Bounce Ball Bounce

Ok, so this was a massive clusterfuck.

Initially, I thought I’d make something like Go, or Reversi – you know, have a grid, place black and white pieces on it, try to control the territory. Very simple pieces, a bit of complexity in the game logic, voila, done!

… and then I read the rules of Go. Holy fuckballs. They’re insane.

So, I threw that out. And, frankly, by the time I’d read that even being able to figure out who had WON a finished game of Go was considered a good test of modern AI, I kinda got over the idea of doing Reversi either.

Wow. So, not a good start.

Then I thought I’d try a balancing game. You know, have a platform, balancing sticks, fish, whatever on top of the platform.

Blergh. Maybe I misunderstand the Box 2D physics engine, but I couldn’t get them to balance for the life of me. And when theoretically easily knocked over long wooden sticks started sticking up in the air by themselves? That’s where I went ok, screw that.

Then I spent a BUNCH of time (think, many hours) trying to get fonts loaded reliably into Stencyl.

Some things I learned:

  • Converting Mac fonts to TTF is bullshit. Even when it kinda looks like it’s worked (and I tried several different converters), half the time it hasn’t. They refuse to load.
  • Even existing TTF fonts on the Mac system can’t be loaded into Stencyl without them puking, or leaving traces everywhere
  • I couldn’t figure out if it’s even possible to export Photoshop fonts
  • Downloading free TTF fonts is reasonable, but often you have to try three or four before you find one that works
  • Putting any kind of blur (in Stencyl) on the fonts causes them to screw up. You get black lines left all over the screen.
  • When the fonts puke, closing stencyl, cleaning the project, then re-editing/saving all the fonts helps get them back
  • If it seems to be taking Stencyl forever to save a font? That’s fine. Let it do its thing. Do NOT interrupt it, or you’ll (maybe) corrupt the font

I’m quite happy to admit that I may be missing something critical about a bunch of these points, but holy crap, what a waste of time. I still don’t really have any good solutions (or reliable sites). Wow, tedious.

Anyway, after wasting almost the entire day on this, I put together a crappy little bouncing ball game. Which sucked. And the fonts were still broken.

So, I cheated a little, I spent a bit of time the next day polishing it up. Anyway, now it’s actually kinda fun. I like it! Still not super great, but kinda addictive, some nice pizazz. Feels fun (and challenging). Also, I fixed a bug where you could stay in one place and rack up infinite high scores, as long as you never moved. Ha ha ha. Oh boy.