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Slow and Steady

posted Jul 5, 2012, 12:39 AM by Eric Rosenzweig
    I've been steadily working on the breakout clone and I'm making a lot of progress, but it's still pretty slow. As of now I have the workings of a basic breakout clone. In other words, I've put together somewhat robust collision detection between the ball and blocks and between the ball and the paddle. It also has the basic sword swipe, although I need to institute some more advanced (although really not complicated) collision detection for that now.

    I also spent a good deal of the last week and a half learning Lua and implementing some scripts and scripted tools to make things easier as I'm playtesting it. I'm using Mappy for the basic layouts, but it's not the best for some of what I'm doing. Regardless, I built a small Lua script that takes the .csv file exported from Mappy and serializes it into a Lua script that the game reads and gets the level data from. So now, hopefully, it will be less work when I try to implement levels and edit them on the fly. Either way, I'm learning a lot.

    There are a lot of decisions about what to build out fully and what to just make a hacky version of. For example, do I continue using Mappy and my Lua script or do I make my own level editor that outputs in the format I want? The latter sounds tempting, but what will be the final payoff? It may be more time invested, but I will learn. Plus, it's possible it will save time in the end to write my own level editor.

    There are so many things to do and so many decisions to make. I still feel motivated, though, so I want to continue with it.

    I seem to get a lot of advice that says "build small games first and work up to larger ones" with examples cited about Super Meat Boy's and Angry Birds' devs making tons of games before they "hit it big". I do have several shorter projects under my belt, but it seems like there are going to be new things for me to explore regardless of how many smaller projects I've done. To put it another way, I'm going to have to build my first large game at some point, and I don't want to waste the motivation I feel right now for it.

    So, to that end, I'm going to be working on small games and in compos on the side while I develop the breakout clone, or BC as I call it now. Moops and I are making a small html5/js game based on an entry this list of game names I made up when I was in some sort of weird frenzy: http://pastebin.com/ue8nqKeU . The one we're working on now is Frantic Reading.
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