Stem : a slow paced development. 0.3.0 is almost out !


How slow can you dev ?

I began working on Stem in 2016, after one of the Ludum Dare edition that year (the one with the Two buttons control and the Grow themes). I've updated it sporadically ever since. The slow pace was mainly due to my professional life ; I used to own my business and could not find time to "work" on my games. I, since then, quit my job for a new one - in the video game industry - and found some extra "me" time. I can now spend time with my friends, do sports and... make work on Stem (and other projects too) !

This is how I can ship the 0.3.0 version of the game (well, its pre-release) with some new important features :

  • Achievements : Part of the gaming culture nowadays, I could not pass on achievements. This meant I had to implement an event management system to track everything that happens in game that could lead to an achievement completion. For instance, the "Stay hydrated" achievement will be completed after the player collects 50 water items in one single run. That achievement has to listen to two kind of events for this : when the player picks a water item (obviously), and also when the game starts (to reset the counter). So every time a water item is picked up, an event is collected by an event manager and shipped to the achievement manager to process the information. Events can hold various informations and use a very versatile and easy system to deal with those. I also had to implement a new GUI to display achievements. This is accessible pressing the space bar in the title menu.
  • Statistics : Using the same event management system, I also implemented statistics. Statistics will allow the player to track how many times he picked some particular items, how many times he died, how much cumulated distance he has grown, etc... All the informations can be found on the same GUI as the achievements. Also, the best score is now saved and displayed in game !
  • New enemy, the lawn mower : Traditionally, a new entity (enemy or not) is introduced. This update is no different. The lawn mower is a deadly enemy that will greatly reduce your resource levels. Its trajectory is quite simple and quite easy to avoid, but if you don't pay attention, you may run in one... or in a group of lawn mowers ! In hard mode, they spawn in groups and are therefore harder to avoid. Watch out !
  • More areas : As you may know, I use "bricks" to spawn items in the game. This helps me to control how the difficulty is balanced. So far, there were only few of these bricks used (23 to be exact) which means there wasn't a lot of variety. In the 0.3.0 version, there are more than 200 of these bricks, with different difficulties, different biomes, different enemies. The algorithm that creates these bricks uses a seed. This is because I am anticipating (keep in mind, this is a slow paced development) to create daily challenges with, maybe, a leaderboard and rewards.
  • Various improvements : As usual, many little improvements to help the player are coming. For example, the selected mode at start will be the arcade mode if the tutorial has already been completed. Some bugs have also been tackled.

I am sure you will find that these improvements are making the game better and hope you'll enjoy playing it ! Fell free to give feedback, as it helps improving the game a lot. You can already play the pre-release version (not all content is available yet). You can expect the full version right before Halloween !

Peace,
Yamzho.

Files

Stem 0.3.0 | pre-release 1 119 MB
Oct 10, 2019

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