Last time, I went over the prototype stage of Stop That Hero!, which was created as part of a 48-hour game development contest. Then I heard about the October Challenge: create and sell at least one copy of a game in the month of October.
To make a long story short, I didn’t have a playable game ready by the end of the month. “Stop That Hero!” turned out to be a much bigger project than originally anticipated, and I learned there was a big difference between hacking together a prototype and shipping a complete game.
If I had a working, playable prototype in three days, why couldn’t I create a working, playable game in four weeks?
For one thing, I was rewriting it from scratch. Hacking together code for a prototype is fine, but for a game I intend to sell to actual customers, I’d also like to provide great customer support. If there is a bug or a feature request, trying to work within prototype-quality code would end up being a nightmare.
I also woefully underestimated the technical requirements and the amount of work I would need to do to fulfill them. Since all “Stop That Hero!” develoment is done on Linux-based systems, and since GNU/Linux is the primary platform to publish the game on, I found that there was a lack of existing 2D game engines I could leverage. Since I didn’t see a need to switch to Windows or Mac just to make games, I ended up rolling my own technology base for the game.
While it lets me customize the code to the needs of the game, it also forces me to take way longer to make the game than if I had a ready-to-go game engine to build upon.
And finally, I’ve never done anything this big before, and I find that the “Stop That Hero!” project has been a terrifying and fascinating learning experience.
It’s now June, and I’m still working on the October Challenge. Even so, the game is finally starting to come together, and I’ll be showing off what I can as development continues.
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