This week didn’t go as planned but it was great anyway!
As announced last week, I have been trying out the LÖVE engine and I started making a small game with it! Except that the game grew bigger in scope and is not finished yet! And that’s fine, just let me explain!
But first, here’s a weird Pico-8 doodle!
So I was supposed to make a small game in 12 hours to try out the LÖVE engine. But it turns out that I spent the best part of those first 12 hours making interfaces (functions to access the engine’s functions without using them anywhere else in the code) and base systems. Since I was enjoying the engine a lot, I thought I might as well try and reproduce the architecture I use in my Pico-8 games, which I could then use again for future projects, so I did that! Here is what I did had at the end of the first 12 hours:
The game idea I had was to have an army of planes to control and battle another army of planes in a 2D dogfighting type of game (think LUFTRAUSERS but more colorful and with lots of planes). But before I could turn these colorful flower petals from above into planes, I needed to have my sprite system and then I still needed to make my shader system so I could use the same sprites for both friendly and enemy sides. And that’s the way things went all the rest of the week! Here’s a feature I want in the game, here’s what base system(s) it needs, let’s implement that first and maybe rewrite some previous code accordingly and then the game feature. It might seem tedious but it’s actually a pretty efficient method, as it lets me work and advance on both the game and the underlying systems.
As it stands now, the interfaces and base systems that I’m interested about are ~95% done, with mostly the audio system missing. So now I can actually concentrate on the game!
Also I found out that a challenge of this project is to balance the gameplay. Controlling an army is pretty fun but not if you can lose all of it in just a few seconds. So I made the player’s ships more powerful than the enemy’s. But then, the game becomes too easy and the fun disintegrate over time. I still need to ponder this problem but the first solution that comes to mind is to add occasional powerful units exclusive to the enemy. Also, the player should get a chance to survive when they’ve got just one or two ships left.
I’m planning to release a first version of this game over the next week-end! Then, I will consider working further on it and maybe make a retail product out of it on a period of 4-6 months. The more I work on this project the more obvious the potential of the concept is and I’d like to drill into that potential a bit more!
And now, let’s talk about something completely different! Being an indie dev means I can work whenever, however and wherever I want. This freedom is great and it let me work at night for most of the 10 months since I dropped out. With this rhythm, I can jam up to 12 hours of work into a day, sleeping 7.30 hours during the day and leaving the remaining hours to eat, shower, take breaks and have social interactions with family, girlfriend, friends.
If the Sun wasn’t a thing, I’d have days of 20 hours and nights of 7.30 hours. But the Sun is a thing and day and night need to fit into 24 hours and your body knows it and so does mine. Going to sleep knowing that the Sun is just rising is really uncomfortable and because days are getting longer again, it’s happening a lot to me these days.
So I want to try to get back into a more ‘normal’ rhythm, actually sleeping at night and working by day. This way I can see more of the light of the day, get some needed social interactions with ‘real people’ and overall have a healthier way of life.
There wasn’t much point telling you about all this except that it will motivate me to actually do it and maybe it was interesting for you to know how my days go or maybe it wasn’t, I dunno.
That’s it for this week! It was a really good week!
Next week I’m finishing that 2D dogfighting game, I’ll write the Doodle Insights #4 for my Patreon patrons, and I shall attempt to change my life rhythm! Also, I will stream some development of the game, I just need to get a bit more organized first! And there should be one or two Pico-8 doodles!
Have a nice week!