Bytesize Adventures
Crafting bite-sized digital worlds

Early Screenshot

coffee beansTime for another weekly update. Also, I have a screenshot for you this week. So grab yourself a coffee and read on.

Carrying on from last week, I’m continuing to evolve the gameplay to create a more coherent and compelling experience. Its still not quite there but its improving almost daily.

The code is now at a point where you can play through a single level. Its in a very raw form, and far from thrilling, but it demonstrates the core gameplay mechanic. The game engine is also generating the aforementioned level from an sqlite3 database. This will store the official levels for the game as well as any additional levels you create.

Next up is some early work on the level editor. I wan’t to get it working in a raw form and inserting levels into my database. This is a really important step since i’ll be using the editor to create all of the official level’s in the game. I expect the editor to become more sophisticated as development on the game progresses and further requirements are highlighted. The advantage of this is that the level editor that finally ships with the game will be powerful and highly polished.

In addition to this i’m also playing around with the customisation element of the game. This will actually play a fairly crucial role in the game so its important that it works in a raw form early on in development.

So overall progress is good, but there’s still a long road ahead.

I want to share an early screenshot of the game, but please bear in mind that nearly every element in it is likely to change before the game is released (Especially the art).

Early Screenshot 1

In other news, I recently joined the Touch Arcade private developer forums (You’ll need to sign up and request access to the forum.). These are a great resource with some really interesting discussions. I certainly recommend other devs take a look.

One particular thread pertaining to engines caught my eye. I’ve thought about creating my own re-usable engine in the past but am currently using the excellent cocos2d framework. However, I continually find that I barely utilise the wealth of features offered by cocos2d, instead preferring to utilise my own methods. As a result i’m now reconsidering the idea of developing my own lightweight 2d engine. I don’t want to disrupt my current game development so I don’t plan on ditching cocos2d just yet but I think it would be a great learning experience once this game has shipped.

On writing memoirs of the craftThe art of looking sideways

I bought a few new books this week. The first is “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King. This has been on my wish list for some time now, ever since it was recommended by a game designer. Apparently many of the concepts it discusses are not unique to writing novels. I haven’t dived into it yet but i’ll let you know if it turns out to be particularly useful.

The second is “The art of looking sideways” by Alan Fletcher. Its basically a melting pot of random design thoughts, ideas, and imagery – even the layout, colours, and typography used in the book are part of the experience. It makes a nice coffee table book to dip in and out of every once in a while.

Elsewhere, there’s lots of movement on the iPad front as it’s US release draws closer. Developers are ramping up the hype about their first iPad games and Apple are now accepting submissions ready for launch. Unfortunately, being based in the UK, I have to wait an extra month to get my hands on the device. I haven’t even touched the iPad SDK since downloading it and have no intention of doing so until I own the device. It will be interesting to see demand for these first round of games.

Now, back to Xcode…