Firewalker - DevRamblings 10

5 months 20 hours ago by damagefilter

Hello folks!

Today, more than 12 months after the last DevRambling about Firewalker, I've come to put it on ice.

On Ice is not cancelled.
But...

Personally I've got a bitter taste of the past about it, thinking about how Prison Island fell apart like a card house in the wind.
I do know the situation is a little different today then it was many many moons ago when I had to cancel the Prison Island project.

At any rate, here's my reasoning.
Firewalker is, and that seems to be very typical for me, a project with a scope which is simply too large for the limited time I have for making games. There are six dungeons and a whole city with (surprise) six districts. The workload to produce all the required assets alone is daunting.

However, the most important factor is, I am t this time, simply not up for the job. I was refactoring code every other day because I kept learning new things. I broke one system after the other, wiring them up again, leaving a mess of unused code and undocumented features and corner cases. My knowledge when I started the project was simply not sufficient to really pull it off.

However, there are some really (probably) good systems going on in the Firewalker codebase and I didn't want to let them catch dust. There are savegames, a Source engine like IO system, behaviour trees and a corresponding editor ... these kind of things.
So I pulled it all apart and created a library of code that is independent from any game it may be used in.
It can be found here: https://github.com/damagefilter/PlayblackCore
This is my Firewalker-takeaway so far and it's okay.

During the past 2 years I have been working on smaller projects, learning new stuff and actually making games. Mostly in 72h gamejams. I've been using the code of that library in these jam games. I've been extending the library with my real-life requirements when making games and prototypes. I will delve into a couple of smaller projects with this codebase in my virtual backpack and gather new knowledge about making games.
I might even get to release something a little bigger than a 72h game at some point.

Eventually I will come back to Firewalker. It wil probably not be titled Firewalker anymore but it will be the top-down slashing beasts and solving dungeons thing I wanted it to be.
Hopefully, by then, I'll be able to actually pull off a project with such a scale.

So there's that.

Cheers,
-df

PS: If you feel like reviewing / using / forking / contributing to that library, please do :)