8-bit Dev Pipe – Week 1


I’ve decided to challenge myself by pairing with a local game designer/artist to make a fun, polished game in under 8 weeks. I’ll be chronicling my progress in these posts, which I’ll cross post everywhere, including my own blog at http://www.superwes.com

One of more prolific and awesome game development shops in St. Louis is Butterscotch Shenanigans, which consists of two brothers, Sam and Seth Coster, who make really great Android and iOS games. A few weeks ago they made a post offering a mentorship course called 8-bit Dev Pipe to virtually anyone in St. Louis that was willing to take it seriously.

I was intrigued when it went up because I’ve been trying for many years to work up the motivation to actually get something to a releasable state. I often work on games until they’ve proven or disproven themselves and then move on to something else, afraid to get myself too invested in them. I have a folder with literally 30 unfinished games in it (I just counted) that I haven’t seen through to the end and I saw this mentorship as an opportunity to be accountable for finishing something and humble myself by accepting that I have a lot to learn about certain areas of game development. I wanted to participate, but I didn’t have a team.

Enter Stephen.

Stephen is a designer at local game development house Simutronics. He commented on the Coster’s dev-pipe announcement saying that he would love to do pixel art on a team, but didn’t have a project. I didn’t say anything at the time, but we randomly bumped into each other at Buffalo Wild Wings and decided to pair up.

We reached out to the Costers to see if they were still accepting applicants and they offered to let us apply. After a short application we were in! But what game to make? Stephen and I tossed a few ideas back and forth, eventually settling on one that uses the core mechanics from something in my unfinished backlog. We’re going to work on a Metroidvania that uses punching as the only interaction. Want to jump? Punch the ground! Want to open a door? Punch it! What to talk to someone? Punch them! It’s a simple verb with a lot of clearly practical uses.

Our first meeting was Tuesday, April 1st, and after a few hours of high level discussion we forged a path forward. Our current goal is getting a character on the screen and making basic movements and interactions that work well and feel tight. Theoretically, if we can nail this goal the rest should be cake. Check back next week for videos of our progress! A tertiary goal is to make my bed every day. I guess I’ll find out why in a few weeks!

If you can read the writing, you can see the milestone goals for each week below. I’ll be trying to post progress updates every week so you can follow along if you’re interested.


This is going to be fun. I’ll post progress videos along the way, and in the end you’ll hopefully be able to download and play the game yourself. Stephen will be posting design and art updates as well, so you should be able to follow this project from both angles. Please post your comments of encouragement or general suggestions below. The game isn’t fully designed and we’re listening, so this is a great opportunity to help make it into the kind of game you want to play! Let’s do this together!

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