I’ve worked on many games, but I want to talk a little about how this specific project evolved because I’ve actually been working on it for over a decade!
Almost 10 years ago I first posted about it on the Box2D fourms. I was talking about building my own game engine to make an adventure game spanning a circular planet. At that point I had a very rough prototype of the game with the circular gravity mechanics in place. It was a totally different game then, but the overall shape of the map has not changed much. Check out this screenshot showing the full planet…
Around that same time I also made a small game called Spaghetti Planet. In that game you can fly around a small planet with atmosphere, water, buildings and a shortcut through the center. It’s also the first video I ever posted of game engine!
In 2013 I made another game for Ludum Dare, called RGB. That game featured a rolling player with physics based gameplay and lots of dynamic lighting. It turned out to be one of my most successful jam games and greatly influenced the gameplay and character design for Piroot.
The project that most directly evolved into Piroot was a game called Faster Blaster. It began as a small mashup between Master Blaster and Metroid for a game jam and eventually became my main side project. It did not feature a round planet, but involved many similar mechanics and was fairly large, taking most players several hours to beat. Here’s a very early trailer for the game when it was first released in 2011 under the title “Mother Lover”. Most of the art in this version was ripped straight from NES games.
I kept adding cool new features to my game engine and integrating them into Faster Blaster. A few years after the initial release I re-released it with original art, a new lighting system, and remastered gameplay. Here’s a more recent video…
The level design in Faster Blaster was not the best, but I learned a lot from making it. I’ve also added many tools to the level editor that make it easier to work with. Most importantly for me, it’s an excellent proof of concept that a game of this scale is possible in my game engine and gives me confidence that I can build it myself. To help reduce risk, I decided to make the map for Piroot use the exact same dimensions as Faster Blaster which is exactly 512 x 512. Here’s the full map of Faster Blaster…
Compare that to the map of Piroot that I’ve been working on. As you can see, it is the same size, but being able to travel around the outside will add more playable space. Most of it is a very rough blockout or used to test stuff that will change later but the overall structure is fairly planned out.
To help me wrap my head around the scale of this game I made a rough a mockup of a fleshed out planet with some random areas from Faster Blaster. I’ve never actually played a game with a round planet this large before, so it’s somewhat uncharted territory.
So far I’ve been working on this project full time for about 2 months. My goal is to have it wrapped up by the end of next year. There’s a lot of work to do!