Kepler Electronics

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 23rd July 2023 at 1:25pm


Gravitaz is a small game I developed between summer 2018 and summer 2020. I aimed to create something reminiscent of the arcade games I grew up playing with my dad, such as Galaga and Galaxian. Functionally, it is much more reminiscent of Space Invaders, as the whole collection of enemies moves down the screen with increasing speed as ships are picked off.

It was developed in Pico-8, a Fantasy Console, which is a small program that aims to create limitations reminiscent of the consoles of old like the NES and Atari 2600. These limitations come in the form of a palette limitation (16 colors), a map size limitation, a code size limitation, and a fixed resolution of 128x128 pixels. This helps to prevent scope creep and to keep games at a manageable size.

Version 1.0 included

  • Six enemy types, each of which fires a different projectile
  • Enemies drop coins which can be collected
  • Shop system where you can buy extra lives and better firepower

This was released on July 17, 2020 after a couple years of development. This was the first instance of KLPS, a lightweight particlesystem I developed that powered the stars in the background. This would eventually be updated as I started to develop Thwimbly in mid 2021 to include more features.

Version 1.1 changes:

  • Bossfights
  • Music
  • Persistent Highscores
  • Bugfixes

This was released at some point, I honestly can't remember when, probably 2021.

Version 1.2 changes:

  • Improved Logo
  • Better backgrounds including space dust
  • Less distracting stars

This was released on August 4, 2022, and ported over the improvements to KLPS that I had made in early 2021, which allowed particles of different diameters. This allowed the space dust background to be made, which really improved the feel of the game in my opinion.

There are still a few things I'd like to work on, such as a high score leaderboard, even if its just a local one. However, most of my gamedev time is going towards Thwimbly, as that's getting pretty close to the finish line.

The code for Gravitaz can be found at GRVC