Week 24: Post-game-jam fixes to Momma Duck, and my Scaffolder and Surfacer frameworks

A screenshot from Momma Duck showing a couple new HUD panels: one shows the time, one shows the number of ducklings currently in tow.
I added a lot of Scaffolder configuration improvements,
like configurable key-value HUD displays.

I changed email subscription services for my devlog this week, so hopefully this email is reaching you OK!

tl;dr: I made post-game-jam fixes to Momma Duck, and lots of follow-up fixes to my Scaffolder and Surfacer frameworks.

What happened last week?


During the game-jam, I thought of lots of things that I thought were missing or that weren't working as well as they should have in my Scaffolder and Surfacer frameworks. So a lot of my work last week week—and this next week—relates to these improvements.

Laundry list

  • Post-game-jam upkeep:
    • Rated other game-jam submissions.
    • Responded to comments on my game-jam submission.
    • Responded to reviews on my Godot-documentation PRs.
    • Wrote a devlog post on my GMTK game jam experience.
    • Created a post on my portfolio website for my game-jam game.
    • Added new cards to snoringcat.games:
      • Squirrel Away, Momma Duck, Surfacer, and Scaffolder.
  • Replacing subscribe-via-email:
    • :( Google is killing support for email subscriptions in Blogger in two weeks.
    • So I needed to figure out how to replace it.
    • In order to replace the easy Blogger-built-in feature, it sounds like I essentially have to do something heavy-handed like use https://mailchimp.com with a bunch of custom configuration.
    • So I went with Mailchimp:
      • I can exported a CSV with the emails of all the current subscribers to my blog (from Feedburner).
      • I setup an automated campaign in Mailchimp based on the RSS feed from my blog.
      • I can a subscribe-to-my-list landing page with Mailchimp.
      • I then set up all sorts of other complex configuration details with Mailchimp.
        • :( I apparently must include my mailing address in every email I send with Mailchimp (in order to comply with anti-spam law).
        • :/ Apparently, I also have to include a Mailchimp ad in the footer of my emails.
          • This is probably a consequence of using the free tier.
      • I wrote some custom JavaScript to include in my Blogger pages, which will create and inject a new SUBSCRIBE button in the header of my blog, which will then navigate to my new Mailchimp landing page.
        • This subscribe button should look just like the previous Feedburner-based subscribe button.
      • I then verified that every step of this process worked!
        • You all probably saw an email about a test blog post I made on Thursday.
        • Sorry about the noise!
      • I imported my old subscriber contacts into Mailchimp.
      • I deactivated my old Feedburner email system.
      • I then discovered that when I disable the subscribe widget, some styles are no longer included.
      • So I re-enabled the widget, scraped all relevant style rules from my site, copied them into the custom styles that I include, and then re-disabled the widget.
  • Post-game-jam fixes to Momma Duck:
    • Make various improvements to the momma and duckling animations.
    • Make the quack and peep sounds sound more like what they are.
    • Add a splash sound.
    • Add throttling to exclamation marks.
    • Add some margin to momma-duck-with-enemy collisions, so that Momma can more easily sit still and guard ducklings.
    • Show enemy exclamation mark even if they are already moving away.
    • Tween camera out slightly at level-end.
    • Hopefully fix a music pitch glitch in HMTL.
    • Add displays for counts: HUD (heads-up display) and pause menu.
    • Create a separate repository for all of these post-jam-submission changes, so that I can easily distinguish between what the game looked like before and after.
    • I created this separate repository under the SnoringCatGames account.
    • I then setup data collection stuff for the non-jam version of Momma Duck.
      • Privacy policy doc
      • Terms and conditions doc
      • Google Analytics property
      • Google Cloud Storage bucket for automatic crash-log reporting
      • Momma Duck in-app configuration
      • Snoringcat.games URLs
  • Lots of improvements to Scaffolder and Surfacer, for things that I noticed while using these frameworks for another game during the game jam.
    • Make the HUD key-value items (like a current-level-time display, or a current-number-of-ducklings-in-tow display) generally configuble with Scaffolder.
    • Refactor how HUD content is configured and stored.
    • Split-apart settings screen into multiple groups: main, annotations, HUD, misc.
    • Restructure various types of configuration to be more consolidated.
      • Audio, GUI, Surfacer, app metadata.
      • My top-level configuration class was becoming _very_ long, so I needed to break it apart into smaller, easier-to-search-through pieces.
      • Create a handy method for setting up configs that are likely to change between runs.
    • Break long lines.
    • Add auto-populated settings-screen enablement items for the new key-value-list items shown in the HUD.
    • Refactor pause, game-over, level-select item-class configurations to just specify the whole list instead of specifying separate inclusions and exclusions, which were based on default values from the framework.
    • Save whether a level has been finished.
    • Move fastest-time save-state to Scaffolder.
    • Fix Scaffolder to not record scores or times unless actually finishing the level.
    • Add a level-not-finished game-over cadence configuration.
A screenshot of the settings screen in Momma Duck, showing new groupings of the various settings controls.
Added new groupings within the settings screen.

What's next?

  • Continue adding various post-game-jam fixes to both my frameworks and to Momma Duck.

🎉 Cheers!

This is a simple icon representing my sabbatical.