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Dream Land Java :: Development Logs :: Save The Day

Bogg and Gooey Save The Day was a more than problematic second release of the Dream Land Java project. It marks the first game which could actually be called a game, even if debatably so. It also features Squeaky Bogg as a protagonist.


Background

When Gooey X Moogong was released, it had no intention of being a serious gaming venture. The Kirbj code had existed for years before this joke; it was not developed for it. In fact, boss battles were entirely new. The code had been designed for all of the normal gaming purposes: levels, normal enemies, and the like.

Squeaky Bogg and Galbo

None of the expected stuff had a chance to shine in Goo X Moo, even tho' it all existed first. So, I decided that I would release another demonstration of the Kirbj code very quickly after the first just to show it wasn't a one-trick pony. Or any kind of pony, really. That is often a point of confusion for some reason.

Because of Kirbj's intentions never to be serious, the idea was thought up that Gooey, Waddle Doo, and Squeaky Bogg would try and save Thanksgiving, and thus the SaveTday title. Based on this theme, the new enemies would mostly be food oriented.

All that needed to be done was to draw some pictures; the foundation for everything else was already there. It should have been simple, right? It was also four months ago, so that might be a pretty clear no.



Development

Things started off easily enough: a slew of common enemies were thrown into the mix without incident. With the new enemies came new copy abilities for Gooey. However, all of these things had been developed before -- just not drawn.

Squeaky Bogg, Bimblesnaff's Dream Land avatar who starred in the game, even introduced a bunch of new controls that actually weren't ever planned before, like his bite or Tail Spring. Because of the code's robustness, none of these were issues, either. In fact, it was well before Thanksgiving, and everything was ready -- everything but the levels.


This is where the Level Maker comes into play. When the game started, there was none. Stage objects were very easily created in the Kirbj code. Edited, on the other hand, not so much. Deleting a row or a column caused the coordinates of all enemies and objects in the room to shift, and keeping this up proved rather annoying. Thus, the automation.

Once the Level Maker was finished, I hit yet another roadblock; the convention that I had used to make stages before -- which worked wonderfully when typing them out by hand -- mixed horrendously with the generated code. So, I had to remake the entire level building suite I had already sank quite a bit of time into -- fortunately, for the better.

Several minor delays that should have been non-issues also tried to make my life worse. For one, the applet size was increased. Simple enough, right? Well, after designing the entire game with a smaller visibility, all of the enemy AI and range seemed a little weak and had to be tweaked. Another strange problem was the enemy regeneration rate; Squeaky Bogg could German Suplex an enemy, and they would be right back by the time you walked there again!


Sign of the Times

All of these delays made the Thanksgiving release date quickly vanish; I had planned on Christmas, re-arranging the non-plot and thinking up some hilarious twists to keep both holidays in the game, but even that schedule fell apart. Pretty soon, the game looked mired in unreleasedom, which was sad considering I really didn't even code anything new for it.

It still needed a holiday to be released on, however, and there were not a whole lot to pick from. Eventually, that old favorite Saint Patrick's Day won out. However, the prior two release dates, Thanksgiving and Christmas, still live on in some fashion: the autumnal theme is undeniable with turkey legs and pumpkins, the Ukrainian Carol closes the credits, and a favorite in-joke of Pep Brews as Brew Brews ties the game rather loosely to its actual date of release.


Cuts

It is easy to see what else was left out of a game to be originally titled Goo, Doo, and Bogg Save Thanksgiving. With the Level Maker's development running long, I dropped making the ever-important puffball base for another release. (Waddle Doo uses the same body as many of the Dream Land cast; it is something that cannot be rushed.) I was not going to remove his appearance from the opening sequence at first and simply explain his absence by stating that he was attacked in a stairwell but not to worry -- he'd be champion one month later. This was a rasslin' reference to Jeff Hardy's Survivor Series-Armageddon situation, which was already admitted weak when it was recent; March was no time to try it out.

Also dropped from the game were the enemies Shotzo and Cappy. Shotzo was not so much a time constraint (as it was entirely drawn out), but rather the planned levels did not have any place to stick the cannon.


Features Developed For This Game

  • Invincible enemies (like Gordo)
  • Elemental damage (used to cook Tookeys)
  • Dash Capture action
  • Automatic long dialog sequencing
  • Enemy creation informational flags (used to modify characteristics generically, such as speed and orientation)
  • And, of course, the Level Maker

Play Save The Day now!



Next Oldest Log: Squeaky Bogg Bio
Previous Page: Gooey Against Moogong
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