(This project is under development!)
This project is tied to the Animizer tool, so if you would like to learn about the tools being developed with this game, go check that out as well.
In the Fall of 2018, I decided that I was getting really tired of Unity. I felt like I was spending too much time fighting it just to get basic stuff working, like 2D platforming free from its realistic physics engine. In fact, everything done in 2D with Unity has always been a pain, since I knew of a world where 2D was much simpler, with engines like Cocos2D and Game Maker (and now I hear Godot is coming around the corner? Need to check that one out). So, on a whim, I decided to break free from Unity, stick with C# and find something else. I had heard that the game Stardew Valley, as well as many others, were developed in XNA… or hey wait, why are they calling it “MonoGame”? I need to check this out.
After starting up an empty MonoGame project, I was greeted with the cornfield blue window. All I had to work with behind the scenes were an entry point, update and draw loops, and functions to load and unload content at the start and ends of the game respectively. I was not happier than in that moment, going through all of the documentation and seeing what was available to me. I felt like the Unity bloat was lifted, and I was free to do things my own way.
My starting MonoGame project, I decided, would be mechanically simple but give me ample opportunity to take it as far into the future as I wanted: I would rip off Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, and fuse it with the mainline Pokemon games. The idea is, the player wakes up as a Pokemon (after a dream sequence deciding on what Pokemon they would be) and go through the hoops of learning the Mystery Dungeon mechanics. Then, the player would be told to go on an adventure to find out why they turned into Pokemon from a human, by traveling across Pokemon regions and helping both Pokemon and people alike with their troubles (“that Gengar stole my backpack! Little Pokemon [talking to player], can you help me? Can you even understand me? Oh, I’m so frustrated!“).
With a project like this chosen, I was happy to find that the assets needed to make this work visually were already made for me: existing Pokemon game assets! Additionally, making levels in MonoGame would be a breeze, since I chose to use Tiled as the level design tool and a third party integration through MonoGame Extended. The bulk of the work now, for me, is architecting the game’s objects, mechanics and dynamics, in a way that allows me to create instances of NPC’s or world items quickly.
This is where the project is at currently. While currently swamped with a 19-unit college quarter and Capstone needing all the attention it can get, any extra spare time I can get is going into a minimum viable product state of this game, at least something presentable on a resume that is “I can do more than Unity, and in fact I even prefer to write my own game engine and tools”. To any employers digging through my website to learn more about me: thanks for getting this far!