Category Archives: Dev Diary

Projects On The Go…

Another big gap, as I try to figure out what’s happening next. I figured you guys oughta be kept up to date with current goings on, in the world of AGameAWeek, so here’s a rough bit of blogging so that you can vaguely assume you know what’s going on!

Current projects are..
1. Kee Bo Ard Go Deep
Another sequel in the Kee Bo Ard collection. I’ve so far built a fairly capable engine, but am struggling to decide exactly what I’d like to do with it. I’ve got the game up to a “You can complete a level” point, but the levels are currently bland and unexciting. As such, the game’s been stuck in limbo for a couple of weeks, and I’m not sure if it’s going to get any further than that.
I’ll probably abandon it, even at this fairly late stage.

2. Something Unknown
I have an idea of what I’d like this game to be, but at the minute it’s all a little bit haphazard. I think the game needs more time in the Oven of Insanity, before it’s ready to reveal itself. At the moment, it’s four controller controlled ships that float about the place, and not much more than that.
Basic issue.. I sort of know what I’d like to do with it, but haven’t yet decided how best to do a big giant scrolling tilemap that I can split-screen, smoothly, for up to four players! Yikes!!!

3. Something Flippy
I started this game, this morning, after an odd dream popped it into my head. The controls seem to be working, but will the game? Only one way to find out!!

Other recently abandoned projects include..
1. SpikeDislike3
Although this game started off well enough, it hit a brick wall. I need to add more thought into the way the game’s built up, this time around, as it requires a couple of extra components to get everything flowing well. I’m leaving it on the backburner until it’s ready.

2. Voyager Flight
Back in my Amiga days, I wrote a silly little Star Trek game, where you had to guide Voyager home through a wormhole, without hitting the ominous splodgy balls..
I keep meaning to remake this game, but would like it to make a little bit more sense than “Dodge the giant balls!” That requires art!! Eeeek!

3. Platdude in The Flower Garden
I’ve completely forgotten what I intended for this one, but I’ve made a folder, and drawn some flowers. .. *shrugs*

So, that’s what’s going on. Or rather, not!
It’s odd that giving myself more time for each game is seemingly resulting in LESS output. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I’m still assuming it’s something to do with having overdone it over the past couple of years. I’ve written over 90 games in the space of two years, and realistically, that’s a LOT of stuff!!! If you consider that I also tried not to repeat myself too much, it becomes quite a substantial number.
And even now that I’m struggling to produce anything, I’m still finding myself looking back at the past couple of year’s worth of Monkey-X games, and thinking “Nah, that’s too much like X/Y game”.
The next game is around the corner, though. I’m certain of it! I just need to buckle down, and get some proper coding done.
Hopefully there’ll be a game here by the end of the month.

Wish me luck!

DevDiary : IM2 – Slow Progress

I say “slow”, but of course, I mean “Slow in the realm of AGameAWeek!”
I’ve been working on Invisible Munky 2 for nearly THREE WEEKS, now! Blimey, that went fast!

I’m currently working on building levels, and trying to keep the momentum of the game flowing in a decent manner. I’m also trying to add a decent mix of music, but it’s all kinda samey. I might have to head in a completely different melodical direction, or something. *shrugs* Not sure!

Anyway, the game currently contains 9 levels, and they’re all 100%able. I’m now going to start adding trickier elements into the engine, and trying to catch out the player, without resorting to cheap tricks. (Also, so far, I’ve no horrible death pits.. Trying to avoid using those)

Fingers crossed that the end result is as good as expected!

InDev – Invisible Munky 2

Tentatively titled “Invisible Munky 2 – Happy Banana Land!” because… why not!

So, um.. Yeah..
The engine seems to be working well, although I’ve not added too much yet.
I need to design proper levels for this one, and I also have an object limit, which will be odd to have to deal with..

Anyhoo, the game’s been started, and assuming I can make some decent levels, it should be with you in a week or two. Wish me luck!!

Unity or Monkey…?

I’ve had a fair amount of fun playing with Unity, but in all honesty, I haven’t progressed far enough to make it worth the switch.
I’m at the point, now, where I really need to make the big decision.
Making the complete switch to Unity will require heavy work, recreating my entire framework, and getting everything up and running smoothly enough that I can rapidly cobble together AGameAWeek.
And it’s the “Rapidly cobble together AGameAWeek” bit that puts me off.
At the moment, and I’ll admit I am still trying to figure out this whole Unity thing, I appear to need to perform about 4 or 5 steps to add a single spritesheet into the engine.
Adding it to the Project, cutting it in the IDE, adding it to the Object, and then defining an array to handle the individual frames within the sheet.
I know that’s “not a lot”, and my experience with AGameAWeek thus far have taught me that things like that tend to get easier, the more you do them and get used to the way they work.
But right now, I’m not sure I want to be doing that.

