This week I finished and released BLAST FLOCK!
Here’s two Pico-8 doodles, plus a bonus!
BLAST FLOCK is out!!
BLAST FLOCK is the LÖVE 2D dodgfighting game I started on week 42! Back then it was supposed to be done in less than a week but as I was having fun with the engine, the scope grew and so did the development time! Now, 4 weeks later, the game is finally released!
The release was quite rocky though, so let’s talk about that first. This project was a way to test the LÖVE engine and I was expecting to encounter difficulties in places I wouldn’t suspect, that’s precisely why I did this project. I didn’t really get any difficulties during the development… until the release. I’m not great at reading instructions, especially when it’s already super late, I have a game to release and a bed waiting for me. So I made my BLAST FLOCK windows executable, made a quick itch.io page, made a gif, made it all public and went to bed. I spent the next morning making working builds of the game.
The first thing I hadn’t realized was that you had to pack in all the dlls with the executable. I had figured it was just like with GameMaker where you make your executable and distribute just that. Well nope. So I started by taking the time to pack in win32, win64 and macos builds with all the required files. And then something dreadful happened. A shader error was occurring on some machines. I had no idea why, especially since I wasn’t getting any error on my side. Luckily, there’s only one custom shader in the project, so I started to track down this nasty machine-specific error. A few hours later, I had it.On some machines, an ‘if’ statement from the shader was discarded, optimizing out a very important variable from the shader. I had to modify the shader so that it would do a new meaningless operation with that variable and that fixed it for everyone.
Appart from that, the game was really well received! Everyone seems to think the game is hard but fun and that they could get better at it by pouring more time into it, which is exactly what I was going for!
Yesterday, I watched someone stream some of the game and I did notice that the player could make the game less interesting early on by trying to flee the combat when they feel in difficulty, which is a losing tactic and also pretty boring. I should have encouraged a more aggressive tactic somehow. It doesn’t really ruin the game either though, so it’s ok!
The numbers were quite impressive to me as well. On the first four days, the BLAST FLOCK itch.io page gathered nearly 600 views, which is more than any game I released before, apart from Pixel Session Vol.1 which got featured on the itch.io frontpage. 600 is not actually that much, but you have to keep in mind I didn’t market this game apart from the gifs on Twitter and here. So this is cool.
Am I gonna keep working on BLAST FLOCK now? No, at least not for a while. I do want to get a linux executable on the page today or tomorrow but that is it. Now I want to work on something different.
Last week I told you all about what I was going to do after I’d finish BLAST FLOCK and then I said that my plans would probably change. Guess what!
7DRL is happening this week! It’s a gamejam where you have to make a roguelike in 7 days. Every time this jam was around I always thought I couldn’t do it, that it would be too difficult. Not this time though! This time I really want to give it a shot! I still really don’t know what I’m gonna do though. Whatever I’m gonna be making, it will be made on Pico-8 and it should involve gardening because that’s a thing I want to make in a video game these days. You’ll know what came out of it next week, when the jam ends!
The explosion tutorial I announced last week should happen next week. I really don’t think I’m gonna have the time to do it along 7DRL.
That’s it for this week! Release weeks are always considered good (and exhausting) weeks to me!
Next week I’m doing 7DRL! Hopefully there will also be one or two Pico-8 doodles!
Have a great week!