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[Devlog] SAVE DAD.

A topic by Plum created Jul 24, 2017 Views: 276 Replies: 10
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oh my god this is so dumb i can't believe i'm running with this idea.

Your DAD is dying. DEATH has come to claim his immortal soul. HOWEVER Death will spare your father's soul if you help her win the LESSER DEITY CHILI COOKOFF CHALLENGE by bringing her THE TEARS OF THE FOUR GREAT DREAM-WHALES. Are you ready to embark on an adventure into the dream realm with exciting card-based combat, puzzles, and probably dialogue boxes? I sure hope so, because Death just smacked you on the back of the head with a frying pan so you're in dreamland now, kiddo. 

So, the whole idea behind this idea is whenever I enter a game jam I spend way too much time planning and stressing about whether or not my idea for a game is good or not, and I never end up making or submitting anything. So I'm just running with the first idea that came to mind. Which is this. Whatever this is. 

Today was mostly spent sketching out ideas for what the game is going to entail, and what sort of programming stuff I'm going to have to learn (because my programming skills are very weak.) So, here's what we've got: The game is a short little adventure where you wander around dreamland talking to weird dream creatures in a VN-style sorta style (Like ace attorney, maybe?) and there's also a point and click puzzler-y mode, as well. Finally, there's COMBAT ENCOUNTERS in which you get into card fights with dream monsters. The rational behind card battles is 1. I'm hoping they're easier to code than real-time physics-y battles,  2. I've been reading a book on tabletop game design and I really want to make some sort of tabletop system, and 3. I have a bunch of colored index cards laying around so it'll be easy to prototype. So let's check out my beautiful game designer notebook: 

(also these are totally huge and I don't know how to make them not huge, sorry about that)

Dialogue and Exploration mockups
Card Battle mockup
So, I've written up a list of things I should do. I know the programming is going to take me the most time so I'm going to try to get cracking on that as soon as possible. Also, since my goal here is to actually finish the jam, I'm gonna work on everything in segments. I think I want to try to get the card-game part of this done and working first before I try to install any kind storyline in here (not that my make-chili-to-save-dad storyline isn't award winning, but...)

So yeah, tomorrow I'll start prototyping FIGHTS, and give a run down on how the combat system works, like what the hell life sauce is.

Anyway, thanks for reading all that!!!


great start so far! Cant wait for your next update!


I saw your post on my thread so I wanted to check out yours. I like your story idea and the humor in your mockups, sounds weird in a good way! Kind of reminds me of the style of Earthbound. Your gameplay ideas are cool too, I'd love to play this when it's finished. 


I like the concept, haha I think it's funny! Way better than my game's story.


hey I laughed! And anything with dream whales gets my attention :) Good luck!


"Die-alogue" i'M SOLD



I forgot to mention in the first devlog, but I'm also moving to another country during the duration of this jam. Irresponsible? Maybe. But video games waits for no-one.

I've been working on programming, which like always is taking way longer than I expected it to. I'll post screenshots when I have something more interesting to show you than crash reports. I'm also finishing up on the card-combat design, so expect some more notebook pages probably tomorrow-ish.

Sorry for the short update, I promise cool content soon!!! ^^;


ALSO! Thanks everyone who's been reading this/leaving comments. I really appreciate the interest and support!! :)

Submitted (2 edits)


Bet you thought this project was dead, well 


Anyway we're back after a 5 day hiatus due to me having to move out of my house, although we should have plenty of time to finish this thing u-

oh jeez

Alright, anyway, here's what we've got so far. Most of the stuff has been boring-to-look at coding-y stuff, but we're gonna look at it anyway.


Rough UI markup.

So, I'm not a very technically skilled artist by any means, but I was getting tired of looking at a black screen so I got some (LEGAL OPEN SOURCE ROYALTY FREE) images and messed about a bit in photoshop, and got a bit of an art direction going on here. This screen here is basically a mockup of the "Exploration/Dialogue" mode of the game. The bottom-left compass with the totally rad placeholder art is used as navigation through the rooms. There will also be objects and characters which you can click on to chat with, interact with, or FIGHT with (when the whole fighting bit is implemented). I decided to go with click navigation as I thought a point and click type game would be a lot easier than a real-time physics platformer, or something like that. Boy was I wrong. Which brings us to...


So. Buttons. Whew. It wasn't until after I had finished drawing up almost all my design work that I realized I had no idea how to code buttons. There's no built in function (that I could find) for implementing buttons in LÖVE2d, so I had to make one up myself. As someone with pretty much 0 math and coding experience, this was really difficult.

The solution I decided to go with was to steal borrow a very basic bit of collision detection code I'd used for a previous space-invaders project and use it here. What was once used to detect spaceships smashing into each other now manages if the mouse is "colliding" with a button.

Collision detection, compliments of the LÖVE2d wiki

The problem with this system was that I used it as a sort of copy+paste solution for my space-invaders project without fully understanding how it worked. This caused me to run into some problems with the whole button situation. When I first jammed it in there, it seemed like everything was working fine, when I clicked the buttons, they worked! However, I then decided to implement a mouseover text feature - since my art was a little weird it might not be immediately apparent what you could click and what was just the background.

It took me like, two hours of work to get this line of text to appear when I wanted it to. Isn't gamedev magical?

The problem was, once I put this in, the mouseover text would appear, but it wouldn't just appear when the mouse was over a button, but also whenever the mouse was within the same general area as the button. It was like the mouseover text was too excited to do it's job so it was just popping up all over the place. I tried all sorts of things to fix this - added new variables to specify where the mouse was, removing code, adding code, etc. However to problem was actually just a dumb math error from me not understanding the collision equation.

Original faulty code

So, the way the code worked was it would check the x and y of an object and then get the width and height of the image of the object and then use those four values to create a "box" around the object. In the spaceship game, this worked great, as everything colliding had an x, a y, and an image. However here I was using just the position of the mouse, which had no image attached to it. Not knowing how the equation worked or what to put in for the last two variables, I just entered the mouse x and y a second time. This was causing the 'collisions' of the buttons to trigger in twice of large a box than intended, as the position of the mouse was it's current location plus it's current location. Basically I was creating some imaginary box that made no sense when I intended to create a single 1-unit point where the mouse was.

The solution, putting in 0s instead of x and y

So the fix was actually pretty easy! Since it was just a single point, I put in 0s for the second two values, and it worked perfectly! At least, for now. :)


Well, I'm pretty behind, so I'm really trying to bust out a playable prototype as soon as possible. I forgot to bring my notebook to the coffeeshop where I'm writing this right now, so I can't post pictures of the combat system design I've been doing. I'll probably post later today explaining how combat works, and try to get a mockup of combat working.

Also, for adventure mode, I need to implement dialogue boxes, and multiple areas. I'd also like to make a title screen.

Since I'm so behind, I'm gonna try to do 2-3 devlog posts a day, to catch up. Hopefully I can follow through with that.

Thanks for reading! :^)


Good luck dude! Sorry about having to leave your house, been there lol. But hopefully you finish! I'm almost done, right now I'm just tweaking all of the little things, but once you get a demo up or further it feels so much better haha