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A member registered Jul 17, 2017

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I have to slow down development on this game. It is very emotionally draining. But I think it is really giving me the benefit I was after. For the purposes of the jam I am going to focus on the introduction and ending sequences and one third of the initially-planned content.

This isn't too bad. I initially knew that the content I had mapped out was too much. I do eventually need to finish it all for my own reasons. But I want to try to ship something that approaches a complete state for the jam. This is very important to me because I haven't finished a game in over 10 years :)

I am excited to see what you can do with a visual novel under 2MB. That's so cool!

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I have spent most of the first half of the day getting my family to doctors. I finished up a few loose ends regarding the content I had worked on. Then I did a full QA pass of what I have so far. Finally I put up an project for the entry. You can see the in-development version here:

Also I settled on the name: "It's Time, Bill"

Final update for today. I've been depressed and physically tired today. Progress was slower than my goal. I got three new scenes done, but there are three more I expected to do today. I am thinking about chopping off about 1/3 of the content.

I'm not super thrilled about this color scheme. Any suggestions? I want it to convey summertime.

Today I finished up the design, realized it was way too big, and scaled it back. I also did the design work for about 40% of the content. Finally I completed about 10% of the content. I am already editing the design to tighten up the content so I can get the story across and still polish this thing for the jam.

Here are a few screenshots from today's development:


What kind of game do you want to make? Maybe you can start with mechanics you want to implement and incorporate time travel into the story. Or go the other way, write the story you want (with time travel of course) and integrate it into the game mechanics. Rewinding like Braid is hot right now I think. Swapping between different "time periods" within one level to reveal differences and make progress is another mechanic. Chrono Trigger used this.

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"It's Time, Bill": An Interactive Storybook.

As a suicidal man prepares to take his own life, only his time-traveling house cat Bill Purray can save him. Based on a (mostly) true story.

I am starting now that the theme has been posted. I will be using Bitsy. I am a programmer by trade, so using Bitsy feels very limiting to me. I have played with it a bit over the last 48 hours leading up to the jam and think it really helps me focus on expressing myself.

I am using this game as a way to express and process some things I need to get through. It doesn't matter if no one else gets it. I think making it will help some.


This game deals with heavy themes including suicide and sexual abuse. I am receiving regular mental healthcare and am not a danger to myself.

First mock-up:

The theme is on the overview page now. "Timetravel". Great theme!

Sounds good to me. Any ideas in mind?

Thank you so much! You have all been so supportive. This has truly been the best game development experiance I've had.

Hey Tom, I really like the idea of this jam! I am also sad to see the classic paint program being removed from the standard Windows install. It was the first Windows program I ever used, and the first my child ever used. Wow I'm actually starting to get all teary-eyed just writing this.

I digress... I'd love to team up for a jam. I do code and pixel art. I have experiance with GMS 2 but no license. I mainly work in Godot now. I also have extensive experiance with Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, and C but have never made a game in them. I do business software in my day job.

I like most genres of games with these exceptions that I have found I dislike working on and typically will not finish:

  • Shmups
  • Point-and-click adventures
  • Text adventures

Let me know if you'd like to team up for this jam.


I had to stop working on the game to let my concussion heal, which it has. At this point I do not think I can make a complete game for the jam due to work. So I am going to have to bow out. This has been a great learning experiance and I thank each of you for the support and encouragement you have given. I am already thinking about what to do next :)

Great progress! You really did a great job on this game!

Wow, this is really coming along!

Thank you all for your support and kind words! I am so thankful for the community of this jam. You all have really helped me find the joy and creative outlet of game making.

Progress: Day 5

Today I made very rapid progress. I think I understand the architecture of Godot well now and do not have to reference tutorials and Q&A posts to get things done. And the rework due to learning is almost gone now. I am also very comfortable with Aesprite now and can crank out the graphics.

Today I added the in-game UI and added an auto-charging "crash" attack type to complement the shouting. I couldn't come up with an idea that fit the theme so it's rainbow colored generic space shooter junk. If anyone has ideas for what this larger attack could be that would fit with the theme of my inner self battling against my own dreams please leave a comment!

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Why was this submitted to the My First Game Jam: Summer 2017?

I really love the body type selection. So many "character customization" systems leave that out.

Hope your internet connection gets to feeling better! I really like what you've done so far. The jumping looks really floaty, like there's not enough gravity. It's hard to say without actually playing the game though. I wouldn't fuss with it until you've got a test level so you can get a feel for it.

Wow, this is looking great! I love the idea of the enemies screen wrapping.

Progress: Day 4

I hit my goals for today and even got working enemies, collision detection, and response! However I spoke with my doctor today who was very adamant that I have to limit my time looking at any screen or reading anything for the next several days. So progress should be about the same pace I originally thought it would be even though I'm on leave from work. When working full time I only get maybe an hour or two a day to work on personal projects. That's what I'm limited to now :(

Tomorrow I want to get the second enemy type working again and the UI. Thursday will be level layout day.

