July 9

This is my game …. As of July 2019

Swordsman’s counter allows for immediate follow-ups

What you’ll find is here small passion project made by one person (that’s me, if you didn’t catch my drift there). The goal for this project is to create a fighting game that experiments with the formula for traditional platform fighting game mechanics. My vision for the project is small scale and by that I mean I’m gonna try to do enough to call this a game without going crazy. So for now I’m sticking to 3 full characters with distinct play styles and movesets. There’s hope for an online mode but let’s be real I don’t know the first thing about networking let alone networking for a fighting game, and learning that right now would be way above my paygrade. What I will be including is standard local play with up to 4 players battling in stock and timed battles. Oooooh, aaaahhhh. Yeah who am I kidding, just read the damn rules. 


Heavy attacks are slow but will send opponents flying at high percents

If you’re unfamiliar with platform fighters (games like super smash bros) then here is the gist of the concepts this game shares with that genre. The goal of each match is to knock your opponent off the screen until they run out of lives or until the time runs out. Attacks deal damage in the form of percentages. The higher an opponent’s percentage the farther they will be sent flying across the screen making it easier to knock them off. The combat in these kinds of fighting games revolves around the mobility of characters. Fights take place in 2D arenas, but they are filled with platforms and walls that all players can interact with. This allows them to move around in a similar fashion to games of the platformer genre. Such movement causes fights to be both fluid and chaotic.

Some of the more unique mechanics of the game are the extra abilities I’ve given the players. Players can run and jump, but they can also dash in the air or on the ground and each character can jump off walls. Aside from movement players have a wide range of offensive and defensive options. Each fighter has light attacks, heavy attacks, special attacks and assist attacks.  What makes this interesting is the chain combo system built into the game. This means that many attacks can simply be canceled into one another leading to strings of attacks. Players can block these attacks with no repercussions of a limited shield. However, there is also the ability to grab which can affect even blocking opponents. This forms a rock paper scissors system like many other fighter games. Blocking beats Attacks, Grabbing beats Blocking and Attacks beat Grabs. Many of these mechanics will be getting posts all to themselves so that I can explain them in even further detail. Keep in mind I’m also still fairly early into development, at least I think I am. I’m more than willing to make major balance and mechanical changes to create a fun environment to play in.


After a few months, progress has been steady and I’ve made a summer end goal to release a demo of the game for anyone to play. Theses are the features I plan to have done and available for the demo:

  •       One finished and fully playable character
  •       One Assist character(a.k.a bullet one in assist form)
  •       Timed and stock battles
  •       Four player local functionality
  •       1-2 stages
  •       Basic CPUs

I’m hoping to get a lot of constructive feedback to make the game better and I just generally hope people enjoy playing it.


Game development has always been a great interest of mine and I’m using this project to act as my self-given test to see if I’m really dedicated enough to commit to this career path. I’m setting goals and deadlines to challenge myself and to quickly get the game out to people who want to play it. I’ve been experimenting with social media to get the game seen and to get people interested and I’ve already gotten some cool results.

But hey, who knows? With enough support and positive reception I could spend more time on the project. I could make polls for upcoming characters and color schemes for current fighters,

and create a beta-testing community for balance changes and new mechanics.

Then again everyone might hate this game, which if you do, it’s totally fine. Not like I’ve dedicated six months of my life to this for you to enjoy or anything. It’s chill, bruh. Either way I at least hope someone finds some joy in it and maybe even takes up game development for themselves. (Kidding, don’t do that to yourselves unless you too aspire to devote your valuable time and energies to making stick figures who punch each other).


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July 6

Hello World!


