Shaun Inman

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I'll be updating this as questions pop up here and elsewhere so feel free to ask away. (Bosses can be a common chokepoint so I'll be starting there, I've already added hints for the first two.)
I hate getting stuck in a game but also don't like having a solution handed to me. For Ratcheteer I created a simple, spoiler-free hint page to help guide you towards discovering your own answers if you ever get stuck:…
Tet oui ghuf dryd dra Astral myhkiyka eh Ratcheteer fyc ehcbenat po Al Bhed vnus Final Fantasy X?
It's pretty neat that every Monday a new wave of players get to experience Ratcheteer. Was this your week? I wrote a bit about it on the first week. I have some more spoiler-y production stuff to share too. Just trying to figure out the right time for it.…
(cues up A New Beginning) I hope you'll give it a listen and show @8bitmatt your support. And in case you missed it I also wrote a bit about Ratcheteer's production yesterday:…
And a special Ratcheteer Deluxe Sound Version is available on Bandcamp:…
Ratcheteer Original Sound Version is available on all major streaming platforms
The one regret I have about the soundtrack is that I had to compress it so much to fit under the 100MB download limit. Fortunately @8bitmatt mixed and mastered every track in glorious stereo for the soundtrack releases. Yes, releases plural!
The variations of Master's Hands and the Astral theme offer a quiet and playful contrast to the various adventurous region themes, the driving energy of the dungeon theme Oubliette, and the mystery and dread of Crater.
And I think Ratcheteer has some amazing music. The main theme Odyssey is a perfect, triumphant call to adventure. It's the first thing you hear on launch and when you set out from Mechanic town for the first time and later for the last time.
I think the closest a dev can get to experiencing their own game as a first time player might is that moment, after months of toiling on mechanics and the mundane glue that holds it all together, they launch the game and are greeted by its title screen music.
The truth is for most of its development a game isn't much fun to play. It's just a silent, buggy piece of software standing between you and your vision for it. Only when it's fun is your work really done. And then you move onto the next one.
Whenever I tell someone I work in games their response is usually something along the lines of "that must be so much fun, playing games all day".
One of the things I most look forward to when making a game is adding @8bitmatt's music and sound effects. I usually try to hold off as long as I can because the addition is always so reinvigorating. A bit like saving the best bite of your favorite meal for last.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed the long road to releasing it!…
The final third of the story is the hidden developer room (and the kids we made along the way). When I first created that room I pixeled Lincoln as a bundled up baby. A couple years later I repixeled him as a toddler. A year after that I repurposed his baby sprite for Sydney.
(I also used Cross when programming @KeitaTakahash's season one game Crankin's Time Travel Adventure.
Wait, what's Cross? Well, C and I didn't get along. OOP in C is convoluted at best and I couldn't abide the redundency of separate header and source files. So I created a superset of C called Cross that precompiles to standard C and addresses my biggest issues with the language.
I optimized as much as I could as I went but it was a losing battle given the scope of the game. In October of 2017 I began the 3 month process of porting the already complete Lua version of Ratcheteer to C. Or rather Cross.
But that's only half (a third of?) the story. The game was doing too much and the framerate was becoming an issue. By the end of March 2015 I was already casually reading up on object oriented programming in C. Just in case...
By the end of January 2016 the entire map was done. The ending was programmed by April 2016. The final final edits to the map landed in October of 2016. Yes, I've been sitting on this game for a while.
In April 2015 I emailed @8bitmatt about music and sound effects for the game. In March of the following year I emailed @sproutsnout about illustrations for the ending. I think Matt and Charlie both knocked it out of the park. As usual.
Things moved quickly from there. Room transitions, text boxes, tilesets, threats, and bosses. Levels were designed in Tiled with a web-based preprocessor to make the resulting files a little more digestible to my game engine.
Two more days and they were blocking with the Drill Shield. Another day later dashing off in the Roll Armor. All the core abilities (minus the final one) were done by the end of January 2015.
By the 20th the protagonist was walking and swinging the Wrench Sword. Two days later jumping and gliding. The next day the oppressive darkness that permeates the first half of the game and the lantern that pushes it back.
Like most things I see through to the end I can't really pinpoint the genesis of the idea. I have this cryptic note from January 12, 2015: "The Ratcheteer idea evolved from the Crank Bots idea I had over the weekend." So I guess it was always going to be Ratcheteer.
I was immediately drawn to Playdate with its physical controls and timed release of a season of games. A high contrast black and white screen, two buttons and a d-pad—and a crank!? Reasonable constraints, reliable input, and novelty, that's literally a recipe for engaging games.
No prospect seemed especially promising. Touch or motion controls? Microtransactions? Gatekeepers? Pass, pass, pass, and pass.
I was sold on Playdate the instant Panic showed it to me. Mobile gaming's race to the bottom, the resulting rise of microtransactions, the vastness of Steam, and the relative difficulty of publishing on a major console had me losing interest in game development.
The first wave of Playdates received Ratcheteer this morning so I thought I'd write something to mark the occasion. This thread contains light spoilers (item names and the presence of a certain secret).…
Oh! A new Playdate Update video is here! It recaps the great developer things we've released this year, like Pulp and the Playdate SDK. Please enjoy it. There's one extra important bit in the update. Playdates in Group One will begin shipping… …today.
Retweeted by Shaun Inman
Pulp : Playdate SDK :: Appetizer : Main Course…
And not just in the unexpected, solving a puzzle within its unique constraints, kind of way (side-scrolling, arcade action? in a top-down narrative game engine? okay!?) but also in the more prototypical Pulp fashion, just a good story with cute graphics and chirpy tunes.
I know it sounds like a line but I really am excited to see what everyone makes with it.
Neat tidbit, the music for that trailer was created in Pulp itself. 🤯…k
So we soft launched a little thing yesterday afternoon. Pulp!…
You can remove stolen images on OpenSea by reporting to Google (their image host). I just did it for my Pixelween collage, see the (now empty) page on OpenSea:… Google processed my report in only 5 hours. Instructions below. RT to spread knowledge!
Retweeted by Shaun Inman
The speed runs of this game are going to be a sight to see.
Hard Mode Unlocked _cries_
I can’t believe I’m playing a good new 2D Metroid. Bravo @mercurysteam.
Hey! Did you know that IKENFELL has physical copies available for pre-order for the Switch and PS4!? It comes with this beautiful reversible box-art by @neptuneboneface and you can get it at
Retweeted by Shaun Inman
Omg. A holy-grail literal pile of Neo Geo Pocket Color PROTOTYPES. The seller had no idea — bidding started at ¥1 and they apologized that labels had been removed!!! ¥522,000 ($4,938.12) with 16 hrs left. Someone PLEASE preserve these — see Frank's tweet:…
Retweeted by Shaun Inman
Two years in a row with an iPhone mini release. Still reeling.
A system service that automatically fixes articles when you insert an adjective that starts with a consonant before your noun that starts with a vowel at the last minute.
Just look at baby Pulp, d’aw!
Curious about Pulp? @mrgan wrote an thorough overview for the recently rebranded @gamasutra…
This might be the only pixel remaster I need
Their use of “mixels” all over the UI still hurt to look at though...
I think these double-wide vertical strokes are an even better match for NES/SNES source material, especially given the remaster's widescreen treatment.…
These are now the canonical Final Fantasy III party member names.…
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