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Game Bytes · March 2024

Game Bytes is our monthly series taking a peek at the world of gamedev on GitHub—featuring game engine updates, game jam details, open source games, mods, maps, and more. Game on!

Game Bytes · March 2024

Game Bytes is our monthly series taking a peek at the world of gamedev on GitHub—featuring game engine updates, game jam details, open source games, mods, maps, and more. Game on!

Game news

Wizard simulator KeeperRL hits 1.0

After 11 years of development, KeeperRL is celebrating the big 1.0 and is now out of early access. Billed as “the ultimate evil wizard simulator,” KeeperRL is a roguelike base builder that lets you dig into the earth to expand your dungeon and build up to intimidate the countryside with a fortress. The 1.0 release introduces minor villains, new workshops, new items, and many other improvements. So, tent your fingers evilly and check out KeeperRL on Steam.

HaxeFlixel port of Canabalt 🏃🏻‍♂️🏢

Canabalt has returned to the web! @AdamAtomic‘s 2009 Flash game didn’t invent the endless runner genre: it set it on fire. While it has remained available on various other platforms, it’s back in your browser with an official port by @ninjamuffin99. He tells us that it’s a very faithful port, since it was built with HaxeFlixel, a descendant of both Flash’s ActionScript and Canabalt‘s original Flixel framework. Start your daring escape now, or check out the source on GitHub.

Megacity Metro struts Unity’s stuff

The Unity team has released Megacity Metro, a demo for building a game in Unity with a little bit of everything: large scale multiplayer, cross-platform clients, prediction netcode, and server-authoritative gameplay. The open source demo is an interesting peek behind the curtain. If a game uses a lot of what Unity has to offer, what does it look like? Megacity Metro is one impressive answer. Head over to the project site or repo to learn more.

Return to Area 51

Classic first-person shooter Area 51 was originally released in 2005 for Playstation 2, Xbox, and Windows. The preservationists of Project Dreamland have since shared source code “found at a garage sale of a former THQ developer.” Work is now ongoing to see if the game can be built and run on modern systems. Get yourself ready to pay a visit to “Groom Lake” by checking out the project on GitHub.

Engine watch

Defold 1.7

Defold, the all-in-one cross-platform game engine and editor, has shipped version 1.7. Defold 1.7 includes a new API for converting world to local coordinates, getting and setting sprites’ vertex attributes, and many bug fixes. There’s much more to the release, but you’ll have to read the Defold 1.7 release notes to get all the details.

Mods, maps, tools, and more

The Mirror

Screenshot of The Mirror.

Godot GDScript

The Mirror is an all-in-one game development environment, built atop Godot Engine. The no/low-code engine and editor promises to help you “edit a game with friends in real-time.” The project just went open source on March 15. Read the announcement, then head over to the repo to get started.

Discord Embedded App SDK in developer preview

Discord has unveiled a new embedded app SDK. Now in a preview, developers will be able to create multiplayer games and other social activities in an <iframe> that runs directly within the Discord client. The SDK handles coordination between Discord and the third-party applications. We’re excited to see how developers will connect chat communities with their games! Head over to the Discord site for more.

New Phaser Docs go wherever you go

Phaser, a desktop and mobile web game framework, has shipped a brand new docs app called Phaser Explorer. Phaser Explorer is a new way to check out reference documentation, play with sample code, and explore the Phaser API. In a standout move for gamedev docs, Phaser Explorer is a progressive web application (PWA), so it works offline. Plus, in some browsers (such as Microsoft Edge), you can install the PWA as a standalone app. Try out Phaser Explorer now.

Game jams

Upcoming jams

  • Gamedev.js Jam (April 13 to 26)—Build an HTML5 game in 13 days, with a theme to be announced when the jam opens.
  • Fish Fest (April 1 to 8)—Not some kind of April Fools joke, I swear. All games created must feature fish. PROMINENTLY.

Recently-ended jams

7DRL recently wrapped its 20th year of jamming to make and finish a roguelike in 7 days or less. Though voting is still in progress, it’s already clear that there are many great entries this year. Here are a few entries to play and hack on:

  • GladiatorRL (source) challenges you with gladiatorial combat, focused on movement and positioning. The game explores a fresh combat system using abilities in space—moving both yourself and your enemies, interrupting or intercepting attacks—not simply bumping into opponents.
  • A Snake on a Plane (source) is a clever, funny homage to both Snakes on a Plane and Metal Gear ( ” Snake? Snake!? Snaaaake!” ). You’ll get it when you play it. And is that a nod to Canabalt in the background?

Animation showing Snake on a Plane gameplay.

Game jam game of the month: Lithic

This month’s Game Jam Game of the Month may have you sliding dull rocks around, but the game itself is a gem. Lithic, an entry to Brackeys Game Jam 2024.1, is a sokoban puzzle game with a twist: to proceed, you’ll need some help from the statues that reside in Lithic‘s levels. The game won’t just test your logic skills, you’ll solve some lightly challenging word games, too. With excellent art, music, tutorialization, and written dialogue, don’t delay sliding into Lithic on

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