Well, it’s been a hell of a week. The slump has released its depressive grip on me. The Sisyphean battle of having to do the goddamn laundry and dishes all the time, am I right? But all joking aside, for a week or two there I felt like I was losing control of the good habits I’ve been building over the last 8 months or so… But regardless of the progress I’m making in health and recovery, things aren’t always going to be perfect.
But do you know what is? My passion for game development. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much drive in quite a long time. To think, about 8 months ago, I was ready to let the second law of thermodynamics coup-de-grâce my emo ass. But now, between my health goals, recovery goals and game development goals, a candle that I thought had burnt through the wick has re-lit with a passion that would make Solaire of Astora weep with jealous rage. It has also fueled my passion everywhere else. Cooking, My 9-5 job, my AA shares, etc. It’s pretty fantastic, pink cloud round two, baby!
So getting to the meat and potatoes here, a week or so ago week I put together a modest Trello board and worked on a few documents to formally organize this project into something workable. I created my first milestone, and actionable tasks under it to accomplish. I chose one of the harder ones first… and well, I CRUSHED IT. I finished it in TWO FRIGGIN DAYS. I thought it was going to take me two weeks or more. I wasn’t expecting to have the milestone done for at least a month, but the week still has three days left in it and I only have a few smaller items left. I am absolutely FLOORED. Here’s a few of the things I’ve managed to get done:
- Created a whole-ass stage select screen, which can randomize the paths taken, the type of content and the overall length of the “game”. It uses a variation of Delaunay triangulation and A* search algorithms to build pathing from the beginning to the end, which ends up looking a little something like this:
- I’ve replaced all the borrowed art assets with my own that I made myself by learning a little bit about pixel art. Much of it will need to be improved and reworked, but in the stage itself, it looks pretty decent for what it is. I’m surprised I even had this skill at all.
- Created a weapon flag system that will be used in the future. Set up a few other possible flag systems as well. For stage types, stage hazards, etc.
- CONTROLLER SUPPORT. I can’t believe how easy it was to quickly add controller support. Godot engine has some amazing UI navigation features just straight built into it, as soon as I mapped the buttons to the proper actions, and just added a few lines of code here and there in my different menus, BAM, done. I got it just done this evening in like 2-3 hours after never having even touched UI navigation in Godot ever before in my life. The other things I’ve learned just propelled me to success quickly here.
- Meta Currency for spending on permanent upgrades! Before for the first tech demo, I was just taking the experience earned and tacking it on to the meta currency, but now, I am tracking kills per stage and converting that when the end condition is met (victory or death!)
- I created a whole save system that tracks your meta upgrades, the stage generation and map position, meta currency, options, and finally total kills (per stage, per game, and finally lifetime). It is so very easy to expand to more data as I see fit. They really made it hassle free out of the box. That took me no time to adapt to and roll with.
- Allow continuing of a disrupted game. Great one here, kinda ties in with the last, but now I can go from the beginning to the end of the map, in one session, or multiple. All that matters is if you finish the level. if you die, it resets the game.
Anyway, not a bad week. Still got a few more things to do, and then I’m ready for the first milestone, where I’ll announce the game publicly. I have the domain name registered and ready to go, but I have to do some back-end setup. I have to setup a business bank account with my bank, to satisfy Steam requirements, and apply with them and setup my business and stuff, all crap I’ve never done, but I’m not scared. Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have a solid game plan and be ready to go live.
What I can say is that Godot has been an amazing engine to learn, and many of the things I fought trying to get to work well in Unity just does what I want out of the box. I really like how things are setup, and I can spend more time using my mind to be creative in design and flow instead of just getting the goddamn engine to do something! It feels wonderful and I’m thankful I’ve found the engine and the great community around it. I’ve made a ton of new friends in the indie world and even joined a really nice and bustling indie dev discord server. But that’s all I got for this week folks. I’ll leave you with this: have a wonderful week, and remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.