Thursday, December 13, 2012

GameJam library release 0.01

For 2013 I plan on focusing more on my larger scale potentially commercial projects with Blazing Games content coming from game-jam competitions such as the Ludum Dare challenge that is taking place this weekend. As these challenges allow for use of your own libraries as long as they are shared before hand, I am planning on creating a GameJam library to make it easy to create games quickly. The first release of this library is located at but I don't recommend anybody use it yet. This is still a very primitive release. For those who are curious, I am going to outline my plans for this library.

First, I want to get basic 2D game elements, such as scrolling maps and multiple layers of sprites fully working. This is mostly there but the code needs a lot of cleaning yet before I would be happy with other people using it. I suspect that seeing where things need improvement while participating in a couple of game-jams will get me to the ready for consumption point.

Once this is done, I will add a couple of kits to the game focused on the major elements of common Genres of games. The idea here is that there would be core mechanics for a number of types of games that can be mixed and matched. That way if I go into a game-jam and think that a RPG would be ideal, the core elements such as character sheets, inventory systems, conversations, dice rolls would all be ready to go so I could get the game skeleton done in a few hours and spend the rest of the competition focusing on the content of the game. Essentially, I want the ease of a game-making tool yet with the flexibility of total control of the code. More important, at least to me, I want the library to be mine. I am making a slight exception to my-own-code ideal by using the starling library for 3D acceleration of the 2D graphics but when I get to my final step in this project, that will not be the case.

Once I have the ActionScript library in a stable state, I will port the library to HTML5. The decision to develop the library in AS3 initially is due to the fact that I can get something useful much quicker as I am far more comfortable with ActionScript. As the world is shifting to JavaScript, it only makes sense to shift development to that platform. I will probably have both Canvas and WebGL versions of the sprite/map renderers to take advantage of hardware on browsers that support WebGL while still allowing IE users to play the games.

I have no timeline for the library (and am actually not putting in as much time towards the library as I hoped) but plan on updating the library before every game-jam that I plan on entering.

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