The Beginnings

I’ve been feeling somewhat restless of late because I haven’t been cranking out creative projects like I used to. To fix this, I’ve decided wanna take game dev more seriously. This is gonna be a journey.

In the last few weeks, I’ve finished up and formally released three of my older game projects. Now that that’s taken care of, I can start with a clean slate on on my next game: The Staff of Lewis.

The Staff of Lewis is a beat-em-up video game starring some of the fictional, larger-than-life characters my wife and I have created together over the years. Lewis is an owl with a crazy side. He fancies himself a bit of a sorcerer and is quite upset when his magical staff is stolen so he sets out on a journey through multiple video games to reclaim his possession and show off his mastery of his favorite fighting games. The Staff of Lewis starts inside a fictional game called “Penguin Punchers”. Lewis got himself and his buddy Pablo stuck in the game and now they have to fight their way to freedom.

Penguin Punchers Logo

This isn’t quite the beginning for this project. December 1, 2016 was actually my first commit to the project’s repository. Originally, The Staff of Lewis was being written in PICO-8 but the vision for the game quickly outgrew the limitations of the PICO-8 fantasy console. With this latest creative push, I’ve moved to the LÖVE game engine. LÖVE has been great so far. I love having access to community libraries like hump and bump. PICO-8 exists to be minimal which largely results in hand-written “libraries” specific to each game. The few projects I’ve made in PICO-8 were super fun to build but took a long while because I had to build from scratch. LÖVE has helped me move quicker. I’ve managed to port most of the previous functionality from the PICO-8 version of The Staff of Lewis to LÖVE in less than a month with cleaner code to boot.

My plan is to have this game finished by April 1st, 2019 (no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke) with weekly devlog update posts between now and then.

My first step now is to finish porting what I had engine-wise from PICO-8 to LÖVE. Not everything has to be perfect, but it needs to be usable for playtesting and organized enough that development can proceed after the MVP at a quick pace.

The next step is to craft an MVP with a single player with a couple attacks, movement, and an enemy that’s smart (maybe that runs behind the player).

An added challenge for this game dev plan is to force myself to focus on one game at a time. It’s going to be interesting to limit myself like that. Dabbling in multiple projects is something I really enjoy, but it’s what’s gotten me in trouble in the past and resulted in a lot of unfinished games. I want to avoid that pitfall if possible. The downside is that I already have a somewhat solid idea in mind for my next game that I’m pretty excited about.

Let’s see how this goes!