Welcome to another edition of our Developer Spotlight!
Each week, we (virtually) sit down with a member of our community and talk tech, Repl.it, and a couple of things in between. This week, we spoke to @ameliablackwell—one of our runner ups from our Game Jam!
@ameliablackwell: My name's Amelia, I'm a 17 year old girl and I live in England. I go to school and I study maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
@katyadee: That’s really cool! It sounds like you must have a pretty analytical mind—math, more math, physics, chemistry and that’s to say nothing of your coding endeavors!
How long have you been using Repl.it?
@ameliablackwell: I've been using Repl.it for about a year now, for a few reasons, including that it's easier to share your code with other people, it's usually really easy to use modules, and the helpful code editor environment thing just makes writing code a lot easier.
@katyadee: How did you hear about the game jam?
@ameliablackwell: Basically I just heard about the game jam on Repl.it Talk. I've entered one before, for multiplayer games, but didn't have any success. This time I wanted to do well so I worked really hard on my fishing game before and during the jam.
@katyadee: What kinds of games have you built before?
@ameliablackwell: A lot of text based games on Python, which got progressively better as I learnt more about coding. Probably the first game I made that I was really proud of was a labyrinth/adventure game where the user has to choose which doors to open and then progresses through the game. I've made similar adventure games, and I've also made a hangman game, a code breaker game and of course the fishing game which is definitely the one I've worked on the most. Most of the stuff I code is games. I've tried to learn pygame/graphics and I think I prefer text based games as they are much easier to code, and graphics can easily look bad/unprofessional unless you really know what to do (which I don’t).
@katyadee: What was your game built in?
@ameliablackwell: Python. I got introduced to programming at school using it and straight away I really enjoyed making games on it. It's the only language I know really, which is fine by me because it works great. I tend to use classes and objects for making games, which works super well in python :)
@katyadee: Tell me more about what inspired this game! It was one of my favorites in the competition.
@ameliablackwell: I just really wanted to make a levelling up sort of game. I chose fish because the plural of most types of fish is the same, eg "tuna" is "tuna". It was definitely inspired by Runescape and Stardew Valley as well. I wanted to emulate the look of A Dark Room but I didn't really manage to.
@katyadee: That’s funny, because I definitely got the Stardew Valley vibe. I’m not as familiar with Runescape or A Dark Room, unfortunately. How long did you spend working on it?
@ameliablackwell: I made the first version last summer when I was on holiday but I added a lot of stuff for the game jam. There's a change log on the fishing game post which lists the developments. I probably spent about 1-2 days making the original and about 40+ hours adding all the extra stuff. Thankfully the game jam was during my school holidays so I just worked as much as I could. I got my brother to come up with some of the ideas, including the different lands you can travel to and the items you can find. My favourite development is probably the fishedex :)
@katyadee: What’s next for this game? I’m still playing it, a couple of months on.
@ameliablackwell: I have some ideas, maybe a website with the fishing game? So that the home page just plays the game. I will need to look into a fix for the occasional storage bug where the database gets full and needs to be restored a back up. I might try and look into some Pokemon-vibe graphics.