Rétro, blog, prog.

BW - a post-mortem


Hello. I'm writing this blog post to mention the fact I'm opening up an old and abandoned project's sources for anyone's curiosity. It was an attempt at porting a Pico8 project to Love2D for now forgotten reasons. It ended up as a sandbox project to test a few things.

The source is here : Github

Screenshot of the game
Here's a screenshot of how it looked at one point

And I'm going to copy the README of the source repository I just wrote for people that don't want to check it out on the link.

Postmortem code upload

I decided to publish the sources of this project abandoned for a while now. It might give some ideas to anyone who wants to tinker it. It should run on Love2D 0.10, probably not higher due to API changes.

I don't even remember why I started this project. I had a Pico-8 version that was well developped. In the end it helped me as a sandbox project for small subprojects like the palette feature or th event sequence system, feel free to browse in sequence/ or palette.lua. I'd also suggest looking at the textbox system, it was the cleanest and best developped iteration I had of such textbox until I did my Haxeflixel version.

There are a few garbage files here and there. I'll clean the repo later before archiving it, along with adding a LICENCE file.


  • Arrow keys : move the character or their head
  • space : advance the textbox
  • F1 : screenshot
  • F2 : reload shaders
  • F3 : export the palette
  • F4 : transition to another palette
  • F5 : add debug text to the textbox to test the message queuing
  • F6 : reset the sequence
  • F12 : force a crash to test the custom error handler

A few notes on the subsystems

There are a few features here and there that might be interest to pick from, be it subsystems or features that could be used out of the project.

Error handler

Using stacktraceplus, I built a custom version of Love2D's error screen to have a bit more information on the context of the error, including local variables. The error handler is located in `errhandler**, requiring it should automatically override the function.

Beware: it's based on 0.10's own error handler and might not fit for 11.x or higher.

Game states

I guess I did my own game state system. It uses an input handler for controlling entities and dispatches love callbacks to the current state. Nothing really fancy, I wanted to have an environment close to Haxeflixel. States are based on layers that just are groups of drawables.

Input handling

If my memory serves me right, I wanted to make something to decouple handling input, actions and the target in a similar way than Rewired. I don't remember how it works all but there are controllers that'd offer a list of bindables actions over a designated entity and the handler would update the current used controllers. The handler accepts a function and a callee to allow controllers to be updated. It's quite blurry, so I can't remind the details.


A quick note on rooms: they're loaded level parts that'd link to other rooms depending on certain conditions (such as moving past a screen side). They also act as the object loaders and each of them own a few layers to store them and display them on the proper position and depth.


A sequence is a chain of nodes. Nodes can be Actions or Conditions (or "gates/barriers/etc.."). Actions are coroutine that are called until they're done where conditions are just making the sequence stop until a specific condition or sub sequences are done. It would allow updating multiple entities at the same time. It could be a good start to make cinematics or simultaneous orchestrated entity manipulation. In the `gamestate.lua file, I made an example where the player would move by itself while the textbox would be updatable.

Alas, such system is pretty complex as you can see. To make "simple" actions I had to make the sequence/simple.lua file for actions that were actually a bt more complicated (specially the input handling that'd cause conflicts). I still might have a few notes about them elsewhere.

Shader reloading

To make a quick live-reload setting to test the palette transition or the wave effect, I wrote a small class helper to allow me to reload on a keypress. Nothing fancy that'd require platform-specific libraries to listen on file events, alas.


Sorry, but it's been too long I haven't delved in its code. If my memory doesn't fail me, it's just a simple character-per-character without effects textbox. The really simple model. I didn't need something more complex than this when I ported most of the Pico-8 version to this. Special mention to past me for the coroutine bit.

Palette export

Ah, utils/palette_export.lua. I did a small program out of it to quickly generate palettes. Nothing really fancy, it just helped me getting a small auto-updating palette monitor while the color transitions would happen (and eventually save them too).