Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Devblog: Getting Out Of Riot Grrrl's Development Hell

Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is a game that I've been working on for a very long time. Originally intended as a short project into which I could dump ideas that didn't fit the JRPG formula I used in Sore Losers, it soon sprawled into a much larger project than I had intended. Unfortunately, real life eventually managed to get in the way and I wasn't able, nor willing, to work on the game for over a year. That's obviously a long time, and so getting back into the flow of things has been very difficult... but there's nothing I can do about that other than to work hard. I've promised myself, and the friends who've helped me out, that this game is eventually going to get finished and so finishing it is what I'm going to do. 

So, where am I up to? I returned to the game to find that three out of the planned five levels were complete (which had been the situation for longer than my hiatus had lasted), and that I was in the middle of bug testing those levels. This meant that I spent the first couple of months or so bug testing, fixing bugs, and then bug testing over again. Fortunately, I didn't find as many bugs as I'd found when I was making the original Sore Losers, so I'm obviously getting better at this game development thing!

Admittedly, bug testing can sometimes be a very annoying process because it usually ends up feeling like you're taking away from the game rather than adding to it, but in this case it was actually a very therapeutic process. This is as it as it allowed me to familiarise myself with how many of the game's most important systems worked and how they were linked into one another, which in turn made it much on me when I eventually started creating new levels and content.

After finishing the bug testing, it was time to get on with making the fourth level, and that's actually going well so far. Several stages are already complete, and I have a well developed plan for how the rest of the level is going to pan out. All I really need to do is turn my plans into both code (which is actually the easy part because of the clever, modular system I've set-up for generating new levels) and sprites (which is by far the more difficult part because I'm so slow when it comes to drawing out all the level backgrounds, monsters and characters I need). 

Overall, it's good to be making progress, so I'll leave you with some screenshots and continue my work! 

The final level takes place in a government building, throughout which stand many militaristic statues such as this one (I'm still not sold on the shading; probably needs a touch up).

Given that government in this game are a very paranoid group of people, there are lots of secret passages and security measures to deal with in this particular level!

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