Having fun while failing at gamedev

One of the more interesting and humbling things about doing work while live streaming on Twitch is if I wind up making some big errors or creating a crazy bug, it’s all live on the internet. Also recorded in a Twitch archive temporarily and on Youtube more permanently afterward. Neat! Scary! It can be stressful for anybody making mistakes on a project in private. More so if there are issues of sensitive timing or budget involved. So why would anybody in their right mind want to do that on camera while tens of people (I’m still a Twitch babby) follow along? Maybe I am super cray.

There are lots of reasons for this or else I wouldn’t be doing it. Trying out and liking open development, more chances for engagement with potential fans and new friends, keeping a measurable and consistent after hours work schedule, and learning that running a stream so far doesn’t radically disrupt my work flow or output is all excellent. But what about those game bugs and failures? It turns out that getting to share them the moment that they’re happening can be pretty fun! Ch-ch-check it out.

Pumpkin Man’s wild ride

When I was setting up Pumpkin Man’s knockback state I had put in a bunch of placement values while trying to get the state to trigger at all. It turned out I forgot to change the state I was switching to in some copied code for about 20 minutes. Once I put the correct state name in, it worked! It worked so well Pumpkin Man would fly right off the screen and through walls and then fall and die in pits. Or he would fly away, fall onto an enemy and immediately zip off again. This was because my timer controlling the length of the knockback state was way too long and there was no deceleration on the x or y speeds. I didn’t expect this happening to be so fun for me but it got me laughing because it was so unexpected.

Super hud battle bros

This was a really weird one. Somehow I mistyped the name of an object I wanted to spawn when the moths died to something that didn’t exist at all in my objects set, but GameMaker didn’t crash. Instead it would spawn buttons from my control config screen (still clickable!) at the positions where the moths died. For a minute I thought something was really wrong. I mean reaaaallyy in a way that would just nuke everything and corrupt files. Turns out it was just one little bad object instance name. It was so strange though!

Fun with bug fixing

Video games are fun. Making video games is fun. Errors and mistakes, with the proper mindset, can be fun too. You get to catch a glimpse of some shred of unexpected something happening. When you’ve been working on a long term passion project and so much of it is already measured and planned, this can be very refreshing. Also with knowledgeable people hanging out in your chat and offering meaningful suggestions in the moment, there’s so much room to be learning and solving it all as you go. It’s always nice when things go right but if something is going to go wrong, try to have some fun along the way.