I made this little game in one hour during a 3h minijam at the TIGjam UK 2 (January 2010). The theme was “sunshine”. After one hour brainstorming and not coming up with anything interesting, I just started to throw in some Löve code and came up with this two-player game (same computer). Very simple indeed.
At that time I was interested in moving towards multiplayer, instead of restricting myself to single-player games. I had been considering doing a multiplayer version of GunFu Deadlands, actually. I am interested in the dynamics that can arise through the interaction between several (human) players, in terms of gameplay.
I downloaded a networking library for Löve2D called Lube-X, and threw in some code for a basic server and client, where you could move a box around the screen. I was not happy at all with the results: the comunication (on localhost, no actual network involved) was very slow. It seems Lube-X uses TCP, no matter what, and I would have to study how this protocol works and how to cleverly format my packets so that the comunication was fluent. The abstraction doesn’t “just work”. Instead of dedicating a long time learning about the whole subject of networking for games, I wanted to focus on designing games. I wanted a ready solution I could easily use by calling a couple of API functions somewhere. Anyway, I decided to do the first experiments in two-player gaming on a same computer, sharing the keyboard, so I would not have to worry about networking at all.
And then I found the biggest roadblock: Testing. Since I am mostly a solo developer, for adjusting/balancing two player (or more) games, I would need someone to help me. I still don’t know how to overcome this obstacle, it seems I’ll need to kidnap someone and force him to play my game with me again and again, hundreds of times. Multiplayer games is then something I am not going to focus on, in the coming months, due to this.
Note: I was using a netbook running Windows XP. I didn’t bother to create executables for other platforms, since this is such a small, unimportant project. You can still download the löve file and run it in your system if you have Löve2D 0.5 installed.