My 2019 Wrap-up and 2020 Game Dev Plans

Time for another end of year article on what I accomplished in gamedev this year, and what I want to do next year as I end my 8th year and begin my 9th year developing games.

My 2019 Accomplishments

The following is a list of my accomplishments for the year.

Achievement: I participated in 1 Ludum Dare event

I participated in Ludum Dare 44, which resulted in Wizard of Worth. You can read about the game in my Post-Mortem article. I decided to take a break from LD45, as I just wasn’t “feeling it”.

Achievement: I rewrote Tappy Holidays using Unity

The Corona version of Tappy Holidays was somewhat flat and boring. I wanted to experiment with the beta of Unity 2019.3 to see what the Universal Render Pipeline and 2D Lighting Effects can do, so I decided to rewrite a small game and compare the results. Tappy Holidays with Unity was recently released on Google Play. You can read all about it here.

Achievement: I rewrote Tappy Easter in Corona

Strange. Tappy Holidays went from Corona to Unity, and Tappy Easter went from Unity to Corona.

the Unity version of Tappy Easter was so frustrating to support. Google Play Game Services and Admob just did not play nice under Unity, so I decided to scrap it, and create a Corona version. The process was successful, although I am having doubts around continuing to use 2 game engines (more on that later).

Achievement: I Updated my Object Pooling library

My free Object Pooling library for Unity has been on GitHub for a couple of years now. I use it in all my projects. I recently added a Custom Inspector to easily add and remove object pools within the editor. I also am thinking of adding a few features in the next couple of months as well. Of course, since this plug-in is open source, you can grab a copy for your use, and help add enhancements!

Achievement: I developed an awesome, yet unreleased, CoronaSDK Plug In

I wanted to enhance the text features of Corona, so I developed a plug in called GBC Text. GBC Text allows you to create a sprite sheet of letters to create and display text strings. I have a small demo video that shows a sample of what GBC Text can do.

This was one of my most challenging projects ever, and it came out very well. I started using GBC Text in my projects, and I felt that it would make a great Plug-In for others to use.

Unfortunately, I under-estimated the demand for this type of plug-in, although at the time there was a lot of talk about better text libraries for Corona. The demand was very low, so I decided not release it on the Marketplace. If demand increases, I may change my mind.

I spent a lot of time on this library, and I feel it is one of my best projects of 2019.

My Plans for 2020

I have a lot of game development plans for 2020… I hope to get some of these completed. Some of them are massive.

Goal: Update (Rewrite) all of my mobile games

I have 8 games on the iOS and Google app stores… some going back to 2012. I’ve supported them over the years with updates and features, but after looking at them more closely, I think they are starting to show their age, so rewrites are in order. It’s a good opportunity to build in enhanced features from the start.

I think I am going to standardize on Unity for all my rewrites. Other than maintenance of my existing games, I think I am going to finally move away from Corona. I’ve been putting this decision off for a few years… I love working with Corona, but there have been changes with the company and the product that I just don’t like. If there is any interest, I can write a separate post on my decision.

Goal: Finish Johnny’s Flip Book Adventure

I was well into development of Johnny’s Flip Book Adventure, when I (of course) decided to restart it. At this point, I have a working game with 2 modes. The first is a rewrite of my Ludum 42 entry, and the second is a version of Space Mission Survival.

The start again, stop again saga of Space Mission Survival? I just don’t know. I think I started that game back in 2016. Each time I restarted it (7 times now!), I get very far, but I never put the finishing touches on it. I have doubts about the success of this game… a game with the same game play, but just using different graphics may be not something that people will want to pay for. I personally love playing the mobile version of this game, and maybe if given some time, I can restart it for the 8th time, but in the meantime, I decided to combine Space Mission Survival and Johnny’s Flip Book Adventure.

Right now, Johnny’s Adventure has the 2 modes that are completely separate. Playing the game, I don’t think the Ludum Dare mode stands on its own. I have decided to combine the LD42 and SMS modes into a single game. The game will be Space Mission Survival with tearing away pieces of the play field. Let’s see how this goes.

Conclusion

It’s been a productive year, and my goals for 2020 are aggressive, but I look forward to giving it a go. Lack of community support is discouraging at times (completely my fault since I do not spend massive amounts of time on social media services… something I should improve on), but I will carry on and hopefully have a better 2020 and create something you want to play.

Happy New Year!

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