Devlog 2024-02-25

I was temporarily defeated by being sick, but I did manage to get a bit of fiddly work done, and have started actually working on the beginning and ending of the game.


  • Evil Island:
    • added “press button to start” message to title screen
    • added way to mark text “important” in textboxes
    • began make real intro and victory cutscenes; lots of back and forth and trying different things

Press Start

Last week I posted about my new title screen. I was a little disappointed with it, though, because the zombie which I spent all that time drawing ended up being completely covered by the menu.

Because I am vain, I added a step in getting to the menu. Instead of simply showing the menu right away, instead you’ll see a pulsing “Press any button”, until you press any button.

Important Information

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I added a bunch of info terminals, and I was concerned that the important information would be glossed over. Thankfully, over on Mastodon, Miguel/Mystery Coconut pointed out an obvious fix: add a way to color-code certain parts of the text as important.

I was already processing the text for the [button] tags I added, so I just added another check for [important] tags, which colour the text the way I want. I could have just put [color] tags right in the text but if I decided I wanted to change to a different colour I’d have to go change all of those text strings separately, and who has the the time for that?


I finally stopped procrastinating on the cutscenes for the beginning and end of the game. I went into this without a strong vision for what those cutscenes would look like, which as usual proved to be a great recipe for frittering time away trying things that didn’t pan out:

  • I considered writing a system for scripting sprite movement on maps, and just building the cutscenes that way. I didn’t even actually end up starting this, because I decided it would be too much work and also wasn’t really the vibe I was going for. The old games that I am intentionally invoking here never really did that kind of cutscene – they generally told the story with mostly text and maybe some static images.
  • I considered doing a straightforward text-scroll, similar to the ones you see at the beginning of the Star Wars movies. It’s also a very easy effect to program, which made it appealing! I wrote out a few paragraphs and whipped together the scroll… and decided that really it wasn’t what I wanted either. It was kind of slow, and a lot of text, and still just didn’t fit what I was looking for.

So I’ve settled instead on a sequence of a few frames of text and images. I’m trying to keep the text down somewhat, but I want to at least provide a flimsy justification for you to be on this weird island and shooting zombies, and I have a tendency to ramble. Anyway, they’re in progress, and kind of rough, but I’m pretty happy with this (still rough) frame from the opening!

That’s it for this week! I’ve got some cutscene frames to draw.