The Development Hell of "PixelTwips"

Hello eveyone, lunzyde here!

Welcome to the first devlog of "PixelTwips", I'll be discussing the history behind the development process of the game. In the future, I'll make more devlogs continuing the development of this game, for example; A devlog about the troubles I encountered while designing different user interfaces (this was a small section on a presentation I gave at a small workshop about user interfaces in video games). 

Update Note (Apr 22, 2021): This devlog does not represent the current state of the game, and it will remain here for archival purposes as it does capture the early history behind the game.

Without further ado... Enjoy the read!

Development Hell

We start in July 2014, fresh out of high school and the next step was college. This was also the time where the development process of this game began, the goal was to create a rhythm game (the likes of "The Impossible Game"). Writing and understanding code was new to me, I was having a hard time trying to create something in C++. Luckily, I was Introduced to Construct 2 and this is where it all started. I quickly learned the basics and decided to start working on this rhythm game. To my "surprise", I failed once again, but I decided to do something else with what I knew. In just two days, I made the base gameplay. This prototype had simple things like game modes and such. I felt like I was finished, and wanted to work on other things. 

Then, I got the opportunity to pitch the game to instructors and a professor alike, and I decided to bring the prototype. The day comes up, I describe what I want to do with the game, make a casual game that is enjoyable and repetitive (which was a trend back then), with different game modes and customization's, blah blah blah blah. After finishing talking, a professor liked it so much he stood up and started clapping, which motivated me to continue developing this game. Later on, the professor helped me showcase the game throughout different events, and even helped me out by coming up with the name of the game as I was trying to avoid other existing game titles.

Speaking about college, this is where the origin of the development hell started. Back in that summer of '14, I would work quickly and easily, but college changed that. In my first days of college, I was pumped about my game and forgot about my courses. I was even lucky to enter a contest on the campus, and somehow managed to get 1st place, I was the only first-year student in that contest (still baffles me to this day). Then I got invited to my first showcase and was unknowingly part of a panel to speak about different topics, and unfortunately, I made a fool of myself in front of a large audience. After that embarrassment, I failed the same course two times within that first year. This is where I started to realize that I should just focus on my studies, and change my mentality on things for better or worse.

Later on, the development was slowing down and I couldn't keep up with the players' expectations. At a certain point, the game was in a good enough state that it could have been released as a very simplistic game; however, I was always worried about adding new content and fixing issues. While showcasing, I would always introduce or add something new to the game, many people would not stop playing and some would even come back for more. Once the local hype burned out, so did the development. The changes I kept making reverted the progress of the game, the damage was already done, and the development process got slower and slower.

Fast forward to December 2017, the development stopped and it was not developed further for nearly a year. In every showcase I participated in, the build of the game was the same. I was focused on other things and eventually found a part-time job, but I started feeling a massive burnout, and my overall performance -on just about everything- started deteriorating. Many months later, I had a rush of motivation, but could not do anything about it. At that point, I started thinking about canceling the development, but a good friend gave me some advice and this is where I started thinking about publishing future builds online.

October 2018 arrives, I started working again but ran into problems when exporting/testing the online build. I didn't have much free time and almost gave up once more. But in the next month, I was able to find some time and in two days I was able to finish the build of the game ~optimized for the web too. Most of the issues got fixed, and even some major reworks were implemented. And finally, I uploaded the game on! Hooray! I am happy that the game is playable online after such a long wait, anyone can play it with their computers and mobile devices. But unfortunately, the game is still in development hell... 

To be continued??? (When the game is finally complete, I'll consider doing a proper full story behind the development of the game).

Special Thanks To:

  • José M. De Abóngüez
  • Jessica M. Vázquez Rodríguez
  • Maria M. Berrios Rolon
  • José A. Rodríguez Ortega

Without them, "PixelTwips" would have never seen the light of day...

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