laliberte