Zeta Update 1: 30 minutes

So last night I started on Zeta. In about a half-hour I was able to get graphics integrated, create a scrolling tiled world, and get basic runing and jumping physics in, collecting objects and climbable ladders and ropes. I even posted a Youtube video of my progress!

Okay, okay, ya got me. I didn’t really do all that work in a half-hour last night. Instead, I’m going to cheat like The Cheat and start with an existing project I did a while back. I know that technically this means this won’t be a 40-hour game. Don’t care.

Just like with Inaria, I’m going to make a basic list of features that MUST be in the game, features that would be nice to have, and then features that would make me really happy if they make it in.


A main character that can run, jump and shoot.
A tile-based world for the character to traverse. This world can be made up of “zones” that can scroll in all directions. Zones can (and should) link to each other.
At least one enemy type to fight. (Just one would be boring, but we must have at least one).
At least one “powerup” that allows the player to access areas they couldn’t before (without this, the game isn’t a Metroidvania).


Multiple movement upgrades (slide, double-jump, glide, etc).
Multiple weapon upgrades.
Multiple enemy types, with some with weapons and some without, with unique looks and attacks.
An overall storyline.
A big boss to fight at the end.
A resolution to both the game and the story.
At least one “chiptune” music and sound effects.


Lots of dialog at various points in the game, detailing the story.
Lots of specialized animations for various things like the double-jump.
Multiple minibosses.
A way to lengthen gameplay by recycling or reinterpreting the level data, just like most Castlevanias do.
Multiple chiptunes for different parts of the game, including boss themes.

The game’s native resolution will be 320×240. It will play in a 320×240 window, a 640×480 window, or fullscreen at 640×480.

Again, my plan is to spend half of my time working on the engine and tools and the other half of my time working on the game’s content. I intend to steal almost all the graphics, but I’d really like to do the music myself, almost certainly using a tracker of some kind.

~ by Anthony Salter on December 3, 2009.

4 Responses to “Zeta Update 1: 30 minutes”

  1. First I thought I suck, I would never be able to do anything close to that in half an hour???!!! Maybe you could if you used a game maker or something, but I don’t like tools like that, it’s hard to do what you want. Btw, how do you plan to adjust how far he will be able to jump, how fast to run and stuff like that. Oh, yeah, I just thought of something, the slowest way might be to put that in code and then recompile to make changes, a little bit faster might be to put it in a text file and then read it in either at start up or every 100 frames or something. A faster way might be to be able to use sliders and stuff, and that’s the idea I thought of. You’re using either Windows or Linux and you’re coding in C right? I’ll be back!

  2. I’m back!
    OK, so I made a JNI app that could be used to move sliders that will affect some values that the game engine could use, without recompiling everything. I hope it could be usefull in at least some project.

  3. “The game’s native resolution will be 320×240. It will play in a 320×240 window, a 640×480 window, or fullscreen at 640×480.”

    I recommend doing the same that I’ve done with a few recent releases of mine; fullscreen at desktop resolution, with black borders (vertical or horizontal) depending on the screen physical geometry.

    Solves tons of compatibility issues with widescreen displays, and doesn’t blow up window positions in XP.

    A 320×240 (512×256) texture is pretty fast to upload these days, and a full-screen textured quad doesn’t take any time to render anymore..

    As a bonus you get the option of whether to have a blurry or pixelated result. Or switch at runtime. Or plug in some fancy shader and go wild. Or whatever.

  4. Even if I can sense an inverted Zeta castle back track in my near future, I can’t wait.

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