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GitHub Action Hero: Keirron Stach

GitHub Actions gives you the power to automate your workflow. Connect with the tools you know and love. Have more freedom to innovate and be creative. Deploy to any cloud,…

GitHub Action Hero: Keirron Stach

GitHub Actions gives you the power to automate your workflow. Connect with the tools you know and love. Have more freedom to innovate and be creative. Deploy to any cloud, build containers, automate messages, and lots more. It’s time to take control.

There’s lots of amazing Actions built every day. We spoke to some of the coolest developers building the latest Actions. Last week, we shared Karuna’s story. This week we have Keirron Stach. Keirron, AKA Hookkshot, also shared some of his experiences during GitHub Satellite. During this session, Hookkshot gave his tips on better game development. Today, he shares his GitHub Action.

Starting with the Sims

Like many of our previous Action heroes such as Samson, Hookkshot started with a passion. He loved gaming and working on software. It all started when he was about 10 years old:

I was playing the Sims and wanted to make a small website for my character, I don’t remember why, but ever since, I have been hooked on programming and making software.

Since this day, Hookkshot has been seen making games, developing games, and of course, playing games. He’s currently working full time and making games as a hobby. He plans to release this game under his own company brand which he’s building out. As for GitHub Actions, this is where Hookkshot’s Actions journey begins.

GitHub Actions for build deploy

Whilst building games, Hookkshot noticed it was taking a long time to deploy their builds to Discord. Many game creators often provide games to their pre-release and alpha testers to gather their feedback. Discord is a great platform for doing this. So when it takes a long time to deploy to Discord, that means a long time for people to wait. This is why Hookkshot wanted to build his GitHub Action: discord-dispatch-deploy:

We could build our application but couldn’t deploy it to the Discord servers. I asked around and no one has done one, so I thought, “hey, why don’t I be the one”. This way I could contribute to the community as well.

Hookkshot’s Action does exactly what it sounds like: deploys a single application to Discord using Dispatch. This means Hookkshot and the team can get their games in the hands of testers and receive feedback in a shorter time frame.

This isn’t the end either. Hookkshot’s Action is currently in alpha and he has plans to extend it:

We want to extend it to a full release with more features for configuring the build and options when the deploy happens. We may make a version 2 if we feel it could be useful as well.

Check out how the code works and get a sneak peak at one of Hookkshot’s games.

Challenges and learnings

One of Hookkshot’s favourite features of GitHub Actions is how fun and easy they are. He believes Actions have made CI and deployment fun and have “given so much time back to develop the game”. This is one of the best things about Actions. Putting power into the hands of developers so you have more time to do the things you love.

But no good thing comes without a few challenges. Hookkshot says learning docker and how it interacts with Actions is definitely a challenge:

There was a few speed bumps and tumbles but it got there in the end. The hardest part was having quick and reliable installed dependencies to the docker image for Dispatch to run.

Learning can also be fun though! Hookkshot says this whole process has been a great learning experience:

I think the biggest thing I learned was the power of things like docker images to deploy and run code in a separate environment. It has been a great process.

Get started with GitHub Actions

If you were inspired by Keirron’s story, get started with GitHub Actions. As he said, GitHub Actions makes development and deployment so much easier. It’s also a great learning experience. Head on over to our Learning Lab course to learn the basics. You can also find Discord Dispatch Deploy, and hundreds of other GitHub Actions on the GitHub Marketplace.

If you liked Keirron’s story, make sure you read up on all our awesome Action Heroes like Daniel, Swechhya, and more. Don’t forget to check out how GitHub Actions are being used in the COVID response with the Karuna Project.

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