It’s been a while since I decided to take the challenge and try and develop one game in a month (for a year). Today is New Year’s Eve and we are approaching the starting line, finally. Since it’s my first experience with a third party engine, I’ve given myself a head-start. In the last weeks I’ve been making myself comfortable with the game engine (LÖVE) and the tool-chain I’ll be using, while waiting to begin.
Speaking of which, I’m also trying to keep it to a bare minimum, that is
- PiskelApp (for rapid on-the-fly pixel-art prototyping),
- PyxelEdit (for pixel-art editing),
- Tiled (for tile-map editing, although PyxelEdit does support this in some way),
- LÖVE (of course),
- ZeroBrane Studio (awesome IDE with integrated debugger, please support the developer),
- Sublime Text 3 (great editor).
Also, I was thinking from time to time to the first game “theme”. I’m forcing myself not to work on it too much, since I don’t want to spoil the fun once the new year kicks in, but some ideas have been tracked down.
A really interesting aspect I’ve been thinking a lot is the camera implementation. There are so many ways to implement a view-camera and spotting the best one for the game can really make a huge difference in terms of game-play and user-satisfaction and experience. I’m not going to choose an over-complicated (albeit cool) camera type if the game doesn’t call for it. Every feature of the games I’ll be implementing won’t be unnecessarily complicated (for example, I always loved Defender’s camera implementation, but as a little kid it was a bit of challenge from me getting used to it and I failed miserably in advancing in the game very much).
Also, scrolling (which in fact is intimately close to the camera) is a interesting subject. Back in the C64’s and Amiga’s days a lot of clever tricks were needed to achieve fluid scrolling with such a tiny amount of memory and CPU power available (luckily those computers were provided with custom chipsets that made those tricks possible, like addressable screen memory and/or coprocessor and/or hardware registers and/or bitplane pointers).
In my first game I surely will be using scrolling and camera. But I’m going to keep it simple.
To be honest, one of the greatest difficulties I’m struggling with is keeping the general “hype” low and not changing my plans every day or so. Every time I read a post on twitter or anywhere on the net some new ideas pop up like as a matter of chain reaction. I’m forcing myself to write down those ideas for a later use, although my first impulse is to put aside my current project and begin elaborating a new one.
Remember, one game a month.
Keep yourself focused.
Good luck (to everybody)!