No Such Thing as Solo Dev

At first I had thought I would put together a whole system for managing tallies, like I had for the iOS version, but after going a little ways down that path, I figured having that level of complexity was probably asking more of the average person who’s using their Playdate to count stuff. Instead, I opted for a fixed number of tallies, which can still be renamed, similar to old cartridge-based game save slots. This makes data management much simpler for both myself and the user.

Speaking of saving time, I also didn’t have to create the menus and scene transitions. Instead I used Noble Engine and simply altered some of the premade code from that. This got some of the fundamental features up and running quickly, allowing me to get started on the unique features.

Look at those lovely button glyphs. Much better than the word “Crank” all typed out, and “glyph” is a fun word to say to boot.

I was able to replace my text-based control guide with the Playdate system font button glyphs even though I’m using a custom font by assigning the system font as the italicized variant using the technique described here.

Sound effects are also in. I grabbed a lot of small mechanical sounds such as ratchets, switches, seatbelts and padlocks from Freesound. There is nothing like implementing sound effects to really refresh one’s impression of an interactive element. If you can get something feeling pretty good without sound effects (and it should feel good even without sound effects), and then add them in, it’s revelatory. Even placeholder effects add so much, and no surprise, it’s engaging a whole other sense! The process of selecting and implementing sounds should be another post should I think of it.

At this point, I have what might be considered a minimum viable product, . With a bit of polish and bug fixes, the Playdate’s first piece of productivity software (that I know of) should be ready soon, and when it is you will find it here for sideloading. Probably no updates next week as I’ll be out of town starting my new job with Schell Games. Very exciting! Although I would be surprised if they plan to publish any Playdate titles, so my foray into lo-fi development may be on pause for some time.