I recently launched, and then had to cancel, the Retro Game Builder Kickstarter. It was disappointing, but looking back I can see that I made a number of mistakes before and during the campaign that led to the current situation.
For one thing, I underestimated the importance of posting updates and getting feedback from the community. Instead, I worked in isolation on back-end code that nobody could see.
Another misstep was trying to build a SNES game creation tool without having coded any games by hand first. By lacking that experience, I was making things unnecessarily difficult for myself.
Finally, if nothing else, I launched too soon. Even considering other factors, if the software had been more complete and I had more to show, it might have had a better chance.
So now I’m going back to the drawing board. My plan is to start with a simple platform game. That will help inform the design of the tools, and will allow me to share regular, visual feedback with the community. It’s not going to look like much at first, but that’s okay. Even the most complicated application starts with a single line of code.
To start with, here are some experimental sprite conversion routines I’ve been working on. This code converts a PNG image into the intertwined, planar format that Super NES uses. You can also see it rendered in the bsnes emulator. These are the beginnings of the sprite engine for my game. The image is just a placeholder.
Thanks again to everyone who has followed me on this journey so far. This is going to be fun!