We were inspired to try newer concepts this time around. Because the theme was space, we knew this would be the perfect opportunity to mess with physics-related things and we really wanted to try and implement a grappling hook and combine it with the gravity of outer space.
What it does
It's a two-dimensional platforming game where the player has to reach the end of the level and progress to the next one. The player only has two grappling hooks and they have to use these to swing themselves across planets, while avoiding other obstacles, to get to the end and plant yourself (a potato) into a planet.
How we built it
We built the game using MonoGame in C#. MonoGame provided us with a lot of abstraction utilities so that it made development easier for us. We took our prior knowledge with Java game design and implemented the same structure system for this game. Last, we implemented shaders using HLSL and the content pipeline.
Challenges we ran into
One of the biggest challenges we ran into was a discrepancy between operating systems. Pete and Aarnav were on macOS and Toby were on Windows. Unfortunately, the MonoGame Pipeline builder had issues on Mac so a lot of time was wasted debugging the issues and building beta versions from the source. Another thing that gave us small issues was the saving and loading of maps. We used an XML serializer and it brought up a few issues throughout the development of the ingame level editor.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the ingame editor as it's something that makes the development of levels really easy for us in the end. Additionally, the graphics (especially with shaders) turned out great, thanks to the work of Pete and his 8bit designs. We're also a little bit surprised by how much better this hackathon was instead of the usual rushing worrying that happens during the night.
What we learned
We learned many things about the MonoGame framework and some of the perks of using C# over other languages like Java. We also learned how to compile fonts, images, and shaders using the MonoGame Pipeline building tool, allowing us to create highly optimized blobs for the game binaries.
What's next for Grapple
We plan to clean up the code and squash out some of the bugs introduced in the past day. After we feel that it's in a ready state, we will release the game on a website for people to download and play.