Hey again! I really need to do this more often, but I’m gonna stop saying that and actually doing it! So here I am.
What have I been up to lately? I got a job at PikPok, a local video game company that focuses on mobile games. I’m currently on the Dungeon Inc. team, releasing updates and bug fixes and such. I won’t talk about it too much, you can look up the game yourselves if you’re interested, but it’s really an amazing experience. I never imagined I would get a game development job so quickly after uni, and I’m learning so much. It’s my first full time job so it’s something that takes adjusting, but I’m really loving it.
Apart from that, I’ve started working on a program called GMS Extractor. This is generally just a better version of GMExtract, a program that’s already on the portfolio page. The “more usable GUI” mentioned there was a bit too tough to properly do for the existing program, partly due to the programming language. Haxe is an awesome language, but it’s options for native UI aren’t great. I decided to go with C# instead, which at the very least allows me to make a proper, native GUI for Windows. I would’ve heavily refactored the original program anyway, so rewriting the extraction code isn’t really any issue.
Another reason I’m making it a separate program is because GMS Explorer isn’t just about extraction. As the name suggests, it’s meant to allow you to actually explore the resources of a Game Maker Studio game, without necessarily extracting them. And in addition, I aim to even allow you to modify and replace assets. This feature was specifically requested by a friend, but it’s also the next logical step after extraction. For the number of games this supports, being able to essentially mod games seems really fun.
I’ve also started working again on Drill Bunny. Naturally this is a bit of an on-and-off cycle. I’ve been working on this game for a few years already and I do feel like working on something else, something new. I’m also working on games at my job, and while working on Drill Bunny is much different, I do often just feel like playing games when I get home.
The hardest step in the daily workflow of #indiedev is opening the project instead of Steam.— Sami Habib (@puggsoy) April 28, 2018
I am getting along though, albeit slowly. I’ve been implementing a pattern editor, which will allow us to easily design obstacle and treasure patterns. This way, instead of having objects spawn purely randomly, occasionally a predefined pattern of objects will come up. This just gives us a little control and makes the gameplay a bit more interesting. It also opens opportunities to things like difficulties or bonus levels!
In any case, that seems to be the biggest hurdle right now. After that are a lot of kind of “leftover” things that I never originally got around to doing; things like a proper results screen, credits, and a settings screen. These are all relatively simple jobs (at least compared to implementing patterns), so they shouldn’t present too many problems and hopefully fun too!
One thing to mention is that we’ve had to cut a few things out for the time being. We have many ideas, but one thing I learnt from working at PikPok is that sometimes you have to limit yourself. Even though Drill Bunny doesn’t have a hard deadline, it’s been going on for a while and we decided that it’s more of a priority to simply work towards being able to release it. Extra features will be added in updates, and it will be a huge milestone to have the game out and playable. And that’s really the goal for Drill Bunny, for us. To have made a game and released it.
Well, that’s what’s been going on. I realise one massive update about everything might not be super interesting, but for me it’s good to just put it out there and share what I’ve been doing. As I said I am determined to make these posts more regularly now, which will either be shorter and sweeter, or go a bit more in-depth about a specific topic. There are a few interesting things in terms of reverse-engineering games that I want to share, for example.
By the way, be sure to follow me on Twitter if you want more frequent updates. I’m quite active there and it’s usually the first place I go to talk about any Drill Bunny news.
See you soon!