About Me


Jelle de Haan

Generalist Programmer, Specialized in graphics

Me in short

I've always been interested in computers and games and learned about programming at a young age. At some point my desire to create Minecraft mods drove me towards programming and I've developed a love for programming and problem solving. Ever since I've always loved programming and was always looking for a new challenge. I decided that Minecraft modding wasn't enough and that I wanted to create my own games. Over time I developed a decent understanding of engines, graphics and c++ among other languages. I learned a lot, but there will always be more to learn.

Story Time

I was 14 years old, bored with school and life when I saw a guy making a website. He was in the process of creating his own website, which looked very interesting. I asked him how he did it, how it worked and where he learned it and pointed me at W3Schools.

With the use of W3Schools I made some small websites in HTML, used some MySQL databases and PHP. It was interesting, but not interesting enough. I felt like I couldn't do enough and was limited by the browser. I wanted to make something cool, like a tool!

I tried to make some tools in visual basic using the designer, but couldn't do much since I didn't know any programming. I formed an interest towards IT and programming.

A game called Minecraft

A few years later I got into a game called Minecraft. I played it for a while with some friends and setup servers using Bukkit. This was a modded Minecraft server that allowed for plugins. There was a big community and a wide variety of plugins, but I still missed something. I wanted to have an MMORPG server, with custom items, shops, NPC's and the like. I was searching trough the plugin store trying to find a combination of plugins that had this functionality, but unfortunately never found a combination that fitted my needs.

I was dedicated and felt the need to make this plugin, it would make the game so much more interesting! I started to look into making my own plugins. Bukkit made it possible to make your own plugins using a programming language called Java. The process was quite easy as there where tons of tutorials and information on the Bukkit website about making these plugins.

I already had some programming experience from when I was making websites and coded using php, but Java was still difficult and I didn't understand it very well. I started looking at YouTube tutorials from a channel called TheNewBoston. He explained it very well and it became clear how Java worked. A few months later I released a plugin called RpgEssentials.

It was my very first project and I was very proud. It got a lot of attention and was the second most downloaded plugin on Bukkit for a short while. I continued this project for about 3 years. The mod that my plugin was using stopped it's development and I stopped the development of the plugin as well. It was nice for as long as it lasted. I had a lot of contact with the community and was sad to see it go. But I wanted more, I wanted my own version. My own game.

My very own game

Making my own game was not an easy task at all. I had some programming experience, but had no idea where to start. To get better at programming I made decided to start small by creating a Snake clone in Java. I watched the rest of TheNewBoston video's and finished with a working version on Snake.

After the snake game I thought I was ready for 3D and set out to make my own game. I started developing a 3D game using LWJGL. I tried it for a while and followed some YouTube tutorials again, but it was too hard. I wasn't good enough and didn't know enough about game development yet. But I wasn't about to give up. To get better at it I went back to making 2D games, this time in action script.

I made about 5 different games using action script (AS3) and the 2D framework called Starling. Releasing some of them on a website called NewGrounds. Over time I learned more about programming games and graphics as I started getting deeper into the API trying to understand how everything worked. I made yet another attempt at 3D. This time using AS3 and a 3D framework called Away3D. But it failed again, this time however I was finally able to make a 3D game and actually understand the code to make it work. The limiting factors were Away3D and AS3. Initially I chose this setup because I was used to AS3 and was scared of c++ because of all the stories I heard about it, but since I didn't have any other choice I took a the step and started learning c++

A custom engine

Since I'm someone who likes to know everything and felt the need to understand how everything worked I decided to make my own custom engine. I learned from my past mistakes and started small with a DirectX11 framework made to render 2D games. It took quite a while to understand c++ and DirectX, but after a while I managed to port one of my old AS3 games over to the new c++ framework. By this point I understood c++ and DirectX well enough to start with a 3D version of the framework and started working on that.

My first 3D game

Finally I was able to start working on my dream game, the reason I started programming. The 3D voxel game I always dreamed about. I managed to get quite far, got an entire terrain engine running. I started to struggle however. I didn't feel like I knew enough. I had to learn more about making game. I heard about NHTV and applied. I showed my work and got in immediately. Over the past 4 years I've learned so much about making games. I would've never been able to do this by myself. During my time at NHTV I still worked on my engine and the game in my spare time.

Checkout Pixel Planet for the final game.

Also checkout the rest of my portfolio. These are the games I made during my time at NHTV.