In Monkey, I add the file to the folder, add a single LoadImg() command, and then it’s ready for use. Unity’s more about clicking the mouse, than tapping the keys.
Does that make me sound lazy?! It probably does.
I dunno!!

So, for the past 24 hours, I’ve found myself slipping back to Monkey, and fiddling about with my framework.
I’ve been experimenting and testing all manner of odd little things, and wondering if the whole Unity thing is worth it.
I’m still on the fence, but appear to be heading back to Monkey.

Installing Unity

You might’ve noticed a certain lack of content, lately. I’m not sure why this is, if I’m honest.
I keep starting new things, and giving up too quickly.

So, um, what to do..?

Well, yesterday, Unity 5 was released, and they’ve made it entirely (mostly) free to use.
This is a bit of a shock, and as I type this, Unity 5 is installing in the background.
I’m going to give it a whirl. I figure that, since I’m not actually releasing anything lately, I might as well have some fun and try something new.

Whether or not I decide to stick with Unity will depend entirely on whether or not I’m comfortable using it. It might be that I find myself enjoying the new abilities of the pseudo-2D environment..
.. or it might be that I end up pulling my hair out, and shouting and screaming and ranting over Twitter (watch the feed, folks!!)

I’ll let you know ASAP.
.. and there might be some fun test-projects along the way!

Lack of Coding…

This week, we had the roof of our house redone. Old slates off, new framework build, new slates on.
It’s been a lengthy job, and certainly not one I can glance up at very much.. (My current balance-less health issues have made looking up ludicrously difficult!)

Always makes me feel lazy, sitting around and watching other people do big jobs like that, but. .. There’s not a lot I can help with, so it’s best to stay out of the way.

Meanwhile, the loud banging and clattering has been waking me up bright and early.
At first I thought this would mean a complete day of coding, but instead it’s been a week where I’ve doodled a daily Platdude Pixelart, then given up doing anything for the rest of the day, because I woke up too early!!!!
Coding has been in drips and drabs all week, and I’ve not really accomplished anything at all.
The fact that I’m still tweaking the background-scrolling functions in SpikeDislike3 should be a sign of how little work I’ve managed to get done, this week.. I usually have that up and running in about an hour, but this time I’ve been having to incorporate “new” functionality into it, and trying not to make it as bland as previous incarnations.
Tough work, and not really something I can do whilst half-asleep!


Still, next week is another week.
Monday 23rd is my Birthday, btw, so as is tradition, SpikeDislike iOS will be free for the day. This year, SpikeDislike2 will also be free for the day, because.. Why not!
And with any luck, by the end of March, you should be getting ready to enjoy SpikeDislike3!

See you on the other side!!

Game Scrapped!

Game scrapped.
Kinda scrapped.
Mostly scrapped.


I might come back to it at a later date, when the idea’s a little more “rested”, but I think that re-attempting it so soon after doing Alpha Collexion made for a very “Samey” experience.
The game works and is fully playable, but.. Realistically, it’s the same feckin’ game, and compared to it’s “In a collection with 25 other games” counterpart, it looks sad, lonely, and somewhat pathetic as a standalone game.

So, um.. I’m going to try something else, instead.
Game Scrapped!


InDev : 403-001

If you played through Alpha Collexion, that should look familiar.
For my next game, I’m doing that again!
“YBox Drops” or “YBox Falls” or something like that..

I’ll be adding optional skins, making the rules a little clearer, and coming up with some new gameplay mechanics along the way, but…
Essentially it’ll be that same game again!

… I hope you liked it, before!!!

Pebble Watch?

Monday : I randomly decided to buy a Pebble Watch from Amazon.
Tuesday : The Pebble Watch arrived, and I experimented by making a Platdude WatchFace.
Wednesday : SpikeDislike Jr!!

I expected to have to download a complicated devkit to get it all going, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that, in actual fact, you can do it entirely online.
The IDE is much like PlayMyCode, in that it’s a language within your browser, only this time it’s proper C coding, and it compiles on their server to produce a .pbw executable.
Amazingly, this .pbw can be executed using the IDE’s built in emulator, so you don’t even need a Pebble Watch to get yourself started.
If you know what you’re doing in C, and can work Google enough to help figure out how to achieve all the bits and pieces, you can start coding for a Pebble RIGHT NOW, even if you don’t have one.
Of course, you should ALWAYS test compiled exe’s on a real device before publishing, but everything else up to that point is entirely doable right there, on the website.
Continue reading Pebble Watch?