Diary of a Game: Day 2

Second day of work on Gravitas, my new game.

This morning was spent following up on the launch of Smallest Quest, the latest game from The Punk Collective. To celebrate the launch, I put my previous game, BLaTTiX, on sale, so go pick it up if you haven’t already!

Apart from that, I’ve been working on my Starter Kit, which is a generic game engine that I extracted from the BLaTTiX source, and which will be the starting point for Gravitas. The starter kit mashes up six frameworks:

  • Raylib handles rendering, sound and player input.
  • Flecs is an entity-component system that makes it fast and easy to compose game logic.
  • cJSON is a parser that will primarily be used to load LDtk map files.
  • Nuklear is a GUI library for rendering windows and widgets.
  • Chipmunk2D is a physics engine.
  • tinyfiledialogs is a native toolkit for showing alerts, file requesters and notifications.

The starter kit makes it easy to build a game on Windows, Mac and Linux that can be deployed directly to itch. I don’t want to faff about solving game engine problems when I’m deep into Gravitas development; instead, I’m getting things done properly at the beginning.

I learned a few lessons during BLaTTiX development that I’ll benefit from here:

  • Integrating Flecs was a real productivity boon, but it was a messy, time-consuming code refactor that had me pulling out my hair when I was already a month into the game. Don’t want to do that again!
  • Figuring out how to deploy to itch early on meant not having to worry about that during the last week of crunch, so let’s make sure I do that again.
  • I hacked out my own awful UI that I don’t want to touch with a barge pole; better to delegate all that to a specialist library.
  • I wrote all of my own physics and collision code, and this was easily the biggest source of bugs and issues during development. Again, use a mature, well-tested library instead.

I plan to continue developing the starter kit over the coming week. Towards the end of next week, I will use it to create the first version of Gravitas (which will be very spartan), which will be made available immediately to early-adopters at the very special price of free!

Look forward to working more on this tomorrow; I should be able to have something demonstrable to show you. Ciao!

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