It doesn't look much different. But now it's in Godot :)

I just love the art and humor! Great work!

This is really coming along nicely! Great work!

Good point :)

I'm not sure what retro means to you. It seems to mean something different for every generation. But it reminds me of games from the early 2000's that were trying to be callbacks to the 90's. It's not so much retro for me as it is familiar in a very good way. I really like the palette but I rarely see it used in games these days.

All that said retro for me is 8-bit. So if 16-bit is your definition of retro then you nailed it :)

Thanks for the support Giant Gough! Yea it does have a lot of meaning in it for me. Unfortunately the game play is very lack luster. Normally I would consider this a problem but the goals I have for the jam are not to make a good game. I am trying to build my self confidence and skill set. I'll start on a game I intend to be good after this one :)

This looks like it could be very fun! I'm going to watch this one!

Very cool! I love the art style. I'm going to be watching this one :)

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I really love your bird! Don't change a thing. Your brother needs to brush up on his TNG. La Forge has a solid gold banana clip on his face :) I really like the color palette too. It reminds me of some of the GBA titles from Japan like Mother 3 and that River City Ransom remake.

Very cool! It's great to see folks having fun making their games. I really like platformers that use wall jumping.

I really like the eyeball art! I never thought to use pink as the shadow color but it makes sense.

Thank you for your support Angevon!

Progress: Day 3

Today work advised that I take additional leave based on conversations we had. I'll be out of work until at least Wednesday. At least it means I'll have more time to work on the jam :) Today I worked through all the Godot tutorials and moved all my assets over from GMS 2 into a Godot project. I also got up and running with the last open-source version of Aesprite. I am really digging the new tool set and think I will be able to make the games I want to with Godot. On Thursday I'll be using the money I had ear-marked for a GMS 2 license for an Aesprite license.

My goal for tomorrow is to have a basic scene working in Godot with my brain moving around and shooting letters against the parallax background. I think if I can get that far I'll be in good shape to hit my larger goal of feature parody with the GMS 2 project by end of day Thursday.

Thank you again for the feedback FrowningAsinus. I don't think I will be composing anything for this particular jam. I am capable of it but am very slow and only know tools for the NES platform. Maybe for My First Game Jam Winter 2017 my first will be learning FM composition software :)

I've seen the Godot Engine mentioned time and again. I finally googled it and am very impressed. I am a fan and supporter of Open Source Software and it seems way less technically restricted than GMS 2 in terms of the scripting language. I did not have any firm goal for the weekdays set. Now I think I will try to convert my existing project over to Godot Engine. If I can get that done by Thursday night I will not have lost any time on my jam plan. If I do not get that done then we'll see.

Very cool! Is the character supposed to be androgynous? Or will the other options allow gender choice?

I really like your three color shading on the Necromancer. It really makes him pop out! I am too used to working with a very limited color set. I need to tinker with three color shading more.

Thank you for your kind words Kindaw!

Progress: Day 2

Today I did a lot of refactoring. First to take advantage of GMS 2's object inheritance system for code reuse. Then as a way to reduce the total number of resources so I can make more progress before buying a license. I also added player feedback in the form of sounds, visual cues, and animations. I was unable to work very much today as I needed lots of rest from the head injury. I won't be able to work a lot on it over the week as I have a demanding job. I hope I can finish off the first level next weekend. I think I will stick to a single level.

Thanks for the input! It's basically a shmup with letters for the player's bullets. Rather than random letters there are a number of pre-programmed phrases. Each phrase comes out last character to first so it is readable on the screen as it moves left-to-right. A slight variation on the speed of the letters as well as a different primary color combination is selected for each phrase to help it stand out among the word soup. The letters do follow the player (brain) as it moves, and when the player stops and resumes firing the letters stop and resume mid-phrase.

Thank you for your kind words about my art. I've always told myself I couldn't do game art. This jam has really helped me find my groove!

I am legit excited for this one. Looks great already!

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My Dreams Suck is a 2D horizontal shoot-em-up in which I explore the contents of my dreams. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and repressed emotions. I started designing this just after suffering a concussion. I think it shows.

Progress: Day 1

After a day's work with plenty of breaks - due to the concussion I am still recovering from - I have a functional h-shmup engine up and running in GameMaker Studio 2 using hand-keyed data for the levels. Unfortunately I've hit the free trial's limit of 10 scripts - GameMaker's term for functions - and I am a bit bummed. I won't be able to buy a license until Thursday. That's OK though, there's more to work on in the meanwhile. Plus I can only put in long hours on the weekend.

Today I learned to trust myself to make pixel art. Sure it's not the best in the world. And the subject matter is very literal in some cases. But I am very pleased with what I've come up with on a first attempt. And the background is all parallaxy :)

This experience has already been very cathartic on an emotional level. I am excited to see where the journey takes me next!