april showers

the urge to blog rose within me

It’s been a while since I’ve written on my devblog, and so I wanted to send out a little update, and share some of my thoughts and stuff. Read on, read on!

The Pandemic 🦠

It looks like things are finally settling down where I live. Lockdown restrictions are starting to ease up, a large portion of the population has had at least their first vaccination, and it seems like I might be able to go ahead and drink a coffee in a building that isn’t my own house in a month or two - although it may be a little longer than that before I feel comfortable actually doing it. I think I’ll want a vaccination of my own before I even think about sitting indoors in a public place, let alone eating or drinking. I’m certainly not alone in that, and the adjustment period of getting out and about again is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Bevy 0.5 🐦

In other news, I’ve been watching the development of the Bevy game framework for Rust in anticipation, and they have recently released version 0.5 of the library, with a bunch of improvements across the board. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it, but I have been rather busy lately with a certain project. More on that later!
I’m not sure exactly what I want to make in Bevy, but I was thinking lately about maybe writing an xcom-like; it’s the kind of game design that lends itself well to ECS, with units just being collections of abilities and status effects; things like equipment or unit class/specialisation are also just components that are given to the unit when spawned in the playfield.
As for the xcom-like itself, I imagined that it’d be top-down (to avoid isometric headaches) and the units would be wizards and other magical creatures. There’s a lot to play with there creatively, and it’s always fun messing around with magic systems. So, I’m itching to play around with these ideas - but first..!

Tiny Melon Friend 🍉

Yep! Still working on this! In fact, tiny melon friend’s big melon adventure has been progressing pretty rapidly during weekends and evenings when I’ve had energy to spare. It’s finally reaching a point where it feels like a real game that real people can play and enjoy (even in its current restricted scope), and I aim to release that first public demo of the game at the end of this month!
There’s so much more in the game now than there was even a couple of months ago. All the systems are finally working smoothly together, and there’s a level of polish on the game that I don’t think I could have reached just working on it entirely by myself - a big thanks to @leafcodes! As for the demo, here’s a few features to whet the appetite:

  • 5 playable levels! Maybe more, for the curious..!
  • Autosave & load!
  • 144hz framerate support!
  • Rebindable controls!
  • A survey at the end, so you can tell me what you thought about it!
  • Dialogue with ✨choices!✨
  • Opt-in telemetry so I can find out what choices people make and where they might get stuck!
  • In-engine cutscenes!
  • Mod support!

Roughly speaking, the actual concrete work I have to do is less coding, and more the-rest-of-the-owl; that is, now that all the systems are entirely in place, it’s just down to content creation now. I have to put on my sprite artist hat, level design boots, cutscene scripting dungarees, and other assorted somewhat-rural-themed indie dev equipment and Get To Work! 💪 I still have a lot to do, with regards to the game’s overall presentation too. I need to tidy up some parallax backgrounds, make the title screen have a bit more pizzaz, and clean up the options screen, amongst other things.

So, watch this space! There could be a rambunctious little melon wreaking havoc here very, very soon!

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