Q&A – Blitzmax & the process.

Alex wrote:

Hi Wick,

I’d like to ask you about tech moments about your game –
in previous letter, you said you’re using Blitzmax solution to build game for Windows, Linux and Mac. Does it support Android/ iOS? Why did you choose exactly this tool? Why BASIC, not C++/Java/C#?

Thank you so much.

A couple of reasons, Alex.

1) I’ve dabbled in a couple of other languages (Python primarily, but some Java and C++), but I haven’t really gotten the sense that it would be within my power to code the amount of functionality I want in Rubicon inside of the timeframe that’s set for me. Less BASIC languages may be faster, better built, available on more platforms and have better support, but using Blitzmax I was able to code the core of Rubicon in just over a single weekend (one of practically nonstop work, but still…). There’s probably modules somewhere for those languages that’d give me that sort of power, but-

2) I don’t have enough experience with them. If I were going to go and really be professional about a project or get a career in game design, getting a good handle on one of those aforementioned languages would probably be the first thing I’d try to do. But I’m an amateur working more-or-less alone and have a limited number of tools that I can make do what I want them to do, so those are going to be the ones that I’m going to use for a project like Rubicon. I was talking to a composer the other day who said that “mixing is like black magic, everyone has their own formula.” If you don’t have to worry about compatibility with other people’s works, and can just hand them the finished product, I don’t think that it’s a problem to use whatever tool works for you as long as the finished product doesn’t suffer.

3) Smartphones: honestly, I’m not that interested in making games for them. I know appcraze is everywhere, but as a personal opinion I haven’t found their interface anything but an obstacle to design games around. It’s be like trying to paint a painting with a meerkat strapped to the brush- you might get really good at it, it might be fun, and an entire style of painting could get based on it, but there’s going to be a more narrow style of pictures you’re going to be able to paint. A regular brush/pen (read: mouse+keyboard/console controller) gives you a LOT more flexibility in terms of how to have players interact with the game. Constraints are great, creatively, to design around. But I want different ones?

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By Olive Perry | © 2020 Wickworks
Proud to be a member of PIGsquad, Playful Oasis, and Explorable Explanations.