Postmortem - Rolling Strike

I'm still surprised that this won 3rd place!

I used this as inspiration for the 3D effect: Draw “old school” 3D sphere with HTML5, however I wasted too much time implementing the 3D effect. Here was an early try in PICO-8 where I drew lines and filled circles for the stickman on the sphere - which wasn't the best idea, given the immense computing toll and pixelly mess it created.

First Try In PICO-8
Stickman unite!
First Try
Starting to look wonky

The added resolution in TIC-80 was enticing, so I switched over however came to some "gotchas" - noticed differences in the LUA coding for TIC-80, all those simple functions in PICO-8 require much more verbose typing now. In my haste in porting code over, I ended up with really crap code (and converted PICO-8's weird angles to radians).

I had to adjust to a new workflow too, and settled on a non-ideal way of saving code in Sublime Text 3 and copypasting the entirety in TIC-80 every time I wanted to run. Changed the logic to be rotating sprites in 8 directions rather than drawing them individually - kind of hacky, but it worked? Things started to come together nicely. Loving the default 60fps as well.

It's finally in TIC-80

It's finally in TIC-80, sweet 50~60fps

When it came to map design though, I think I bit off more than I could chew by wanting to use up most of the available map space in TIC-80. The nature of the gameplay demanded that sort of open-ended map space. Then suddenly realized that I haven't considered implementing layers in TIC-80, and I had used up all of the map space, bummer. Ended up with a hacky solution of setting a portion of wall to not collide. It still doesn't look accurate when you collide against walls southward, but time wasn't on my side.  And then I realized that you couldn't copy and paste tiles in TIC-80. (I know there's going to be functionality to copy tiles, which would be more than welcome!)

I hit another snag where I initially hand-placed worker sprites on the map screen, which would spawn in-game and the tile would be reset via mset. When it came to implementing a replay game function, only did I realize that there was (apparently at that time) no way to recover the tiles that were mset-ted. This required me to reprogram the sprites to randomly spawn depending on the tile and repaint the map. Hacky solutions

The highlighted cell is the strip of wall that doesn't collide. Character sprites were initially hand-placed.

I was travelling a bit due to some last minute work travel requirements, and had to switch to my macbook, the deadline was looming so I just submitted. Weird thing was that my submission in itch wasn't working in safari but was working on other browsers. Didn't have time to apply further polish, so I used another PC did up a cover image in MS Paint.

In summary, it was an exhausting experience, the game is horribly unoptimized, collisions were wonky, the game map was a mess, but I'm glad that I tried out TIC-80 and did something very different for this jam. Gamejam games are meant to be noteworthy in some aspect, so striving for that "Rule of cool" went well for this entry. This entry was kind of throwaway in the sense that it'll be unlikely to see further development, but its a cool faux katamari game in 2D at the least :P 

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35 days ago

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