#1GAM 2017 - Week 2

The majority of week one was spent coming up with ideas and building some of the backend for Mini Shinobi. This week I was able to focus more on designing and creating gameplay features.

Features added this week:

  • Moving enemies
  • Jumping on enemies to damage them
  • Animated tiles
  • Parallax scrolling
  • Double-jumping
  • Terrible sound effects
  • Transparent water that slows the player down

Here are some animated screenshots showing the features added this week (click to play):

Mini Shinobi - Waterfall and Enemy
Mini Shinobi - Taking Damage
Mini Shinobi - Parallax

This week I'd like to finish:

  • The full live/die/repeat game loop
  • Health increase and restoration powerups
  • Particle effects
  • Title screen
  • Switches and closed doors
  • Basic area transitions

It's going to be a challenge to get everything done before the deadline, but I'm happy with how the game is progressing.

Visit the Mini Shinobi hub page for a more detailed view of the project's progress.

#1GAM 2017 - Week 1

It's been a full week since I started working on my first #1GAM entry of the year. So far things have gone quite well, although there's still a long way to go.

January's game is called "Mini Shinobi". It's a platform game with a mix of exploration, combat and puzzles.

So far the following features are working:

  • Fully scrolling tilemap that follows the player
  • Walking, running and jumping (with animation)
  • Some basic collision detection
  • Entity/component system

Probably the biggest feature is the entity system. There aren't many entities in the game at the moment, but it's possible to add more without recompiling anything which is a huge time saver. Expect there to be a few follow-up articles on how it works and why I built it.

Screenshots are more exciting than technical details though, so here's how things currently look:

Mini Shinobi - Week 1

One thing that has been a huge help is using art from OpenGameArt.org. I'm not much of an artist, so it's allowed me to spend time building the game rather than worrying over pixels.

There are more detailed notes and statistics on the Mini Shinobi hub page. It's updated regularly and is the best place to see how development is progressing. I'll probably end up writing about how that page is generated at some point too.

One Game a Month - 2017 Edition

Last year's #1GAM was something of a bust; I only managed one game, and even then it was extremely barebones.

I'll be trying again this year, but with some changes to how I do things:

  • I'll be trying to stick to a mechanic and for each game.
  • There will be a dedicated hub on the main site, rather than just a side page on the lab
  • I'll enter at least one game jam. For some reason trying to build a game in thirty days is much harder for me than doing it in a weekend.

Everything related to this year's event will be available on the #1GAM 2017 hub page.

You also can read about my experiences here, on Twitter (@Sodaware), and on my #1GAM profile: http://www.onegameamonth.com/Sodaware

February's #1GAM Entry - Trip into the Future

Back in the 80's Usborne published a variety of coding-related books. They'd usually contain listings for creating different software programs. My favourites were the ones that concentrated on building games, and one of the first ones I ever copied (by myself) was a game called "Trip into the Future". It seemed like a good starting point for my #1GAM 2016 journey.

You're in a spaceship and want to return at a specific point in the future. The tricky part is balancing the internal and external times. The game is based around the theory of relativity, so time flows differently depending on how close to the speed of light you travel.

It's not a particularly complex game, but the memory of it has stuck with me over the years. This version is web-based and has some really (really) bad ASCII art.

Play "Trip into the Future"

If you're interested in seeing the original source code for this and a whole bunch of other games, you can download the book from the Usborne website: Computer Space Games