'Under The Tree', Tech Demo 0.1

First load scene: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cxbwxcd4hiyoey1/utt_demo_intro.mp4?dl=0

Kumba (our Artist) doing a playthrough (forward to 36 minutes in): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1588456302


Uh oh.

(excerpt from ongoing work on v0.2)


Oh man, this looks awesome. I love the old school first person dungeon crawl genre.

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Big fonts, cool mini-map, I like it!

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Hardware is finally starting to trickle in... I don't have mine personally yet, but... the SDK/Simulator seems to actually make stuff that runs on metal! :smiley:


(minor) spoiler... there are games in the game:

Work-in-progress mini-game using Dustin's Playbox2d - cool stuff!

MP4 showing integration with Under The Tree and runtime play here.


Another mini-game work-in-progress dev teaser... (out of 5 or 6 mini-games so far)...

mp4 link: axonmetric hit-detect test

(ignore the stuff in the bottom-right corner, that's realtime debug infostuffs)


Zaxxon! That's more than mere mini!

The villian(?) of the main RPG story is a fan of old 80's-ish-era arcade games, and as a morale booster for his monster-y horde has put an arcade cabinet somewhere on each dungeon level. So aside from the satisfaction of hack-and-slash dungeon crawling, by clearing a path through the monsters the player will gradually gain access to more than a half-dozen games of one form or another.

The plan is that once a player has fought through all levels and 'won' the game, they will have easy access to an area where all the game cabinets are also in one spot, and can then go back and 'just play the minigames' if that's what they want to do.

From an overall gameplay perspective, the above is 'per save slot' - so if the player wants to re-play the RPG portion they can start a new slot and retain the old 'cleared' one just for easy arcade access. This also provides for more than one person being able to play the game on a shared Playdate (as long as they're nice about not messing with each other's saves... hmm, maybe I should allow for putting a password on slots? Maybe that's 'feature creep'... will ponder it).

Anyhow, I don't want to spoil things much more than I have regarding minigame specifics :wink: .


Mini-games, mini-games, how many mini-games?... Nine in total planned, eight are done, with the last one (a mini-platformer) in-work.

For that last one I am only now looking at the Playdate SDK 'sprite' system infrastructure, and it seems very well put together!

Started with the SDK 'Level 1-1' example as a starting point/base (I especially like the SDK platformer sample's integration with the 'Tiled' level editor, that's especially cool) - and the SDK code is a nice OOP intro for Lua coding newbies (like me). For that last mini-game, things are 'moving' along (added classes for moving platforms, projectile tossing, still more to come) - I took a snapshot/sneakpeek for folks:

Video clip here.

I'm really enjoying working with the Playdate SDK. Compared to what it takes to make something with Unreal etc. it's like a breath of fresh air. Kudos to Panic for providing such a fun development environment :slight_smile: .


"That's me in the corner... that's me in the spot-light, losing my cohesion..."

Video capture here.

Don't mind me, I'm having fun :slight_smile: .


Still grokking the Playdate tilemap/sprite infrastructure... having a 'blast':

Floor triggers and moving doors and fireballs! Really enjoying the system :slight_smile: .


Starting (just starting) to replace placeholder art with Kumba-art, also shows using the Tiled editor (fun!) - anything not Kumba shown is placeholder art:





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Update: We're not quite in Beta, but getting there... code is mostly done (about 35K lines of Lua, not counting comments, plus C stuff also), and Kumba has started replacing programmer/placeholder art with Kumba art, with an eye to polish things a bit more so as to be hopefully be eligible for Catalog.

Our original placeholder Playdate loading scene (SystemAssets/card-highlight):

animated here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cxbwxcd4hiyoey1/utt_demo_intro.mp4?dl=0

Kumba didn't feel that that was polished enough, so she did a re-design and set up keyframes on her Cintiq, you can watch her do it in real time for the first couple of hours of her Twitch stream here., outtake:

(I've picked up her keyframes and will craft them into a tuned SystemAssets loading scene over the next few days)

Kumba is also working on our last mini-game (working title 'platformer') and replacing placeholder art w/Kumba art:

Twitch recording of pixel art creation stream here.

It's been a long haul, but we're getting there!

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And... this ('Zaxxon'-ish) minigame isn't going to make the cut, sadly.

Put it on real Playdate hardware and it's 9fps. After doing considerable nose-poking with the Sampler (on Mac, 'cause it works much better there) and cutting out absolutely all actual drawing (just a black screen besides the ship and the HUD) I got it up to 20fps.

There's just too much calculation for the map&rendering-order&stuff for axonometric space to work going on.

I'm having similar problems on the platformer minigame ('cause I decided to try putting 9 levels worth of tilemap into one honkin' tilemap level 'just to see what happens lol') but the fix there is easy, break things up into 3-9 levels like I should have done in the first place. Not a big deal, means 3-9 level 'Tiled' .json files instead of one.

But the Zaxxon clone won't lend itself to that - a level/map needs to have enough cells to be practically large enough to have enough active 'things' on it to be fairly true to the spirit of the game. And that's too many for what I can do in Lua. And it might even be too much to do in C, too - though I may try rewriting in C at some point (post-launch) if I get a wild hair and have some spare time, just to see.

Edit: it was looking sweet, too, I think (first map done and level transition to unfinished levels shown): video here.

That's too bad! But it's just one little item. Hardware was a reality check for my game too (and I did manage to optimize successfully but it was TONS of work.)

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Yeah, I wouldn't make the decision until you've got hardware.

I encountered numerous speed blocks during development and was able to negotiate them with a few tricks and recommended methods.

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Kumba just posted a Twitch session, finishing up card deck facecards for one of the minigames, then concept art for dungeon hallways/doors. Enjoy!

Steady progress - finalizing swapping out of programmer/placeholder art for launch intent art, content for the last two main-game levels, playtesting/hardening... probably 6-8 weeks (? - no rush, quality first!) to Beta at this point...

'Platformer' mini-game: Angry Bunny unit test video clip here.