The Tearcell Arcade is a 12 month project to prepare my skills for game development. Each month a new 'challenge' is attempted, and the results of the month is posted here. Some months, a fully formed game could emerge, some months it will just be a tech demo at best. The important part is to get experience and move on. At the end of the 12 months, a proper game will be developed based on the lessons learned in the previous year.
For the time being the engine being used is the Godot Engine as the node structure it uses and its python like syntax clicked with me almost immediately.
Nuclear Winter: Giraffe
After learning about the Godot engine and completing some basic tutorials, the May challenge became making a basic 2D platformer.
Nuclear Winter: Giraffe was a concept I worked on in the 90s with a language known as Dark Basic. An arcadey game by its nature, with basic platforming elements, you control a giraffe and have to dodge all sorts of things. Loosely modeled after an old cartoon 'Sheep in the Big City', NWG is meant to be over the top and cartoony. Arcade mode was the original goal, but as I finished the loop rather fast, Story mode was added to challenge myself further. Unfortunately it was created without a plan, and it shows in the level design and lack of 'fun'.
Boundless: Chronicles of Aronacht
The June project started as an attempt to make a vertical scrolling endless platformer for mobile devices, with an emphasis on timed jumps, vertical agility, dashing, and a bit of combat for fun.
This was obviously a bad idea from the start.
Thankfully within a week I was able to identify this, and converted it to a more combat focused 2D platformer instead, going for a Castlevania inspired idea I had backburnered for some years called 'The Chronicles of Aronacht'.
Mistakes were made and the 2D beat em up, became a mini metroidvania.
Please note the Richter Belmont sprite, and portraits of Alucard and Shaft are used without permission and are fully owned by Konami. I do not own it, I do not make money off of it. It is a placeholder used for educational purposes. To avoid accidental distribution no direct download of Boundless will be available.
A bit bored of 2D platformers, I decide to switch gears completely and try an RTS game. The genre isn't as popular as it used to be, so I figure it should be pretty solved and probably won't be hard to get things up and running properly.
That was obviously incorrect. There was little to take from the previous projects that was relevant here, and I complicated the learning curve by starting out as a Starcraft clone and going for an isometric viewpoint. While I'm proud of the work that I accomplished, this can only be considered a tech demo at best. You can select units, make them attack units, move them around, some will harvest and return stuff to the building nearby. But you can't make them attack buildings, and there is no steering behavior. It's ready to expand into something more, but overall just was too much to take on from scratch in a single month.
DragAndDrop button uses forked code for the drag and drop controller and is available here.
Fun with REST
While I had hoped to continue some work on the RTS project, hoping to turn it into something more than just a tech demo, that didn't end up happening. Instead my focus went to this site and learning how to better create, maintain, and use backend apis. The API needed a project to tie it together, however, after all you need a real world problem to really bloom.
The Safeharbour projects have long needed a builder to get updates to the end users as fast as possible, and this was a good use case for an API. The mobile app could pull the data as JSON, and format it up. Backend database was easy, but we needed a front end. My experiences with that can be read on the blog, but I ended up using Vuejs. This was a lot to learn in a month, but I succeeded and now a useful tool can be deployed to my customers that they weren't expecting.
Tool building as a whole may not be the most glamours aspect of game design, but its a very important one, and hopefully I can use this experience to build useful tools for a team down the road. While a full release of the tool isn't something that will happen since its for customers, a self cleaning demo version will be made available shortly, so you can play around with it from the direct link below. To access it, use the credentials august_demo with the password gametoolz.