Re:creation dev log. 2015. The most productive year yet.

It’s time to summarize what I’ve done during this year with Re:creation. It has been very good year, I’ve managed to do and learn lots of stuff.

Before I write about the stuff I’ve done I want to thank everyone who followed my progress and provided feedback. This stuff is really important for me and always keeps me motivated. With your support I never feel doubt about my game, I never want to stop making it. Thank you.

Special thanks to SFML community. It turned my dev log thread into a very cool discussion and helped me out with lots of stuff. This level of support is much more than I’ve ever expected and it’s very heartwarming.

I’ll show the most interesting stuff I’ve done and then explain some in more detail.
Some screenshots are taken at different parts of the year, so they may differ a lot!

Some gameplay gifs to get you started:



This one is my favorite gif so far. It really shows a lot of stuff I’ve made this year.

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Re:creation dev log. June – October 2015. I’ve made lots of stuff.

Almost five months passed since the last dev log on this blog.
Why? That’s because I created SFML forums thread and TIGSource thread and wrote most of the stuff about the game here! But I’ve realized that a monthly summary about what’s going on would be pretty helpful for those who don’t want to read long threads and search the most awesome stuff that’s been happening. Another plus is that I don’t have to write lots of in-depth style here. I will write in-depth stuff in SFML forums and TIGSource threads and link to those posts here, so you don’t have to scroll through stuff that you don’t want to read lots about.

Here’s the best screenshot I can show you at the moment to show where the things are right now.

Okay, let’s start.

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Re:creation dev log. March 2015. Graphics improvements, entity inheritance, improved state machines and more!

This month was great. I finally got in the flow of development and managed to get lots of things done. I worked hard to make game look better and here’s the result. Compare old screens with new screens:

October 2014

 

March 2015

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Re:creation dev log. December 2014 – February 2015. Bigger levels, boss and heavy attack

A long time has passed since I’ve written the last dev log! Is Re:creation dead? Is it stagnating? No, not at all. It’s more alive than ever now!
I haven’t written a new part of dev log because I had to study a lot in December and January. I had some time to develop some stuff during these month and had a lot of stuff done in February.
I’ve decided to write the dev log in two forms

  • First one will be about the features I’ve implemented recently and it will have a lot of pretty screenshots and gifs. (You’re reading this part right now).
  • Second one will be more specific and I’ll focus more on technical parts of the game and implementation details of some interesting features. This part is a lot harder to write so it’ll be less frequent than the first one.
    If you’re wondering about how I’ve implemented one or another feature of the game or its engine, feel free to write an email and ask about it! I’m always glad to answer.

Well, let’s start.

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Re:creation dev log. September 2014. Drawing art, being a solo dev, fixing bugs.

Lots of time passed since the last dev log. How’s the game? It’s doing pretty well.

Some things changed, the most notable thing is that I’ve become a solo gamedev now, because the artist abandoned the project. Every sprite you see in the latest screenshots was drawn by me.

Being solo dev is hard, very hard. I spend lots of time practicing art, drawing sprites, animating them and trying to make them as good-looking as possible without spending too much time. And I still have to do programming, scripting, designing and story writing!

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re:Creation week #5. Improved level format and saving system.

Previous weeks:

Foreword

Last week I’ve posted this screenshot of re:Creation to /r/IndieGaming to know what people think about new graphics. I expected 2 or 3 people tell me something like: “it’s good, keep working” or “that’s bad, keep working”. The thread got lots of upvotes and comments and there was lots of constructive critique which I didn’t expect. Some people said the game looks really great. This was really awesome and now I know in which direction art style should be moving.

And here’s what I’ve been doing this week.

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Cave Story: the most important indie game

I love Cave Story. This is a truly legendary and awesome game.
But instead of saying why it is so awesome as a game (lots of reviewers did that already) I’m going to talk about its importance for indie scene and for me personally.


First of all, indie games were not as good as some of them are now. Yeah, there were lots of gems but mostly they were short and simple flash games. Some of them were good. Some of them were great but none of them did what Cave Story has managed to do. Cave Story was comparable with AAA retro games. It is considered to be not only one of the best indie games of all time, but one of the best games ever. This game was one of the reasons indie scene began to grow so quickly. There were other important games but most consider Cave Story to be the most important. “Mona Lisa of indie games” as someone called it on Reddit.

But there’s another reason this games is great. This game is truly inspiring. It’s a clear example of what one person can do with enough skill and patience.
Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya, the creator of Cave Story, did it all himself which is truly amazing. Everything: programming, music, art, level design etc. And he did it in his free time, not working 8-10 hours a day as some of the indie developers do. He was studying in college and later working as a software developer. It took 5 years to finish this game. 5 years is a really long time and it’s incredible how much patience you should have to develop something for that long. Most people would abandon this project or make its scale smaller, but Pixel didn’t.

Most people think that indie games (even big ones) are made by one or two guys in their free time and with almost zero budget. It’s not true, however, for the bigger titles. Jonathan Blow, for example, spend $200,000 on Braid and you can find some other examples. Super Meat Boy and Fez developers were working on their games full-time. I can’t work on my game more than 2 or 3 hours a day, so Cave Story is a good example that you don’t necessarily have to work on your game 8-10 hours a day.

Cave Story got popular by itself. There was almost no marketing. Indie developers spend lots of time today trying to get as much people as possible to know about their game using social networks. But Pixel didn’t do it. He just quietly released his game and it was later discovered by lots of gamers getting its popularity because of its greatness. Cave Story was released in 2005. Just imagine! There was no Twitter, YouTube, Twitch these days. Facebook was just starting. It was very hard to get people to know your game. And it makes Cave Story’s achievement even more impressive.

For those who haven’t played it yet: I highly recommend you to try it. Original version is free and Cave Story+ version is on Steam for $10.
I love to listen to Cave Story OST when I’m developing my game. It’s very catchy and enjoyable but there’s one more thing: it feels me with motivation and hope that maybe someday my game will be recognized and loved by players. It will be one of the best things ever.