Game development tips, tricks, flexes, or general non-sense

this is the closest thread to where this post should go (and i don't think it warrents its own thread)…

i use emacs--maybe you do too--and for years fellow emacs users have been getting in my face, singing the praises of org-mode. but i've never been interested, but recently i've found myself needing to edit a tree of text ergonomically for a project, and so have finally turned to org-mode, and i think i might become one of those org-mode guys. i've installed [syncthing]( on my computer and phone, ~~and have also installed [orgro]( (free on f-droid),~~ [orgro is on f-droid but the version only reads files, so for now i'm running emacs in termux on my phone] and now i can edit my org-mode files at home and away and they stay in sync pretty dang seamlessly, and it's pretty cool. would recommend!

here's a little demo of org-mode if you're unfamiliar:


And my new game is now out!


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I‘m working on a 3d platformer right now with an automatic camera (like in Mario 3d World). I’d previous made a 3d platformer with a free camera, and worse graphics (plug) and noticed that people seemed to have some trouble with two main things:

  • 1. maneuvering the camera while moving
  • 2. judging space in 3d to make jumps and jump on enemies
  • At first I thought "It's weird, maybe people just don't play 3d platformers enough anymore??", but then I thought about the "good" 3d platformers.

    Every SINGLE one of them has

  • 1. a double-jump/airstall (a way to correct in midair) (yes mario 64 actually does have one)
  • 2. a way to kill enemies beyond jumping on them
  • This sucks for me because I explicitly don't like either of those things in a platformer. I like jumping on guys! I hate double jumps!

    It's not perfect, but my solution to this was twofold. The first part is simple, that I made the enemies all big and wide. I'm really excited about the second part though: Check this out: auto-aim in a platformer

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    There's an invisible cone that projects downward from your character. It's inspired by the aiming in Halo: it'll gently nudge your movement towards an enemy if you're falling, there's one close to you, and it falls within the cone - her bloodthirst can't be quelled. Of course, this only happens when the enemy is over ground. The game wont mess with your jumping over pits. Sometimes there are special cases where you're supposed to jump on the enemies to clear the gap, and those guys do have autoaim.

    I'm hoping that this autoaim will help compensate for the lack of a mid-air correction because it helps out with the hardest part (hitting a moving target).

    It's not as invisible as I'd have liked, but in general it seems to make things a lot smoother! It doesn't 100% solve the problem of judging depth. I played around with increasing your downward acceleration so you don't accidentally overshoot the enemy, but it didn't work so well. Of course you'll be able to turn it off, and I'm still playing around with the numbers but does anybody have any thoughts? [(also here's a link to a gameplay video of the game I'm working on)](

    I started taking making games seriously </s>~4 mo ago. I've been evaluating game engines and making small games to learn. The most significant game I made so far is Destroy All Goblins, a Super Crate Box-ish arcade shooter using public domain sprites.

    After a few more smaller projects (hand-drawn snake, some jams, etc.), I decided to change engines due to limitations from the old one and have been learning Godot. Really enjoying it so far. I've been working on a bunch of prototypes that I call Godotypes while I get my bearings. Then I'll do a freeware game a month or something like that. This week I finished my shoot 'em up Godotype called Bullet Heck:

    Looking forward to sharing more of the stuff I make. Currently making a prototype platformer called Devilboy then onto messing with 3D.

    Just launched a Steam Page for my next game

    I‘ve been working on a lo-rez shmup tentatively called DeSET in the Pyxel engine (an open source Pico-8-ish engine that uses Python) to learn shmup dev without worrying about hi-rez graphics. Been having fun with bullet patterns and the enemy scheduler. Pyxel is rad. It’s nice being able to use my own code editor and Python but have a tool for editing sprites, sfx, and music. After working a bunch in Godot it's nice having full control, but I do miss somethings about Godot. Pyxel and Godot seem like good tools to have in the belt, better fits for different styles of games and goals. Like for game jams or web games or little low-rez experiments, Pyxel is great. For a fully featured PC game, Godot shines.


    My intent is to make this a 60s or 120s caravan shmup where the goal is to chase a high score and replay it in short bursts. I'd like to then follow it up with a stage-based shmup. And eventually a full featured desktop PC shmup. But baby steps!

    Right now the bullet patterns and enemy schedule in _DeSET_ are driven by python dictionaries (basically JSON objects, nothing too fancy). I find myself getting tired of editing those data structures by hand, so maybe some sort of custom tool would help here? I need to think about it some more.

