I'm working on the mac version now... it keeps giving me trouble. Sorry!
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Cool game! I kind of think it could be a little faster paced, perhaps! Maybe if the ball could break blocks regardless of the color, but if the colors match, it breaks a bunch of blocks in a blast or something!
This game is really weird in a really cool way. I like the music and atmosphere a bunch! I think the concept of moving your paddle around an environment while trying to bounce a ball around is cool, too! The only thing that keeps me from really digging in is that the controls are kind of oddly floaty. It might also be cool to be able to switch the camera's focus between the ball and the paddle. I found I lost my paddle sometimes if the ball strayed too far from it.
I got a playable build!
Most of the time was taken making the 2nd player work the way it should. The first and second player work exactly the same, but they mirror each other. If the players touch, they slam back to their respective sides. I also made each side of the field deadly to the other player. Player 2 dies if they touch blue, and player 1 dies if they touch orange. This makes it so you can really push some aggressive shots, but you'll be unable to defend your wall until you respawn.
I'm really happy with the way the game is turning out! I'm going to polish it up a little, then I'll put it up so other people can play it!
I managed to finish most of the tutorial on Day 2, and got a little bit of a gameplay draft working. The tutorial involves a pretty simple hitbox collision system, which is probably overkill for Fireball, but I'm glad I'm starting to figure it out. I got a perpetually bouncing ball that creates shockwaves when it hits the ground, and I made it so the player goes into a stun state when hit with a shockwave.
Development has been going a little slowly, but I'm making steady progress! On day 3 I used the hitbox system to create 3 different hitboxes that can affect the ball based on whether the player is pressing left, right, or nothing. Left is a lob, right is a spike, and neutral is a solid forward shot. When there's a second player, their controls will be reversed.
The reddish bars on the sides are "health bars." When the ball hits them, they disappear. When it hits a sides last bar, thats the end of the match!
Thanks again for reading!
I'm going to try to do daily entries on my progress here! I'm going to write things in a lot of detail because I'm trying to both improve my own process, and record my pipeline so that, should I one day teach game development, I'll be more prepared to do so.
If you enjoyed the read or want to see more of my work, please follow me on twitter @joehasdiedgames.
Whenever I do jams, I prepare by writing out ideas about games I want to make. I don't... think that's cheating? Often I don't use the ideas I come up with before the jam, but its a really nice brainstorming exercise that I recommend everyone try. For instance, whenever I do Ludum Dare, during the hours before they announce the theme I come up with at least 1 idea for each of the possible 15 themes. That way I'll be prepared (and hopefully excited) for each possible theme, and I'll have 15 new game ideas to think about and draw from (both for Ludum Dare and just in general).
So before the jam I started brainstorming a game called Paladin.
It started with a desire to just make a straight forward hack n slash game with a chunkly, low-bit aesthetic. Inspired by top down zelda's and the music of Kobold. The general idea was that you played as a chunky, tanky paladin with a hammer and a shield. Enemies would swarm you, and you'd have to vanquish them. You would have a shield that would deflect projectiles, and the action of raising your shield would temporarily stun enemies. Your hammer would vanquish them, but if they were stunned, it would also turn them into bullets, which would bounce around and hit other enemies. You'd have a RGHTSNS gauge, which would fill up as you vanquished enemies, but would be spent using certain special moves. You'd move through simple rooms in a Zelda 1 or Binding of Isaac style. Here are my initial notes for it:
Satisfied with my work, I went to sleep.
I had a root canal in the morning, then took a nap, so that ate up a good portion of the day. I took a look at my notes for Paladin, and realized that my scope was unreasonably big, so I decided to make a much more simplified version. Paladins moveset was going to be the same, with the stunning and vanquishing, but I decided it would be a 1 room game. A demon of some kind would be at the top of the screen and the player would move around the bottom. There would be a pit blocking the Paladin from the Demon, and from the pit would crawl monsters. The goal would be to hit the back wall behind the demon while protecting your own back wall. There would be at least 1 bullet that continuously bounced, but the Demon would occasionally shoot additional bullets, and Paladin would still be able to create new ones from stunned enemies. Here are my notes for this version:
Now, I like both ideas for Paladin a lot, and I'm probably going to try making it someday, but I took a look at my smaller version and realized it was still too much, so it was time to think of something tiny.
I'm only going at such length here because I think its really important to keep your projects at a reasonable scope. I'm notoriously terrible at this, and I'm trying to get better.
My final design is called Fireball. It's pong, but the players and the ball have gravity, and the players can jump (kind of more like volley ball). When the ball touches the ground, it creates a shockwave that the players will need to jump over or be stunned. Much, much simpler. Here are my notes for Fireball:
Once I had my design figured out, I started working on a GMS2 tutorial to reacquaint myself with it. I've gotten most of the way through this tutorial https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/d5832ec5-fd9b-4bcb-bcc1-27decfb.... I'm taking my time with it and doing everything in it, even if I know it doesn't pertain to Fireball. I feel like I personally have some learned helplessness when it comes to programming, so I'm trying to really understand everything as well as I can.
I'm an artist by trade, so one of my restrictions is to do as much as possible to make the game playable and enjoyable without making art (aside from placeholder programmer art). Art is going to be the LAST bit of polish I put on fireball, if I even get to that point.
Hopefully by the end of the day I'll actually have a playable prototype!
Thanks for reading!