A Text adventure Game?

Perhaps this will strike a chord with some of you. From the moment I started this program, I knew we would eventually need to complete a capstone project. That said, I think knowing we would eventually need to do it scared the hell out of me even more, and as a result, I’ve been dreading the CS467 class from before I even started the program. I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do for it, and at first, it seemed so far out of my abilities. And let’s be clear, some of the projects available to us still are.

When I went through that list of projects, I only became more and more ridden with despair. So many options were AR or VR related, and I’ve had no experience with it as of yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to if given the opportunity, but not while I’m trying to create something culminating everything I’ve learned thus far. Then more options were mobile related, a class I am only being introduced to this term. Though, as I went through the list, I found some that resonated with me, and the Text adventure game was my top choice.

I certainly don’t know everything I need to in order to finish this assignment. At least, not right now. My team and I are going to need to create a design for the game, place individual rooms in separate files, as well as read and comprehend input (that could vary quite drastically). I’m not terribly concerned about designing the game, creating the rooms, or even navigating between them, but in designing the text parser, creating objects to hold data for items, rooms, or the player inventory. It’s something I’ll at least need a refresher on or do additional research. But that said, I think that might just be what computer science is: a continuous process of relearning things as well as researching new ones.

How Did I Get Here?

Most of us, being post-bacc students, likely have an interesting story as to how their life led them to entering the field of computer science, no? Some of us were looking for a better opportunity for ourselves, some to provide for our families, and others yet, because our original idea for our professional career didn’t quite go as expected. I’m sure there’s a multitude of different reasons beyond just those, but for me, that last one really hits the metaphorical nail on its head. 

I thought, for the longest time, I would be a doctor. That I would go to college, get my biology degree, go to medical school, become an intern, finally get my license to practice, and begin working toward a specialty. That’s not quite how it turned out. I did get my biology degree, but nearly a year before I did, almost like an epiphany, I realized I’d be unhappy if I continued down this path. I did debate becoming a nurse, as well as going into wildlife biology. However, wildlife biology wasn’t quite what I expected. And without a masters, jobs are few and far between, and primarily seasonal with poor pay. Becoming a nurse was still an option, but I’d just decided to not become a doctor. Did I really want to go through more schooling just to be back in the medical field? No. And then I realized, I had one more passion that I had never really given myself the chance to explore: computers.

For as long as I can remember, I was using a computer. Whether it was playing games on my cousin’s dreamcast, my dad’s PS1, or learning basic life skills on PC games we all got at our school’s book fair, like “Pajama Sam”, I was always on a computer. I had always wondered how they worked, how the internet functioned, how what I did was read as an input in the computer, etc. It was a mystery to me, one I’d always wanted to solve, and one I’d never explored. Until almost two years ago, when I enrolled in OSU’s post-bacc program. And I’m glad I did.

Even today, I know there’s still a lot I don’t know. But those mysteries I wondered about when I was younger? They’re no longer mysteries. And as for the things I still don’t know? It’s more about specific things than general stuff, like a new language or software or engine. Right now, I may not know it, but given enough time to learn it, I’m confident I could know it.

Some days, I’m still intimidated by what I don’t know. Still worried, that what I don’t know will keep me from opportunities further down the line. But.. I’m willing to learn. And hell, I’ve already proven it. My 2nd degree, in a completely different field, is just around the corner now. And all I’ve got to do is get there.