What do you know this blog actually has two authors? I did actually post a few times on the old blog, but I have yet to find anything much to talk about here. At least while also feeling virtuous enough to write a whole blog post. Drivas’s lengthy pretensions and reviews have clearly set the bar quite high on such things, which didn’t help. Nevertheless, as a developer in colour game (most boring codename ever) I do actually have some things to talk about here.

We were intending to work in C#, as Drivas had already started piecing some stuff together, however we eventually decided to go back to my better known Python. Ultimately when it came down to it, the focus was actually getting a game made, and learning a new language didn’t seem the best way to do that. I know Python/pygame quite well, so it meant we could focus on all the parts of the actual game, the design, the structure, the content, instead of getting bogged down in learning new constructs and libraries.

In terms of progress, as you’ve seen we had all the core mechanics down a while ago, and currently I’m working on the level editor. In theory this shouldn’t have been too difficult, but the rather intertwined structure of the original code meant a lot of reorganising and modularising of the code was needed. The code at the moment still feels like it could be more modular, but it is sufficient for now. I have in fact, made a functional level editor, of sorts. There are many many features that need adding, but as it stands it does allow us to make levels. However the massive code restructuring means the mechanics coded for v0.1 are now useless, or at least need so much work that I might as well write them from scratch, and hopefully avoid any structural mistakes this time.

These kinds of problems are precisely the reason we want to make a simple puzzle game like this before we move into anything we really want to make. That way hopefully we won’t get distracted by lame basic things, and focus on the problems of actually designing the game we want. I’m also trying to make the engine modular enough that we can extend it quickly to other game types. pygame helps a lot here of course, handling a lot of basics like sprites and collision detection, but it is by no means a complete game engine. Having a structure already in place, even if we have to further modularise it, or even specialise it, to make a new game, saves a lot of time.

Anyway, once the mechanics are back in we’ve hit our milestone and can release v0.2. After that we’re going to start actually making it into a game. This will be much more about content than code. This means levels, sprites and a menu. Depending on how quickly we work, we might even decide to add stuff like sound and animation before we release v0.3.

Beyond this I’m not really sure yet. The goal for v1.0 is a completely polished, substantially lengthy puzzle game. No doubt there will be lots of stuff we haven’t thought about cropping up yet, but I don’t think we’ll get through 6 version numbers before we get there. Thinking even further ahead (to a dangerously optimistic potential future) we should be able to stop working on it at that point, at least if we did it properly, and decide which of our crazy ideas we want to try next. Although it’s entirely likely we’ll come back to improve it later.

You can follow the issue tracker on google code if you want. Hell you can even checkout the svn if you’re feeling creepily enthusiastic about our game. You’ll notice if you do, that I haven’t been updating very much recently. This is partially due to the AS exams, but as they’re (nearly) over now, the only excuse for the past few days is laziness. There is a certain inertia here, and hopefully I’ll overcome that and get back in the coding groove soon.

Goodness I thought I’d be done quickly and go to bed, and now it is half past midnight, I can see how Drivas ends up with such long posts now.

Oh well, bedtime for me.

–Alex

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