Planning out a small-scoped game

I’ve always wanted to try making several small games outside of any game jams, and after having worked with Pixel Vision 8 for a while, I decided to start a game using that. Since my goal is to have a small-scoped game, and since PV8 allows you to customize a project’s specs, I first planned out some restrictions for this project.

The default 264×248 resolution for PV8 projects was a bit too large for me, so I changed this project’s settings to a 160×120 resolution. The small resolution would force me to stick with 8×8 sprites as much as possible, which I think is a good restriction for me to come up with simple pixel art

I wanted this game to have one screen/room only, so no moving between rooms, moving camera, or anything like that. I would need to fit everything in a 20×15 tile space, where each tile is 8×8 pixels. Working with such a small space helps me organize what features are essential to have on screen and what other features wouldn’t fit.

The rest of the default project settings (the 16-color palette, sound settings, etc) were fine for now. I can always change them later.

I like having these kinds of restrictions because they allow me to rapidly prototype an idea in a short period of time. For this project specifically, which I’m calling the “Snow Game” for now, it took me a few hours to make a working prototype. The main mechanic for the game, digging and placing snow, I got because several months ago I was playing with snow in my backyard, which was pretty nice. There’s no goal or core loop or anything yet. I just wanted to have the snow interaction working first.

The “Snow Game” prototype after a few hours of work

I’ll probably write about the snow mechanic itself in another post. Right now I’m pretty happy with how the game’s looking so far.

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