- Moving is time-consuming
- Call of the Alchemist
Yes, I know I missed a month. While it is true that we did move, I’m not blaming external factors for my laziness. If Ukranian soldiers defending their country on the frontlines can find a few minutes to record a video or write a post on Telegram, so could I.
Laziness aside, there was a lot to do during and after the move. There still is. While our new home is livable, there is a space for improvements, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, I’m out of money. So, I have some time for my actual hobbies, like writing, gaming, and game development.
Previously on Devlog…
Alright, I’ll admit developing a game in a completely new engine while moving was a bit too ambitious of a plan. Obviously, that didn’t happen. And the Gambit is still not published. Which is only partly my fault!
You see, I did sign an exclusivity agreement with addictinggames.com. But to publish on their site I had to implement an API. And I hate implementing web APIs… In the end, I did figure out how to do that but our correspondence was quite slow. Even though I could respond quickly, my time on workdays was limited. So I only worked on weekends. But as far as I can tell we are almost there! I think I will wrap up the Gambit rather sooon-ish.
Of course, I was thinking the same thing about six years ago before releasing The Alchemist’s Castle…
While developing Alchemist’s Castle, I knew my code was not the best. But it was OK. I never would have to see it after the release. Or so I thought…
The game feels like a fragile vase requiring a gentle approach. It feels like it can break any second. And it often does. Then I’m getting bug reports on the Steam page… I sincerely do want to help people who take their time to report a bug. They like the game enough to not immediately request a refund. They are the best. But untangling the spaghetti with the greasy sauce that is the codebase is not a task for the faint of heart.
These bugs are… well… bugging me for quite some time now. And I’m thinking about the remake of Alchemist’s Castle regularly. I used to have similar thoughts about the first game I ever made, Particle in a Box. Not because of bug reports (no one was playing it anyway), but because I knew I could do better. And guess what? The thoughts went away once I remade it! So, I decided to deal with the Alchemist’s Castle in the same way.
Crawling Back to U…
Which brings me to the technical part of this resolution. I will be using Unity… Not because I didn’t like Unreal. In fact, I was enjoying learning it, and C++ so far. However, I don’t feel confident developing a full game using Unreal just yet. I don’t want to end up with the same problems and have to do another remake in five years.
I’m still planning to get back to learning Unreal, once I’m done with Alchemist’s Castle. But we will see what the future brings. For now, though, I’ll focus on solving technical challenges for the remake. The first, and perhaps the most important one, is figuring out how to push a stack of boxes on a moving platform. This is not as trivial a problem as it sounds. Fortunately, I will have three weeks away from work. So, I expect to solve this problem before the end of 2023. Once I do that, I will have the most important part of the MVP. Then, I can focus on extra features. Speaking of which, here is my plan:
- Same game with the proper codebase (i.e. no bugs) (MVP)
- Remaster level design
- Remaster visuals
- Remaster the combat mechanics
- New bosses
- New mechanics
For the time being, I’m not gonna set any deadlines. I want to develop a good game, and I want to enjoy doing it. Meaning I’m not gonna take any shortcuts. I may even make use of unit tests. It will be the cleanest and the bestest codebase ever created!
Since I’m back to using Unity, I might as well write the documentation for and a blog post about the UI system. I will be using that for Alchemist’s Castle anyway. So here is the plan for December:
- Wrap up the Gambit (for real this time)
- Write documentation for the new UI system
- Write a blog post about the new UI system
- Have a technical solution for box-pushing
See you next year!