The truth is there have always been way better programmers than me in the business. People who can squeeze every little bit out of a game engine or who can write faster, more elegant code. As a result I've always shied away from personally programming fast action games.
I made the original Halloween Harry on the Microbee in BASIC in the mid eighties. Writing it in assembly was beyond me so I designed the game around the limitations of BASIC and it ran fine.
|Halloween Harry for the Microbee (1985)|
Thankfully the talented Rob Crane and Tony Ball took over the coding of the game engine and graphic engine respectively and made fast, slick code that brought Halloween Harry to life and landed us a deal with Apogee. I focused on design and level building for the remainder of the project!
When I did program, I chose games that didn't require high frame rates. Flight of the Amazon Queen was a leisurely adventure game that didn't rely on multiple levels of parallax scrolling or cutting edge particle systems. It was the sort of game that I felt comfortable building.
|Flight of the Amazon Queen (1995)|
I tended to focus on puzzles games too - Word Shake is an early example.
|Word Shake (2005)|
Even the more recent Save Our Village was designed to move at a leisurely pace, focusing on town building and exploration.
|Save Our Village (2016)|
And thanks to the internet and the many excellent programming resources like raywenderlich.com I am learning a lot more - and doing it faster and easier than ever before.
In fact, I now think of myself as a game designer AND game programmer.
I reckon I've earned that.