I’ve spent some time now working on Naked Little Dude and I’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons along the way.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, a few personal problems and for good measure a nice slice of global pandemic which we’ve all shared so you all have no doubt how crazy things have been.
Anyway I’m not here to talk about that. This is about a small struggle I had with making the game and something I really should have thought about before I began.
And that lesson? Never continue doing anything unless you are happy with the foundation you are building on!
I was struggling. I had ropey water physics, dodgy touch controls, strange level mechanics and a menu system that wasn’t fully complete.
Yet my thoughts were I’ll just tear through and design the levels and polish them up later. I felt this was a good idea at the time but something about it didn’t sit right.
Then one day while scrolling through twitter I read a comment by someone (sorry but I don’t know who t was else I would give you a mention but it hit home so hard that it put me on a new train of thought!).
Someone said something along the lines of…. If you think your code is bad then stop and fix it. Else you will be building a game on a foundation of bad code which will cause more work and bigger problems later on.
This made me stop and think. This was me. I wasn’t happy with a lot of things in the game and while trying to be clever about building levels I wasn’t making sure they actually worked with he current mechanics and controls.
This then led to a complete roll back of some stuff on Github. I had previously followed a guide for the water and while I liked the ripple effect (i kept that) I made my own water physics for the main body of water.
I totally rebuilt the menus and learnt a valuable lesson about virtual keys in gamemaker. This was a bit of a nightmare and took 3 rebuilds because of the way things do and don’t work but now I am happy with the whole thing.
The touch controls were too small and I had a few suggestions from people on how to fix the design of them. Yet I hadn’t done anything about it and also understood the controls weren’t right. These have now been totally changed too.
And this then made me think about the crumbling platforms that currently only exists in the frozen world. Why is that the case? I should also have them in the first world but because i stormed through the levels and thought about it after I had left them out of my design.
I’ve had to go back and rebuild a lot of things and still have a lot of things to do but…..
It’s ok. I feel much better about it. I know now that the foundation I am building on is strong and I shouldn’t need to go back to change anything. Perhaps tweak it a little but that should be all.
The important thing to take from this if you made it this far through this read is don’t carry on if you’re not happy with the code you are building on. Make sure it’s right and think through the things you may need in the future else you may end up having to go back and change a lot of things.