My experience with Pulp

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out Pulp. I think it could be a neat way for people to get into game development, with fewer worries about toolchains and low-level programming.

I’m totally new to gamedev myself, and Pulp definitely helped me cross over from doing game art and occasional light scripting to “making a game.” I’m alright at level design, basic if-then logic, and holding on to some variables; but I don’t yet have the chops for a lot of concurrent code, complex math, and other things it takes to make a game from scratch.

Here’s what I did make in Pulp:

hideyspot

It’s your basic RPG-lite, in which you play a kid who wakes up two days before Christmas to find all the hidden gifts before they go under the tree. It has a map of a few dozen rooms, many characters you interact with, an inventory, “effects” (room at night / room with the light on) and so on.

A lot of these features (e.g. inventory) didn’t seem easily doable when I first started using Pulp, but I remember that the Bitsy and Twine communities get super creative with the limits of their tools. So in my case, the inventory is just another room that happens to look like a menu, and you look like an arrow when you’re in it. All the onscreen text (outside of dialogs) is just baked into texture tiles. I even have “multiple fonts” by using tiles inside dialog. It all may sound goofy, but it’s a very freeing way to work—when the only tool you have is a hammer, turns out you can also remove nails, pry things open, stick it under a wobbly desk leg, use it as a lever… :playdate_relieved:

If you have any questions about Pulp, ways to accomplish certain things in it, or ideas for things it could do that never occurred to me, let me know!

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To illustrate the tiles-as-text feature, look at this section of my World tiles:

Completely silly, but to get the job done, it was easier than if I had to figure out how to write my own text layout or something :playdate_goofy:

This is really cool Neven. How much time has it taken would you say?

Well, it sort of developed alongside Pulp itself! I worked on the game as Shaun built Pulp, and as he added features, I’d think of ways to use them. And perhaps some of my requests then informed the design of Pulp. So like… 2-3 months as a very side project by a dunce novice? :playdate_goofy:

By the way, here’s the game file you should be able to import into Pulp. It may be instructive to see how I did certain things. In almost all cases, Shaun is the one who actually showed me how to accomplish the effect I wanted :slight_smile: The game is like 80% finished; it still needs sfx and music (areas where I’m totally clueless). I think it has one “song” right now about halfway through; you’ll almost certainly want to mute it, lol. But it’s like… a whole game you can play!

Hidey Spot.json.zip (71.5 KB)

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Be sure to create a new game before importing or it will import over the one you currently have open :sweat_smile:

So we're a year and a half past when you posted this - but I want to chime in to thank you tremendously for just how much this has helped a first-time-actually-coding newbie understand Pulp and several ways to get things done.

Hidey Spot is super cute and super helpful. Thank you from like 16 months in the future.

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Thank you! I honestly forgot I'd ever posted this, and I'm glad it's useful :slightly_smiling_face: I really need to properly finish the game, then I'll post the final.FINAL.v2.json code

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this is awesome, I loved the details you add, like the way you made reflexion on the mirrors :star_struck:

I found this thread via the Gamedeveloper.com article and also wanted to voice my support for this game! The game looks cute and I'd love to see it released in full so I can play on actual hardware. It's awesome to see what Pulp is capable of even though I don't plan on using it myself.