DuckBlur - A fast-paced platformer (in development)


I am making a platform game (inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog). The game runs great in the simulator (obviously) but I would like to know how does it fare on a real device ?

Frame rate is 30 by default, but you can increase or decrease it with the crank.


Player sprite is a bit small, I plan to redraw it later. (67.3 KB)


48fps is the highest that it runs steadily at. It can reach 49 but dips back down to 48 sometimes.

Anything above 25 or so seems playable for this type of game on the small screen, but at 40fps and higher there’s a drastic improvement in feel (to me, 40+ on the playdate feels as smooth as 60+ on a computer monitor). Going from 40 to 48 isn’t as noticeable but is still a nice improvement when running quickly.

The game runs very smoothly! There’s no slowdown at all when moving quickly or when lots of things are onscreen, and I didn’t notice any stuttering or hitching.


Thank you very much, I didn’t expect the game to run that smoothly!

There is still a lot I have to add (enemies, coins, sounds, etc...). Happy to know that I have horsepower left for that :partying_face:

I may be wrong, but I believe that whilst the maximum hardware refresh rate is 50Hz, due to a technical reason it's currently at running at 48/49. This can be improved in the future by Dave for the SDK.

So this appears to be running full refresh. Well done!

Given that the background is always moving and full screen updates can't be done higher than 50Hz, there would be little gain by running at an unlocked frame rate or using your own refresh rate limiter to run at a higher refresh rate.


I believe that whilst the maximum hardware refresh rate is 50Hz, due to a technical reason it's currently at running at 48/49

This thread seemed to imply that 50 fps is now possible since Dave is now using double buffering to transfer lines to the screen:

I’m keeping the double buffer and pipelining it properly (fire off the transfer, then while that’s going prepare the next line to send once it’s done) and that gets us to an even 50 fps. Gonna call it there. :slight_smile:
-- Dave Hayden

But it doesn't really matter, 40+ fps is great news for me :tada:


The latest (April 2022) discussion about the maximum screen refresh rate is in Playdate Squad Discord here.

But you're quite right - if you're targeting 40 you are in a good place!

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I tried it on real hardware. It is very smooth. What are you coding in Lua or C? Regardless, I cannot wait to see the finished product.

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Thank you! It looks great on real hardware.

I am coding in C. I already had some C code lying around, so I dug them up for this project.


@Daeke This game looks great! Can't wait to see where you take it.

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I know a bunch of testing has been done already but I really love the look of this project and thought I'd test it out too! ;-; It's running really well! A pretty consistent 49 fps natively on the console which varies from 32 to about 43 when using Mirror to duplicate the screen (guessing due to the processing needed to duplicate the screen to the PC). Great job on optimization!! Can't wait to see what you do with this. Gonna try attaching a video underneath now ;-; eee


Thank you @Minnie and @dfbills !

The goal is to make a Sonic game where you have to find hidden passages (a bit like how you had to find big rings in Sonic 3) to discover dungeons and eventually find treasures.

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Very impressive, I'm curious if you've submitted to be apart of Season 2 or on the store front or do you plan on just releasing it on something like

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I am still writing support materials to pitch my game but yes, if possible, I would love to be apart of season 2.

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Tried loading to the simulator and it shows 'load failed', that's typically how i side load games.

I don’t think the simulator can run C games compiled for the device.

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yup, got it now. I'd say it runs smooth, but black and white might not be great for a faster-paced game like this. The enemy is quite blurred at speed and hard to follow the action.

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Thanks for the feedback. I agree, the sea lion is a bit hard to see so I was planning to redraw it as well.

I think bigger sprites, thicker outlines or white outlines around sprites should improve legibility.

Better level design may help as well. I will try to do my best.

I don’t think the simulator can run C games compiled for the device.

You can, but you need to use the same system than me (i.e. an Intel Mac).

Some news about the game! Here is the new hero, it's a duck named Mallard. His sprite is bigger than Snowy's (from the last demo) and should be easier to follow on a real Playdate:

I am also happy to have found a title. The game will be named Duck Blur (because, you know, life is a hurricane...).

For now, the title screen looks like this:
The pixelated font is a placeholder but it looks better than I imagined.

Also added some features:

Bouncing coins!

Moving platforms!


And I had fun writing a screen deformation effect when underwater:
The effect may be too subtle on a real Playdate. I may have to make it a bit stronger but not sure it is a good idea because the action may be harder to follow.

I'm group 4 so I still can't test myself. I am trying to prepare a new tech demo, I am very interested in knowing how everything runs.


Looking great. Would be happy to help test.

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