I’m excited to announce my completion of a brand new game, Trouble on the Tracks! Made in 48 hours for the 31st Ludum Dare competition, it’s a runner/platformer game themed around an old movie theater. Play it on my website! (It’s Flash, sorry iOS people).
Over the last few months, I’ve been slowly learning HaxeFlixel, a fascinating open-source toolkit based on Haxe. At first having no visual interface was extremely cumbersome, as I’m used to very visual IDEs like Unity or Flash Professional. But with the help of Will, cofounder of RVA Game Jams, and countless internet references, I got used to placing each object by code rather than by hand. Now that I understand the language, I like it a lot more because it’s always accurate and there are lots of cool features built into the engine (gravity, acceleration, camera shakes, easing controls, etc).
The graphics were done in a little Mac app called Pixen that I picked up this summer for $10. It’s great not only for creating pixellated artwork like the backgrounds, but for animating sprites too! It’s got everything you need in a pixel-editing app and nothing superfluous, which is why I enjoyed it so much.
Again thanks to Will, I picked up a new sound-editing tool this summer: MilkyTracker. Inspired by old-school audio trackers, its interface is gaudy if not totally esoteric. However, it’s great for creating songs based on short samples– with a sample editor and an instrument editor where you can create your own waveforms, you can make video-game-esque music quickly and easily (once you figure the interface out). I based my NES-inspired soundtrack on “The Easy Winners” written by Scott Joplin.
Overall, Trouble on the Tracks has been my most technical game yet, crafted entirely in code. I learned a new programming statement, a for loop. Basically instead of counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on, you can just say for (i in 1…55) and it does the work for you. Programming isn’t so complicated when you learn some shortcuts. I’m thrilled with the way this project turned out and can’t wait to work in HaxeFlixel again!