MiniLD #56 – Catch! A Fishing RPG

February 11th, 2015 6:24 pm

This is one of my only games so far and my first publicly released game ever. The theme I chose, of course, was fishing. My challenges were to use only 4 colors and to make a game that uses only 2 keyboard keys (“A” and “D” in this case). If my game makes anyone laugh (there are some awful puns here and there), feel hungry, or go “Awwwww :(“, I consider that a plus.

I also had a personal goal on the side, which was to make a game about a character who clearly has a disability, but not make the game specifically about that disability. Since the protagonist spends much of the game sitting in a rowboat and not jumping around or anything like that, I thought “Why not make this angler a wheelchair user?” The story arc, in the end, is (spoiler alert) more about hunting down a sea monster and avenging the loss of the character’s parents, while disability is incidental.

I guess it can also sort of be about learning to live on one’s own and a more general separation from one’s parents. Moving out is often considered a major part of adulthood. I’m not currently a wheelchair user, but I am disabled and have mobility issues, and the idea of living by myself really intimidates me. There are people with disabilities who can and do live on their own, but personally, I think I’d have a rough time. One of my biggest fears is losing my family and ending up alone.

But I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be too deep about a silly Game Maker pixel game that involves smacking things around with an oar in Pokemon-style battles. It is very much that.

What I used:

  • Game Maker Studio Standard
  • FireAlpaca (and a bit of Paint Tool Sai, but mostly FireAlpaca)
  • Bfxr
  • LMMS

What went well:

  • I’m happy with the color palette I used. It might not be for everyone, but I like purples and sunset-y colors.
  • I got a, more or less, finished game submitted my first time participating in a MiniLD jam.

What didn’t go so well:

  • There was stuff I still really needed to fix after first release (stuff that didn’t exactly impair gameplay, but it’s a little weird to see, for instance, a door floating in front of a text box).
  • I rushed the music over the course of a couple days. Apart from sight-reading and transcribing a shanty for the ghost pirate battle music, I basically threw stuff together in LMMS and hoped it wasn’t too grating on the ears.
  • I had to do the battle system twice over and each time took about a day.
  • I could have done better on the end screen. I saved that for just about last, when I was really rushing to get the game done.
  • The equipment could have used more variety.
  • The sea screens also could have used more variety.

What I learned:

  • Parent objects are pretty convenient if you have multiple things that function similarly. Like text boxes. I should have realized this earlier on.
  • Either having a single object handle a bunch of menu functions is a bad idea, or I’m just bad at doing that. I could ramble about how the shop and battle systems used to work and how they work now, but I don’t want to stretch this post out too much.
  • I need better sleep habits. I was really excited about MiniLD and I’d keep on trying to code even while I was sleep-deprived, but that led to more slip-ups and subsequently having to debug.

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