This week was alright!
A lot of the week went into refactoring the Ludum Dare code for One Room Dungeon, but there was also a lot of design brainstorming and some tile pixelling!
Here are this week’s Pico-8 doodles!
Also, I remade my logo! Here’s a before (left) / after (right) comparison!
Onto One Room Dungeon now! Let’s quickly go over why the refactoring and then get to the more interesting game design thinking and concluding than went on!
One Room Dungeon was my Ludum Dare #37 compo entry, which means I made everything in 48 hours, including the code of course. When doing LD, I think that structuring your code is important because you need to be able to change things quickly. But you also need to change things quickly, and structuring takes time. So what I generally do is that I do the structuring up to the middle of the jam and then I just code everything in the best way I can think of in the moment. That actually gives off some pretty clean code than can be modified kindof easily after the jam.
The problem is that this semi-structured code was written for the Pico-8, and I’m doing the remake with Love2D. So first off, there was a lot of standardizing of my Pico-8 Lua. I also had to accurately simulate some of the behavior of Pico-8 regarding a few functions, especially the graphic ones. (different game engines often don’t have the same pixel-perfect behaviors) But most of all, I wanted to restructure my code in different files and much more generalized functions, with different systems handling the different elements of the game.
And that’s been going well! It is pretty boring stuff, so I’m not being the fastest with it by any mean but it is getting along and I’m finally getting to a point where I can actually start working on content again! Currently, the main features that have not been refactored yet are the boss level (there will be several of them in the new version) and the looping that used to happen after the boss level. Both of those should get taken care of this next week!
So let’s talk about content and gameplay now!
The Ludum Dare version of the game featured a total of 3 zones, with 8 enemies. I want way more! So I started listing ideas for zone types and I already have 18 of them! There will be more and all of them might not get done and I’m still unsure of the number of zones I want in the final game. But I do know how the progression through them will go! Each zone will be assigned to a difficulty level and after completing a zone, you’ll get a random zone of the next difficulty level. You could get very different zone combinations from one run to another, which makes replayability much more interesting. Risk of Rain does this and I think it works great. Of course, this will require a fair quantity of balancing, but I think this will go well with the simplicity of the gameplay, and it will require the different zones for each difficulty level to be equally unique, fun and cool, which I hope will push the overall quality of the game even more!
Regarding the different enemies, you may think that the gameplay (which is basically just running around and pressing tiles while dodging enemies) is too simple to have a lot of challenge variety going on, but that’s just not true. It is limiting, but there’s still a lot of freedom. The options on movement, throwing things, creating other enemies, having bodies in several parts, etc, are numerous and really interesting!
Special tiles will also be added, like tiles that throw you in a direction or tiles that make you go faster, etc. Again, a surprising amount of possibility seems available after having thought about it for an hour or so.
One of the main concerns that I’ve been having was that the base gameplay was too simple and not fun enough. I considered quite a few possibilities of attacking enemies, dashing, having a different objective, even playing two characters a the same time. In the end, I think the simplicity of my base gameplay is actually a good thing, as it is very easy to grasp and can be made fun simply by tightening the difficulty. It will also let me produce content focused on this simple gameplay, which should feel very good for both the players and me!
I’m hoping that the new content will roll out fast enough that I can have more interesting gifs of the game for the next few weeks! Meanwhile, you can still play the original One Room Dungeon!
This week I’ve also been thinking a lot about my Patreon and the changes that I should make to it! It’s all secrets for now but this week I’ll be writing a post about the whole Patreon thing, what’s gone well, what’s gone not-that-well and the changes that I want to make, especially with the rewards! Those changes could happen on the 15th of April! (that’s Saturday)
This has been a pretty good week!
Next week I keep on working on One Room Dungeon and I start adding new content! There will also be announcements and Pico-8 doodles!
Have a great week!