    Do y'all ever develop custom tools for making managing your game data easier? I could see that being really helpful, but I guess I need to really be frustrated with the current method to be motivated enough to make the tool. 😂

    While I know that shmups are a more obscure genre and maybe less commercially viable, I really enjoy them and think they're a viable genre for making a finished, complete game where I learn a lot and have fun doing it. I also think there's a fair amount of untapped room for innovation within the genre. That innovation may not appeal to the hardcore arcade-style players, but maybe that's okay? I've got some ideas I'd like to explore to make the genre more accessible. We'll see how it goes!


    In the time since I last shared, I released a little free prototype called _Minimal Survivors_. It's a more action-y horde swarm game thing I made in a week.


    Maybe I'll expland on it into a full game? I'm not overly interested in making something just like Vamp Survivors or whatever, but I think there's some interesting arcade-y ideas in swarm-based games.

    When people have played this little prototype, everyone says they want it to play like a twin stick shooter. Which I get. But also, the strafing is intentional. It's kind of interesting to intentionally design a game around a specific mechanic that's not what people expect and then all the feedback is about how they want it to be different. I stand by the strafing in _Minimal Survivors_ though! 😂 Curious what y'all think!


    I've also been making game dev video tutorials as a way to share what I learn and as a sort of marketing effort. The major one is this complete Godot 2D platformer tutorial:

    And then since I just hit 6 mo of game dev, I made a video of my progress so I can keep track of my efforts. It's helped keep me motivated/accountable:

    My family and I just moved into an old house that needs lots of renovations, so that's been taking up all my time and energy. I can't wait to reclaim some of that time and get back to it. My day job's also been tumultuous, so that isn't helping either. Anyway, gonna keep at it!


    @“Brett”#p116409 I stand by the strafing in Minimal Survivors though!

    I also stand by this! You're absolutely right that more typical twin-stick controls are "expected" because they're what's popular and normal to see right now, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to do things – in fact, the more variety that can be squeezed out of this style of game the better (glances at my pfp). I think the strafing is great! It reminded me of _Shock Troopers_. Whoever's telling you to change it should play _Shock Troopers_.


    @“Brett”#p116409 I’m not overly interested in making something just like Vamp Survivors or whatever

    The manual aiming and strategic strafing already makes this significantly more engaging than _Vampire Survivors_!!

    These tutorials seem excellent too. I'm also (slowly, quietly) making a shooting game in Godot with some of my friends (take a wild guess at what style of shooting game it is), so if we run into any hiccups I'll be sure to consult what you've got here. The vids I checked out seemed practical and thorough.

    @“Funbil”#p116418 I gotta try out Shock Troopers! Looks legit. I mean, this cover, come on!


    Super game to help with Godot stuff or make resources for ya'. that's a lot of the fun. Thanks for checking them out and the kind words.

    I get why Vamp Survivors is so popular, it's kind of like Idle Clickers being popular. But maybe it's actually a secret entrypoint into getting people engaged with action shooters and twin stick shooters and shmups? That's kind of my hope. Like with all the Vamp Survivors clones coming out, maybe we'll start to see people taking the fun parts of that (rogue-like-ish stuff, progression, bonkers enemies swarming) and putting it into more action-oriented games.

    Looking forward to your shooting game! Happy to help playtest or anything like that.

    @“Brett”#p116409 Congrats on 6 months! You're doing lots of cool stuff over here. I agree with Funbil, the strafing is cool!

    @Funbil Shock Troopers rules so hard, why aren't there more games like it?! Playing ST makes me want to continue explore the top-down strafing shooter.

    @“Brett”#p117253 Lucky for you I know a pretty good thread that could show you a couple more games like this (not all of them have strafing but it is an excellent genre (format?))

    Neat little effect I'm building for a school project that I'm pretty happy with.

    Pretty happy with the graphics I‘ve settled on for my current project. It’s a fast-paced FPS about juggling, and killing anyone who doesn‘t like juggling. Still unfinished environments, lacking as much detail as I’d like. Made in Unity (rip).

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    @“frog”#p133819 this looks awesome! Definitely love the concept, and the graphic style is really cohesive. I hope it’s fun to work on!

    @“ninjapresident”#p133866 thank you! It definitely is fun to work on :slight_smile:

    After taking some time away from game making stuff because of life getting really wild 'n busy, I’ve been easing back in with this Pico-8 Shmup Tutorial series. The host does a really nice job making it fun and teaching programming stuff. Pico-8 is neat.