Stars of the Screen – a puzzle game that is a tribute to 90s screensavers (+ micro post mortem)


Hi, it’s almost a month since the release of my game, but I got covid right after getting it out, so I never got to posting it here — turns out being ill with a small kid is hard :slight_smile:

:sparkles: Stars of the Screen :sparkles:is a tribute to classic screensavers and under it’s simple crank mechanic, there are pieces of a puzzle hidden in several layers (credits roll right before you can discover that the game has a high scores screen).

It’s kinda hard to describe the game without spoiling it, so it’s page is deliberately misleading (hopefully in a playfully obvious way, but I never know), including two trailers. You buy the game at Stars of the Screen by Mouflon Cloud.

Post mortem
At first I wanted to create a simple app to learn stuff (just few non-interactive screens with various parts of SDK used on each of them), but the scope creep got me as always :smiley: In the end, there’s a bit of interactivity and even one kinda… let’s say… out-of-the-box control scheme that I could not test in simulator :smiley: I used the Noble Engine and that made my life really easy, especially in the beginning when I learned Lua and SDK by doing — besides an intro to Lua, it was almost the only tutorial I needed.

I got my Playdate at the end of July (I had to use a mail forwarding service as PD could not be delivered to Czechia directly) and found out that some parts of the game were very slow (I had some live full-screen image rotations in there :sweat_smile:) but mostly the problems were in overlaps of various functionalities, transitions and looping through too many geometry objects — using simple tables instead of more complex structures solved a lot of overhead).

Otherwise, the experience was very pleasant, even without prior knowledge of Lua — especially crafting 1bit art is so much easier than working in colors or even gameboy-style 4 shades of gray or 4-color palletes.

If you have any feedback or questions, I’m all ears. So far the reviews are surprisingly nice—it makes me happy in these gloomy days (having a kid and a happy family is great in this way too, but going to work is depressing as heck).