Game Development

Over the past several years, I’ve turned my programming chops toward game development. A few years ago, I was introduced to Godot, an open-source game engine that can build cross-platform 2D or 3D games. It uses a language very similar to Python, so it was extremely easy to pick up and create.

At first, game development was merely limited to helping my son with school projects. But soon turned into more after we developed a small game together and submitted it for the Historically Accurate Game Jam 5. Since then, I’ve developed a few more projects on my own, both for game jam competitions and for fun … maybe some profit down the road.

Games I’ve Developed

Morse Mania

I had such a blast collaborating and discussing gamedev with so many people from the prior year’s Historically Accurate Game Jam that I decided to enter again. The theme for the Historically Accurate Game Jam #6 was “Industrial Revolution.” Every amount of research I did mentioned how Samuel Morse’s inverntion helped pave the way during the Industrial Revolution period. It felt like a good fit.

What a fit and I’m proud to say I placed 1st overall in the Jam.

Again, this project was more code than game engine. Again, I built the bulk of the interface and mechanics within a few nights. This left a lot of time to polish the feedback and fine tune the user interface. Still, I found myself well ahead of the jam’s deadline.

I used this extra time to keep tweaking the size of the interface – particularly between levels. This was another web-based game. But it plays really well on mobile. Everything was simply … small.


Fan Choice Winner, Game Jam Game of the Year, GWDC 2022

Morse Mania won Fan’s Choice for Game Jam Game of the Year at the 2022 Game Development World Championships.

What’s Next?
This game is definitely getting more built out. Whether I choose to add a path of levels (think: Candy Crush) or keep the mechanics, but add a story (think: Papers Please), I’m not quite sure. Maybe even both? One for mobile, one for desktop gaming.

I also used the extra time to add phrases and end-of-level phrases. Some were historic facts. Others were easter eggs for some of the messages.

Cupid’s Challenge

I developed Cupid’s Challenge for the Coding Sucks Game Jam. The entire jam had 7 entries and rankings were not given out in the end.

The development process for this came much easier. Most of the game relies on code, not the game engine itself. The player, heads-up display (HUD) and each level’s stage graphics are all dependent on the engine. But spawning that many enemy mobs and shooting arrows was simply instancing objects using code – something that came too easy.

The bulk of the game was developed in two nights, a total of maybe 8 hours. This gave me plenty of time to consider additional themes and levels.

The game was definitely designed for web distribution and played using a mouse. While the game plays very well, I’m currently working on converting this to work better on mobile devices. While touch controls work, they’re a bit janky.

The current roadmap for this game includes tightening up touch controls and creating better graphics for the stages.

Bomb Squad MasterMind

Game Development World Championships 2022 – Hobby Category

Bomb Squad Mastermind was my first solo project submitted into the One-Minute Game Jame #5. The concept was modeled after the original code-breaking board game. It certainly helped that everyone had Wordle mania at the time, as well.

The game ranked 14th overall in the jam out of 82 entries.