Project Striker Dev Blog 1 — Game Info

I have noticed that there are classic games that are usually used as tutorials or a way to introduce a programming language to newcomers of that language. Classic games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong, Brick Breaker are used in the instances that are listed above. This Whack-a-Mole game started as a way to learn more about Test Driven Development (TDD) which is awesome! As I worked on it, the game design side of my brain began to formulate an idea. I figured maybe I could make a very entertaining game just based on basic Whack-a-Mole.

Current Status

For someone like myself who struggles to finish projects, this game has come leaps and bounds from what it looked like when it was a simple TDD project. While I still have an attractive blue background, the moles are much different. They used to abide by the standard Whack-a-Mole convention of popping out of their hole and going into their hole. I didn’t even have any feedback for when they were hit.

Then and now

Since then, they have been upgraded to look cuter…kinda and have the permission to attack the player on sight. That was the idea I had; Moles across the world are tired of being whacked in arcades and on apps. They want some payback. Man, the hurdles I had to jump through to get here have been fun, educational and painful. Seeing that these new moles have attitude and drive constantly motivate me to push forward.

Programming Persistence

Till now, I have never really programmed persistence. Outside of college classes, I have not had a project get this far along to the point where I needed persistence. I was excited and anxious to get started. While I certainly learned a lot, damn did this thing really slap me around. It was the feature that would not go away and was stopping me from programming more gameplay. With that being said, it was quite the experience. Designing how I wanted data to be saved and when to save that data was tricky. I still have more to learn considering the additional data that I still have to add to persistence will cause me to fiddle with it… again.

Pixel Art

Maybe the biggest hurdle for me as a programmer working on my own projects is acquiring art. I am no artist but I had no idea how to get the art or who to ask to make it. I don’t have any money to pay someone and who to ask to make the art for me. Admittedly, I was very apprehensive in trying to create pixel art on my own. However, the extremely basic art that I had definitely needed to be upgraded. So, I decided to learn.

Working on this samurai mole has taken me to hell and back

While I cannot call myself a pixel artist (shading is still really difficult for me), I enjoy it and want to pursue that title. Making my own art was something that I felt was not a reality. After watching a couple of YouTube videos, my pixel art confidence grew. It’s fun to sit back, relax and pixel art. I even worked on a mole animation to a point where I had to stop because of the increasing frustration of making it look “right”. I have a greater respect for all game artists. I mean, I have always understood what you peeps go through but it’s another thing entirely to place myself in the trenches of a game artist. Well, somewhat anyway as I am working for myself.

Onward to Completion

Yeah, that header was mad corny but there’s no better way to put it. Too many of my past projects never made it this far due to not placing a limit on features and a set timeline. I always figured that if I’m the lone person making the game then I can take as long as I want. What a horrible, immature thought. I am definitely limiting features as I just want to have a released product that peeps will enjoy and be entertained. Later, peeps!

Like what you read? Give Marcus L. Barker a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.