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Cover image for Blurby... my first 2D game (playable download)

Blurby... my first 2D game (playable download)

rcarlson profile image Robert Carlson Updated on ・4 min read

Some Background

I wanted to share with you all something I've been working on these past few weeks. I mentioned in my previous posts that I wanted to learn something new, specifically, I wanted to make a 2D pixel-based game. My inspiration for taking on this challenge stemmed from you all (the lets build community). Over these past few weeks, you all have shared some amazing tools and resources. I read each and every post along with every comment and as a result, I have grown so much in the short time we've been a community. I hope you will allow me to give back by sharing what I've learned.

Determining the Game

For my first 2D game I decided to focus on the simplest game I could think of that would be fun for me to play. Fun was a big factor for me considering I knew that I would get bored coding it, so having something fun to play might just motivate me enough to finish it :)

During my brainstorming, I remembered playing Counter-Strike jumping maps as a kid and really enjoying what amounted to a very basic set of game mechanics. On those maps, you simply jumped around a course to reach the end in the shortest amount of time possible. I figured I could take this idea and run with it (heh)

Blurby

The game is simple. You are a dude named Blurby and you REALLY want to touch that flower! The goal is to move and jump through the level to reach the flower in the shortest amount of time possible. The game is designed to be optimized by finding small adjustments in your movements and jumps to save time.

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Why Godot

My choice for Godot was simply out of curiosity, however, after working with both Unity and Godot now for several weeks I can honestly say the experience working in Godot is a million times more pleasant. I can't really put my thumb on why exactly I like it more, but it just feels like a more solid and well thought out IDE.

Learning Godot

So with absolutely no knowledge about Godot, I decided to start with some tutorials on YouTube. I found a Youtuber that goes by the name HeartBeast who makes some really great content. Instead of watching every single video though, I focused on the couple mechanics that I wanted to learn (jumping and walking) along with some basic animation. Please note, I still don't have it all memorized, but I can say that I understand everything I built 100%.

I Can't Art

I made a promise to myself that I would attempt art, however, I am fully aware of my own limitations. That is why I decided that the level art would be something I found, while the player and its animation would be something I created from scratch using Aseprite. This allowed me to understand the aspects of pixel art and animation while still finishing the game in a short amount of time.

For the level art, I chose this great asset pack from itch.io called MicroFantasy.

Learning Aseprite

Aseprite is a very simple tool that I found relatively easy to learn. I had to google a couple things due to my unfamiliarity with the UI, however, the basic concepts of pixels and frames made it easy for me to create this very basic 3-frame idle animation.

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Designing Difficulty

Creating the level was probably the most difficult part. I wanted the game to be fun but with some element of difficulty. Not having any enemy players to navigate around meant the difficulty would have to come in the jump mechanics. Below demonstrates an example of how a player could shave off a couple seconds by executing a pixel-perfect jump off the ledge (please know this took me about 10 attempts to nail down for the gif).

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Built-In Checkpoints

My early version of this game had the player starting over from the bottom every time they missed a jump. I decided to make the game more forgiving by adding inherit checkpoints that gave the player a place to fall without having to start over. This punished falls enough to impact the time while still making less than perfect runs enjoyable.

My Takeaways

Besides the obvious things like learning Godot, Aseprite, and level design, I think the biggest takeaway for me is confidence. I don't have a lot of time to devote to game development, and I really wanted to see what I could do in a short amount of time. I am happy to say that this game represents weeks of learning and an afternoon of focus and determination. I hope to continue working on this project by adding more mechanics and discovering ways to add fun to this game.

Download and Play

If you are interested in playing the game I included a link below for you to download. Please share your thoughts, but more importantly your high scores :)

Download Game

Posted on Jun 15 by:

rcarlson profile

Robert Carlson

@rcarlson

Husband, Father, Coder, Gamer, Co-Founder LetsBuild.gg

Discussion

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Super fun! I kept missing my jumps and wishing I could restart with a button press :( However maybe making me follow through is teaching me a good lesson about reaching that goal even if it's not a perfect run!

I would love to hear some sound effects; I've linked a free pack that might work well, and here's a music maker if you want to take a look!

 

+1 on the sound effects -- although I got here a bit late to see the before product. It's super squishy.

I totally need to try out that beepbox. It reminds me of the simpler one they used in Spore.

 

Yeah sound makes the game! I added some placeholder sounds to the game (updated the link). I'm not sure exactly the effect I'm going for, but its better than nothing.

 

Thank you! This is awesome. Getting those CS jumping puzzle vibes as I struggle indefinitely to climb the 3 platforms on the left side of the screen haha. Great work!!!

 

Also added "esc" to restart <3

 

The ability to restart while playtesting a platformer -- super clutch.

I didn't just add it for the sake of play testing. The purpose of the game is run optimization. Restarting just felt right.

 

Nice! I'm going to give it a play later. What was the most difficult thing about this quick project?

 

The level design was probably the most difficult part. Making the game difficult was not easy considering there are really only 2 mechanics (run and jump). I tried making an easy path alongside several different jumps that could trim time off of the game. As difficult as this was, it was the most fun I've had making a game in a while.

 

Yeah I feel like that'd be an interesting challenge. "Confined to a small set of mechanics, make a difficult game."

 

41.15 first try!

Great first 2D game! Reminds me a little of Super Meat Boy. It would be cool if you could slide off the walls :)

 

sliding and sticking to walls would defiantly add a new dynamic to the game. I could get a little more creative with the level design and make the path a little less obvious. I'll give that a shot.

 

44.625 x.x -- I may have restarted the first time trying to figure out how to jump before leaving the platform... >.>