Distill My Beating Heart - a Pulp game devlog

cw: alcohol

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What I've got here is a simple "gather resources and combine them to make things you can sell" game going on.

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You grab the resources and bring them to the still, and depending on your combination you can craft different things (as of right now, only craft beer and vodka haha).

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My plans so far:

  1. Add in all the combinations I came up with (13 as of now) and get them functioning in the menu,
  2. Figure out how to best inventory the finished products, so that...
  3. You can take them to a store and sell them!

After that, I want to game-ify it a bit more:
4. Make 3 rooms: Distillery, Store, and the Field between them,
5. Resources randomly generate in the field (starting with just 1, plus Water made at the distillery. All of the lowest level items are 1 resource + water so you'll be guaranteed to be able to make something at the beginning),
6. Once you've made a certain amount of money, you get additional resources in the field, but also bugs that eat the resources... and you!

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At that point, it will be an actual game! But I have further ambitions:
7. Split up the crafting process to be slightly more accurate to the actual process: one machine to make mashes that either become various beers or can be distilled to make various harder liquors, different qualities of stills, water purification, barrels for aging, etc.
8. All of that necessitates more products to sell (and be drawn), and a store system for buying and upgrading equipment

That's what I've got so far! I'm looking forward to attempting an actual devlog this time around. I think I've found versions of all the stuff I want to add to this in other projects on the forum, so I'm excited to get in there and do it! I'll probably wait til I've got at least the store running before I post the game file, but I've got some screenshots. Did some quick art and messed around with the font a bit.

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And now, here it is!
Distill, My Beating Heart!_0_2.json.zip (12.7 KB)
(I also realized now that I left in the Smiley Face tile that gives you a bunch of stuff that basically just lets you beat the game. I was using it to test the end game. So use it or don't!)

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0.1: You start with only Barley and Water available, and gain an addition resource at $5, $100, and $500. No "ending" yet, but you can make every drink. Sound effects but no music. There are also little informational signs with tidbits about the process.
0.2: Added a Farmer and Salesman. Farmer gives you the final ingredient after you have sold enough stuff. Salesman upgrades your still for $20, $200, and $750. Then you can do the new end game sequence. I've also added bugs to the field at relatively low rates. They don't move but they take a lot of stuff if you touch them so don't touch them.
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Dat title :heart_eyes_cat: looks super promising!

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+1 on this having an excellent name - look forward to seeing more

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Got a fairly playable version uploaded now!
Distill, My Beating Heart!_0_2.json.zip (12.7 KB)

If anyone's got any tips on ways to get the bugs to move, I would appreciate it. Ideally, I would like them to move semi-randomly and not too fast, and most importantly they should eat the crops. I've been fiddling with the enemy code from PulpCraft, but they tend to either not move or be WAY too aggressive haha. Thanks!

I gave this a quick play! I like the edutainment side of it with the explanations and facts. I would add a "cancel" option to those signs though, and it might be more fun to have more branching ask dialogues to delve in deeper (or not) as the player likes.

Eating the crops should be easy - if you swap the tile to the bug as it moves, it's going to replace the crop tile, and then it can swap to "white" when it moves on - no more crop! Some other examples of enemy movement scripting have been more complex because they have been doing the opposite - making sure to remember what tile they are replacing so it can be swapped back as the enemies move around. You can avoid that!

You could control how quickly they move by having a timer/counter that increments every frame until a certain value where it resets, and only emits the move event for enemies when the value of the counter is at its max. As for the randomness, Pulp has the random function that you could use to decide which direction the bug should move.

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Alright! It's been many months, but I am back on the Playdate train, baby! Starting next week I will be participating in the Portland Indie Game Squad "Finish Your Game" Jam, and this is the perfect candidate. I'll be devlogging a bit on the relevant discords, and I'll make sure to post the major build updates here.
Life really got in the way for a while there, but I'm really excited to jump back into this little project.

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First day of actual work! Major changes:
-Changed all interactions to work with A instead of just bumping (thanks to folks in the Pulp channel!)
-Changed the inventory in the Stillhouse to be a checklist, saying whether or not you've made something rather than how many you currently have
-Did a lot of rewriting of the signs and dialogue
-Began the process of changing the object of the game to be making each kind of sip rather than making a certain amount of money (wrote all the dialogue but haven't actually implemented the change into the game itself yet)
-Updated the title card art!

This is going exceedingly well so far! I may even have time to do more polish than I've even mapped out.

