My first week of prototyping The Botanist has been productive and swift! I’ve got basic maps rendering, character sprites walking around, basic input for desktop and mobile, and a decent file structure and build system.

Phaser.io has been great for prototyping. I’m used to writing game physics and engines from scratch, so having the timing, physics and collisions handled for me is great. Performance is decent on mobile as far as I can tell (though I haven’t tested too extensively).

My worst complaint about Phaser so far is that I feel it should be easier to draw primitives as sprites, but I’m not too bothered by this. Drawing primitives as sprites is possible, just a little more tedious than I’d like. Otherwise, hats off to Phaser. I’m very impressed with it so far, and I do feel as though I’ve made the right choice (I tested HaxeFlixel, considered native apps, and also ImpactJS).

I’ve set up a modular file structure to organize my code. I’m actually using make, not grunt, to run my builds – I do love unix tools, and I personally haven’t found too much of an advantage to grunt over make.

I’ve also built three different character types that leverage custom Traits (all three possess the ‘walks’ and ‘follows’ trait, albeit with different target) – the Player character, a follower character, and a mill-about character. You can see them below (walk to the right to find the mill-about-er).

Artwork and graphics is my biggest concern in the development of The Botanist. For a little while, I was even struggling with finding graphics to prototype with! But I did stumble across some good tilesets on OpenGameArt.org– it really just takes some digging.

Finally, my find of the week, which I’m very excited about, is the Universal LPC Spritesheet/Character Generator. While this doesn’t fit our final production art needs, this single tool alleviated all my stress about finding prototype sprites.

Here’s a demo of this week’s build (click to move):