My name is Marie Deslauriers, and I took my first class with RP4K when I was sixteen, learning C. with the sidescroller game Kenny (now Megaman). I already had a great interest in game creation and design, most notably with the creation of a tabletop RPG with my friends, and every video game I played proved to be great sources of inspiration. Taking this sidescroller course further fuelled my interest in this domain. The RP4K course introduced me to the world of video game creation and design, and inspired me to look forward to studies, and later a career, in this industry.
I am currently enrolled in my second year of the more design-oriented Interactive Multimedia and Design studies at Carleton University, which covers many aspects of the video game industry such as programming, design, 3D modelling and animation. Even if I did not have a vast experience in programming as many of my fellow students had, my summer work as an instructor for RP4K proved to be a great help for these classes. Although we were learning C++ programming, I already knew much of what was being taught thanks to the material I myself taught to young students in the Visual Basic Frogger and Donkey Kong games or C# games. Ironically, in two of our assignments we had to create specific games, which were a Pacman style game and a sidescroller. This knowledge also proved to be a great basis for other courses in which we learned Action Script, and I am sure that it will further be of great help when we will learn Mel Script and XNA in future courses.
Being in a design program also inspired me to create my own sprites for all the games created, and it was often the first thing I did before I actually started to write the necessary code. As I love this part of game design, I am always happy to see other students make their own sprites and resource pictures, and I am always eager to help them in their creation, be it tips on the aesthetics or technical help.
Real Programming 4 Kids proved to be a great source of inspiration that led to my current studies, and gave me valuable experience and material that will surely help me in any one of the varied facets of the multimedia industry, from game programming to 2D/3D animation.
I hope that this will inspire other kids the same way this experience inspired me.