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Tonight's update:
-played around with some art in the end game

-made a title screen
-made a short intro that briefly explains the game and help system
-added a scoring system (still needs a timer to add some urgency but it stores between rounds/loads)
-a little credits/special thanks page

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Tonight I fixed the buyer so you pick from a list of things to sell instead of it just taking things without any feedback. I also got the bugs so they take some resources and send you packing if they touch you (though they also still eat each other, which I'm not so sure how to fix). And I also started the music!
I might have to step on it a little bit to get the game done for the jam, but I only have one major coding challenge left between me and my target build, then just music and sound. I of course am encountering some feature creep but I am trying to be good and focused haha.

Alright! I think I've gotten the bulk of the code and design stuff done, which at this point was mainly introducing the High Score mode after you complete the game the first time. Then a high score thing appears on the title screen, and in the intro screen you get the option to go for a high score of just play it the casual way.
From here, it's mostly music and sound, and then on device testing! I threw a couple questions in the discord for some polish, and I'll put them here as well in case someone here can help, but the game more or less functions as intended. I'm feeling good!

1: I've got bugs moving around a field, eating crops (orkn helped with this further up the thread). Problem is, they can also eat each other! I'm not sure how to write the code to get them to check if there's a bug in the direction they're about to move.
2: Is there a way to display a regular time value? Even if it was just a large seconds number. I have a game timer that currently counts down by frames, which is a much larger number that counts down very quickly. It's a perfectly fine way to do it, but I'd like to do seconds instead if possible.
3: Is there a way to have a label "stringValue" be right justified? This one seems less doable but I'm just seeing if anyone's figured it out.
And 4: Is there a way to have character name input? This one seems the most impossible but you never know if you don't ask haha.

Update: everyone in the #pulp channel on the discord is amazing.
I also got most of the sound effects and couple music tracks done today. I have 3 tracks left to write, and then the ending theme will be a blend of all the major motifs (if possible haha). Then I've got a few other things to do for other projects in this game jam, but I may even have time to address some feature creep! Mainly the character name input. But yeah, it's looking to be in good shape!

Tonight's update: closing stretch! I've smoothed off a few edges and polished some code. Even started delving into the feature creep list (added a time bonus to the score, and added a little callback to my last endeavor Goo Game)!
Got a bit more chipped (get it) away on the music as well, but I got distracted with another project in the same jam that needed music. Good problem to have!
Unfortunately I only have one more day off between now and the end of the jam, but if I can resist the siren song of the features-that-could, I think I'll have plenty of time for on device testing.
Also, has anyone else had a problem with the Pulp player not playing the right sound effects? I checked the code a bunch of times too, but it insists on just repeating this one sound effect for almost everything.

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Update: It's done enough that I've got it on my device for testing! The music isn't quite where I want it to be, but it's close enough for game jam purposes. The tune for the stillhouse might need a B section but it's at least a vibe, and I wanted to compose something more motif rich for the ending, but for now I'm just reusing the intro music.
I had some last minute trouble with some code, but luckily it's not necessary for the game to function. Mostly just confusing.

I have a lot of this for the field to randomly generate things when you enter that screen. It works completely fine, but when I added the section for adding goo, it completely goes haywire and makes most of the spaces goo.

on generateField do
	x = 2
	while x<=22 do
		y = 2
		while y<=12 do
			if rGenerate==1 then
				randNum = random 0,1000
				if points==0 then
					if randNum<300 then
						tell x,y to
							swap "barley"
						tell x,y to
							swap "white"
                  if points>=1 then
					if randNum<200 then
						tell x,y to
							swap "barley"
					elseif randNum<300 then
						tell x,y to
							swap "corn"
					elseif randNum<310 then
						tell x,y to
							swap "bug2"
					elseif randnum<312 then
						tell x,y to
							swap "goo"
						tell x,y to
							swap "white"

And so on and so on. Different versions for when you get more points. No idea why. Also not crucial cause it works fine with it commented out, but it is odd!

But yeah, game's in pretty good jam shape! I'm pleased. And I've got a couple days to test!

Variables are case sensitive!

elseif randnum<312 then

should be

elseif randNum<312 then

In pulp any unassigned variable, like randnum, will equal 0, so the conditional elseif 0<312 is always going to be true.

It's so often the little bugs that are hardest to spot!

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My jaw is on the floor. Thank you so much!

Penultimate game jam update!
I played through the game 6 times today with different testing goals in mind, and took 2 full pages of notes. It was mostly sound stuff and little typos and wording things here and there, and it's possible I forgot to put in a fail state for high score mode if you run out of time.
Other than that, the game plays pretty much as intended! Should do well enough for the game jam. I'll probably do a few more runs tomorrow, mostly to check the sound mix, then I'll mostly be making the itch page.
I have a few more features to add before I bring other people in to test, but it's mighty close!

Aaaaaaaaaand done!
Very pleased with how it came out. Once I work the extra features in, I'll post in here for more specific playtesting requests, but if anyone wants to play the 1.0, here it is!