Red Mars Digital

Game on!

01 Dec 2017

Seeing as I'm approaching the first anniversary of making a new year's resolution to finally learn to code, and seeing as I've actually stuck to it rather well, I've decided to mark the milestone by having a crack at a programming rite of passage - making a game.

I'd had a few different game concept ideas bouncing around my head for a while, but wasn't really landing on one I wanted to commit to. Some weren't quite fully formed enough, others were just way, way too complicated for a first attempt. I know just enough about what's going to be involved to know it's going to be a hundred times harder than I think it will!


Ultimately I decided it would be best to keep things (relatively) simple, avoid over-thinking it, and stick to a tried and tested formula. I'm sure the sensible approach is not to try to push boundaries with a first attempt, as I'd just be setting myself up for a fall. So I decided to go down of the most well worn, cliched paths of all - and add yet another throwaway game on to the pile of '16-bit pixel-art Roguelike dungeon crawlers'.

Instead of going the (presumably slightly easier) route of developing a turn-based RPG though, I've decided to try to draw inspiration from awesome 'twin stick' arcade style time-sink games like Nuclear Throne or The Binding of Isaac, and see if I can make it a fast paced reflex action game.

Stepping back from the game itself, the real idea here is to get some practice making a large and complicated project. What I'm really hoping to get out of this is some practice in code organization, object-oriented design and so on - creating a little game that's remotely fun and playable will be a bonus!

Setting out...

I've decided to give myself a month to see what I can come up with - a deadline should help me to focus. After a quick bit of research I'm going to use IceCreamYou's MainLoop.js to control overall timing, and Robert Norenberg's super-cool 16x16 Dungeon Tileset sprite sheet as a starting point for the graphics, but am planning on doing everything else from scratch myself - no off-the-shelf game template tools or builder apps like Unity etc.

So... that just leaves me figuring out and coding a game engine. And AI. And a procedural level creation algorithm. And learning how to do pixel art, and drawing a ton of it. Then animating it. Then adding sounds and music. Then making it balanced and fun to play. In a month. Over Christmas. Easy, right? Watch this space :)

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