Good news - I’ve made up my mind

It’s been a week or so since the previous devlog where I raised a few important questions about the current trajectory of Indexing Your Heart, and I’ve been hard at work in terms of answering those questions.

It’s been a week or so since the previous devlog where I raised a few important questions about the current trajectory of Indexing Your Heart, and I’ve been hard at work in terms of answering those questions. I imagine this devlog post won’t be a lot in terms of progress updates, but I figured this would be an important one to write.

The crafter’s hand

In the previous devlog, I had discussed the possibility of moving away from Godot in favor of Swift and SpriteKit:

I've always been enamored with developing apps for iOS and macOS since I learned the Swift programming language years ago. […] I'm torn. I could make Indexing Your Heart in Godot, tune it for the various platforms it will win on, reach a wide audience, and be happy. Or, I could make Indexing Your Heart the game I want it to be with the absolutely best integration at the risk of a small audience.

To say that I thought a lot about this is an understatement, but, suffice to say, I've bitten the bullet and switched. As of a few days ago, I created the starter project for Indexing Your Heart in a multiplatform game template, using SwiftUI and SpriteKit, localizations and other goodies included. I’m excited to take the next step in shaping the game to my next masterpiece.

Setting the stage

Next, I mentioned that I was reconsidering the core gameplay loop:

[…] I’m very much reconsidering the genre of this game to be a puzzle game. And instead of trying to come up with good puzzles in a short timespan, I’ll keep working and reiterating until it feels just right. If it takes five years, then so be it. As for what the puzzles might entail, I have a few ideas floating around, but I’m not 100% sure at the time of writing this.

I did a little more than reconsider it; I spent nearly a week focusing on a brand-new gameplay loop. I’m still working on fleshing out some of the more intricate details, but I can at least give you a small snippet from the specification I wrote up:

The game will heavily focus on two primary aspects: [Marty’s] inner fears and anxieties she faces on a regular basis, and [their] growing relationship with the other main character (MC). On each day, players will play as [Marty] while she prepares for her date […] However, each level will focus on a specific fear or anxiety that [they] faces on a regular basis, such as the fear of not being accepted into society. These fears and anxieties will manifest as obstacles for players to overcome with a series of puzzles tuned for that specific anxiety.

This new gameplay loop was based off an idea I wrote up in a draft back in May that I’ve since fleshed out in more detail. I’m really excited about this new approach, as I’ll get to play around with some interesting ideas as the game progresses. I don’t want to spoil everything just yet, so I can’t provide much for the time being; however, I can’t wait for everyone to play around with these new ideas.

To act gracefully

Finally, I spent some extra time working on a brand-new Code of Conduct. If you recall, from the very first blog post about this game, I mentioned how important it was for me to license the code under an ethical source license:

I make a good handful of my projects open-source because I believe in contributing back to the open-source community as appreciation for all the help I get, [and], like myself, I want to be able to help others in the same way, whether it be game modders, translators, or other members of the open-source community. However, I realize that there are quite a few components to my game that, if misused or abused, can seriously hurt people, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community.

The last point is extremely important to me. I plan to explore a lot of ideas with this game (albeit not as many as Thekla’s upcoming game), and I want to be able to do so in a safe environment. As such, in addition to licensing the code under a license that will ensure this safe environment at a source code level, I have also written up a new Code of Conduct that will ensure this safe environment in the entire project. You can already view this new Code of Conduct in the source code repository, though I plan to make a separate page on the website available that contains the most up-to-date information on it.

In the coming weeks, I plan to show progress on a prototype for some levels and other bits about the journey. Let’s make something great! 🔨🐺