Playdate Zig - Part 3 Game intro

I’ve been making slow and not that steady progress with my Playdate game in Zig. So thought I’d write a bit of a status update of where I am with it, what I’m trying to achieve and some of the challenges I have faced or are likely to face. As much to get my own thoughts straight as anything else.

For anyone interested in the WIP - the repo is open sourced here: Playdate-Next Repo. When the game is done I might release it through or something.


The game is heavily influenced by one of my favourite mobile games Minigore; which is a fast paced twin-stick shooter in which you fight off hordes of monsters/zombies/etc. I remember playing Minigore for the longest time, dying and retrying over and over. They really nailed the gameplay experience with the balance between the weighty feel of the enemies (they took multiple hits and were pushed back) but also were lightweight enough that you could take on a horde and win. The chaos and carnage of having 100 or so enemies on a small mobile screen was great fun.

The thought of having swarms of enemies surrounding you and mowing them down with a little Playdate crank-powered gatling gun just really appealed to me. Because of the input differences, the game I’m making will be similar to the “auto-aim” mode in Minigore. So the player is focused on shooting, moving to avoid enemies and moving to gather resources and the game will auto-pick the targets to aim at.

The aim of the game will be to beat your highscore for any given level but also to collect unique artefacts that will appear per level.



Player experience

…“One more shot”, the player mutters after being overcome by a horde of enemies. Quickly they jump back into the game. A new level boots up, it’s one they haven’t played before. The enemies starts to appear, a few at first, moving towards the player’s location. The player cranks and the enemies are blown away. The player realises they are in open space and vulnerable from all sides, they start to move. More and more enemies are piling in. The gatling gun is keeping them at bay, pushing them back and allowing the player to keep on the move. “Uh-oh”, out of bullets. Player moves around in search of ammo. There are dozens of enemies now. The player is jinking in and out, narrowly avoiding being hit. The player reaches the ammo crate and unleashes a spray of bullets, wiping out a group of enemies. Their score is ranking up fast, combo streak is getting bigger. They are firing and dodging, constantly moving, trying to group the horde together on one side. They find themselves in open ground again and a group of enemies surround the player getting some hits in before the player has a chance to take them out. Health is low, the player needs to go and find more, but ammo is running out too. The player stops firing, conserving bullets and focuses on moving; using a few bullets here and there to clear a path or push an enemy back. Suddenly the player spots an artefact for this level - who knows when they will get a chance to grab it again. The player abandons their search for health and starts moving towards the artefact instead. The horde is 100 strong now, swarming in from all sides.

“Click click” no bullets left…

Current screenshot

Game is hitting the mark if…

Theme & style

Game breakdown









Unknowns / Future


Current screenshot



Potential future topics for blogs