Added final game - "Fin 'N' Kit"! Also various improvements

New - Fin 'N' Kit!

Fin 'N' Kit isn't exactly a new idea of mine - I originally made a prototype for Android in 2014, and I attempted to make a PC version in 2016. Same gameplay each time, though the Android and PC versions have map editors included. ;)

Please enjoy this rendition of Fin 'N' Kit, featuring 9 levels and fishy puns.

Optimizations 'n' things

When testing on hardware, I ran into an issue where the game would stutter as the next set of items were about to be drawn to the screen. Even though I wasn't drawing off-screen items, I was still loading in all the items to the screen at the start of a level, which seemed to really kill performance. Instead, I ended up just storing a table of an "x" coordinate key and a "object" index, so when the screen scroll hit a particular "x", then it would look up that object's data in the game data and then spawn it.

Side note: I need to do the same thing with Motor Horse since it also chugs, but that would take a bit more retooling because it's designed a little different.

File size was big due to audio, and I did compress those audio files. Though, they are noticably lower quality. In a future version I might find a good middle ground for the audio files... I just tend to not play my own games with sound, and I recommend that you keep the music low because it's just garbage I wrote, why would you want to listen to that? ;P

In another attempt to save on RAM, I ended up moving multi-level games' level data back into the game state itself, which hopefully doesn't get instantiated until that state is needed... but it's also been a while since I wrote the state manager framework so I don't quite remember. But I think I shouldn't pack too many games into one pack in the future just so I don't be mean to the PlayDate and take all its RAM. :p

Other fixes and improvements:

  • Smaller audio size - game size reduced from 19 MB to 4.4 MB
  • Deskapades reset crank fix
  • Pupreciation additions and randomizer

Future updates:

  • Launch trailer
  • Improvements to I Hate Skeletons?
  • Fix up the audio
  • Fix the music glitch
  • High score table?
  • Motor Horse optimization for better framerate

New game pack, don't overload the PD with too much in one pack

What's taken so long??

(Seriously you don't need to read this I just thought I should give an explanation why this wasn't done three months ago!!!)

Work is stressful. Over the past few semesters I've been trying to get my courses to a state where I can minimize prep work and focus on working with students and on grading - and, with the additional time saved, doing game development.

I originally had more written here back in February when I began drafting this Dev Log, however I'm not going to bore you with too many details. Work was stressful, I was under additional scrutiny from others, had to meet with a union representative to try to protect my job, had to deal with some transphobia at work too. I ended up getting my contract renewed (phew), however another new teacher and friend of mine did not get her contract renewed and I am pissed off about it.

Beyond work stress, my husband and I have also been going through infertility treatments. We've been trying to have a baby for three years now, we've done 4 IUI treatments but it hasn't taken, so after one more test we are on to IVF, which sounds like it will be a pain in the ass.

Additionally, back in February, Rai got hit by a drunk driver while he was in his car at a stoplight and the car is totaled. I'm particularly mad about it because we had that car paid off, and their insurance isn't giving us enough to purchase a car of similar quality - even my crappy 2014 car cost more than what they're giving us.

Then, back in March, Rai was laid off from his job and is currently looking for new QA / Software Engineer in Test roles, and just no luck so far.

And in April I lost a couple of friends - they didn't die, they just decided they didn't like me anymore.

On the plus side it is now May, I have finished all my grading and wrapped up the Spring semester, and I have gotten closer with a couple new friends. I appreciate having my husband, my sister Rose, and my cousin Rebekah in my life and that we're all healthy and relatively happy, and I love our four cats. I am looking forward to playing with my new-old Vic-20 computer more, as well as working on more PlayDate game development. I hope the summer is good!!

Also I really appreciate all of you who have downloaded and played my game, not to even mention paying for it! I am overjoyed and I hope that my silly, roughly made game brings you a smile. <3

Files 3.5 MB
May 17, 2023

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Just wanted to quickly drop by and tell you how much I appreciate your continuous updates on this! 
This has really developed a lot since the original release. Great job!
Keep it going and stay awesome ;)

Thanks so much! <3

I am planning on making a little utility app for PlayDate next, which should take less time, and then maybe I'll do a little puzzle game pack...? Hmmm... :)