A visual representation of throwing myself into game development

Welcome to a game development blog run by a tired computer science nerd. The game in question is a platform fighting game (Super smash bros style) with a hand drawn stick figure aesthetic. I say hand drawn but everything is digitally drawn in photoshop, a piece of software I totally paid for. Nevertheless, I draw all the art myself adding on to the pile of work required to make this game aside from the mountain of “real” work I have with my “job” and “education”. So if you’re here to learn more about the game I’ll be using this site to post updates semi regularly. Updates will range from animations to gameplay mechanics but I also intend to make long winded post about the current/planned elements of the game. I’ll talk about how certain gameplay mechanics work and attempt to explain why I spent long hours torturing my self implementing certain features.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t referred to the game by name that’s because I don’t actually have a title as of posting this. The closest thing I have is Drawing Battle which is a rip off of one of my previous projects called Drawing Wars. I won’t get into the details of that project yet but if you’ve read this far without getting bored maybe I can fix that by talking about myself. My name is Travis Barnes and I’m a senior computer science engineer at Lehigh University. I came to be a computer scientist after multiple mistakes in career interests. I wanted to make video games as a kid but did absolutely zero work into advancing those interests and convinced myself it’d be a waste of time. In high school, I wanted to be an actuary, which if you don’t know is a person you hire to calculate risk using tons of math. When I realized that no amount of money would make me content with doing math for the rest of my life I turned to chemicals. I came to Lehigh University in the hope of becoming the next great chemical engineer and stuck with it for 3 semesters. It was in semester 4 that I actually took more than one chemical engineering for the first time, which made dread the idea of dwelling in that field forever. So along with a significant percentage of the other chemical engineers in my class, I jumped ship and fled else where. This is when I found computer science. During the same dreadful semester I took the intro level computer science course and funny enough it was my only class ever where I looked forward to more incoming assignments. Everyone thought I was crazy and even

Android Studio is a lovely time if your computer isn’t terrible

crazier for not majoring in CS instead of chemical engineering. So after accepting that my summer must be sacrificed in order to catch up in credits, I made the switch.

Now with a new found passion for computer science, why wouldn’t I try to rehash my old interest in game development. If I had learned anything from this little journey of mine it’d be that doing something you love will help with the crushing feeling of student debt. So I used the limited knowledge I could and started making games. I started off in JavaFX and made squares move around a window which slowly morphed into a square that shot circles at things you clicked on the screen. While it wasn’t anything to brag about, it was truly my baby steps into where I am now and where I’d like to go. With a new semester underway I began to take some more challenging courses leaving me with little room to mess around like the summer permitted me. The most notable of courses was an android development course that guided me into the messy territory that is Android Studio and mobile development. Midway through the semester I learned of an app competition being held toward the end of November. While initially I was uninterested I soon thought it would be an interesting challenge to make a game using my limited experience in Java and Android Studio. In reality, it was my anxiety surrounding my limited resume worthy experience that lead me to participate.

If you’ve used android studio before you know that it’s made to help developers make stuff like social media apps or apps with actual use but it is literally the last thing you’d want to use as a game engine. BUT. . . if you’re desperate like me, you’ll use what you have to make something presentable in a month. So i decided to make my first real game and lucky for me I love the idea of creating games based in very complicated genres. What came out of this month of crunch time was Drawing Wars, a small scale turn-based RPG with a doodle aesthetic (the origin of my current game’s aesthetic). While I put a ton of work into the game I didn’t expect people to like it or think much of it. The competition itself was a nerve racking experience. I looked around at a bunch of other really smart nerds with impressive apps and stood at my own table petrified of the judges soon to come. After mumbling my way through my gameplay demo a few times I got the hang of it and was reassured with a few positive responses. Once the judges came around I felt pretty comfortable and got to show off what I knew and answered their technical questions as best as i could. What I didn’t expect was for my game to win the competition. It was a very validating moment seeing how so much of my time and effort managed to get the respect of my professors and representatives from actual tech companies. Although maybe it goes to show a decent project made by one person can gain more respect than a good project made by seven people.


After relishing in my newly rewarded Google swag with a slightly boosted ego, the courses of the following semester shot that down quickly. I attempted to continue development of Drawing Wars during the break between semesters but in the end decided to leave that project be and moved on. So at the peak of mid terms what else do you do besides your absolute best to NOT do course work and study. Like a normal human being I did as such and decided to create a new game. Since I’m only 50% of a masochist, I decided to not torture myself again with Android Studio. This time I figured  an actual game engine would make a significantly better environment to make a game, shocking I know. So I went with Game Maker Studio 2. I had a week’s worth of experience with Unity prior and wasn’t the biggest fan of it so I thought why not try something different. With a spring break inbound and zero plans of doing anything normal like not constantly working, I went head on into playing with Game Maker.

What you may not have known about me is that I’m a bit of a fighting game enthusiast. I grew up playing several entries in both the Marvel vs Capcom and Smash bros series of games. I love the bombastic visuals and legendary cast of characters in both series which is why I choose to make not only a fighting game but one with heavy inspirations from both series. So if you’ve made it this far you’re either someone I know personally or a very bored online stranger but either way thank you for reading. I look forward to continuing my journey of making this game and I promise future post will deal entirely with the game rather than having me ramble through my life story.



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