Colorful Critter: early access available
I decided to go ahead and post what I have so far of Colorful Critter, my entry for eevee's Strawberry Jam.

This was a lot of fun to work on and now I remember exactly how much I loved doing game dev before Ubisoft ruined it for me 12-odd years ago, and I am so happy to be doing this again.

I did this with Lua, a language I didn't know before, using LÖVE, which isn't a framework I'd used before. Both were incredibly easy to learn. LÖVE does leave a lot to be desired with a lot of graphics stuff although it's obviously really good for many of the kinds of games I want to make. I'm not sure it was quite the best match for this particular project (I'm halfway tempted to just port it to C++ and SDL, although I probably won't) but it was a lot of fun to just be able to crap out some code without having to worry so much about architecture and whatnot. The last 12 years of being a Real Software Engineer™ kind of ruined what was fun about programming for me, and being able to finally get myself out of that mindset has been really helpful (while it's also been great to draw on my experiences to improve things as I went, all the same).

It was also a lot of fun to experiment with a couple of things that ended up being dead ends that I replaced with cheap hacks that were simply Good Enough. In particular, Lua is really bad at pixel-pushing-type code, and part of how I wanted the brush to work would have benefitted greatly from low-level image buffer access. If I were to port it to C++ then it'd be trivial to make the brush work exactly as I envisioned. But the way it's working right now is, again, Good Enough.

This project was also an opportunity for me to prove out some ideas I'd had rattling around in terms of using 3D deferred rendering techniques in a 2D, hand-drawn context. If enough people ask, I'll write up a technical overview of how the rendering pipeline in this thing works - because it's kind of not-obvious. :) Although the rendering part was fairly straightforward; making the assets for it was much more difficult to figure out (and I'm still experimenting with different approaches).

Anyway, there's still a lot more art I want to draw for this, and I haven't even begun to add sound, although I've thought about the sound design and have a bunch of ideas for that as well. It'll probably just be simple sound effects rather than having any music or whatever.

In any case, if you're able to, please enjoy my dumb little game thing! Hopefully this is the first of many to come.

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