Dodge the Duck-Dragons

Heropath Dodge the Duck-Dragons screenshot

I’m pleased to release a new alpha version of Heropath, the first using Godot. I found working with Godot to be enjoyable but found Godot’s written tutorial lacking in steps. So I turned to GDQuest’s video tutorial which helped allot. Godot has many benefits with built-in collision detection, physics, animation, editor, and more. I see the immense value of using a game engine to develop Heropath.

GDQuest’s code provided five critical mechanics: 1) Draws an arena for the player to move in, 2) Move the player’s character around, 3) Monsters enter from the side and cross the arena trying to eat the player, 4) The player must avoid being touched with collision detection being implemented, 5) A basic HUD with intro and scorekeeping. Below you can see a screen shot of Godot’s 2D game, Dodge the Creeps.

Dodge the Creeps

After building the Dodge the Creeps game, I changed the characters and music. This is pretty easy to do but it allowed me to get to know the Godot engine better and make it more of my own project. The graphics come from an outstanding homage/update to Atari 2600 Adventure which is a great inspiration for Heropath. I really love its monochromatic, painted look.

Heropath Dodge the Duck Dragons

The above screenshot is for Heropath alpha version titled ‘Dodge the Duck-Dragons’! This alpha demo is an exceedingly simple arcade game with a fantasy theme. You can play Heropath version with a web browser, keyboard, and mouse here:

Instructions: You control Sir Bloc with the keyboard WASD keys. You must avoid the Duck-Dragons to get high score.

Well, what exactly is a Duck-Dragon? When Warren Robinette drew his original dragons for Adventure they did look like ducks. In a way it fits since birds are related to reptiles/dragons.

The dreaded Atari Adventure (duck) Dragon

Version currently has the following features:

– Load arena
– Load character
– Load monsters
– Logic for character movement
– Logic for monster entrance and movement
– Logic for monster-player collision
– Updated graphics
– Updated music / sound
– Updated basic HUD

With this version I’ve moved along from a very simple puzzle game to a very simple arcade game. This is fitting since Atari’s Adventure combined both arcade action along with item/map puzzle play, being the first ever action-adventure game.

Some Godot observations:

  • Interesting that all pixel art should be facing right as default. I uploaded the dragons facing left and then had to flip it in-game.
  • Taking a screenshot of the enlarged image in with Greenshot allowed me to have larger characters without blurring.
  • The tutorials on Godot’s main website are lacking in clarity at times, missing critical steps for somebody still learning the interface.

Next steps:

  • Expand the setting with new maps.
  • Add a nice UI with a character traits panel.
  • Add a monster that chases the character. Currently the monster simply passes through the map.
  • Add a weapon to defeat the monsters.
  • Add walls and doors to the maps.
  • Add keys to open up doors.
  • Add pickup of weapon and keys by the character.
  • Add encumbrance so when the character picks up an item the character’s movement slows down.
  • Have characters be able to drop the carried key and the object remains on the screen. This changes the item from a grid item that vanishes to an object that has some persistence and is interacted with.
  • Add win and end screens.
  • Add a ‘possession’ mechanic that will centre the plot and story.
  • Explore game development fundamentals like camera-usage and time (real-time vs turn-based).

I hope to have this ready by end of October, with an anticipated version since it would represent a vertical slice of the action-adventure I am aiming for. Updates for Heropath can be found at the version history.

While I work on that, I intend to do some posts about what Atari’s Adventure means to me and to the industry, get into its history, and outline remakes that have been done by fans.

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