I'm Nick, a part time game developer currently working on Flask & Barrel.

Flask & Barrel

    Flask & Barrel is an isometric pixel art game focused around crafting potions, helping townsfolk, and adventuring into the unknown surroundings to rediscover the lost art of Potion-Craft.

I try and update this blog on a somewhat regular basis, but being part time, things get in the way. If you're interested in really following the game's progress, more can be found on my Trello Board, where I track releases, features and ideas as I go. You can also check out my twitter, where I sporadically post art/features to help promote the project.


The PixelEngine

 Several years ago I set out to make a game engine in college around 2018. Not really to make a game, but just to see if I could do it. I ended up building a 3D rendering engine using the LWJGL, an OpenGL library for Java, mostly because I knew this is how they originally made Minecraft.

3D math and art wasn't really my cup of tea, so I canned that and moved on to MonoGame, a framework for C# for making games. MonoGame relies heavily on OpenGL, and C# is pretty similar to Java, so a lot of the knowledge carried over. 

This started the PixelEngine, with the main focus on allowing super low-res pixel-art like Retro City Rampage and Crawl, with buttery smooth motion and modern game features.. So far, the PixelEngine is quite capable, here's some highlights

  • Entity Component System
  • Smooth pixel transformations
  • Post Processing Pipeline
  • Textured Quad-Based Rendering
  • Full Vertex/Fragment Shader Support
  • Lighting
  • Debugging Console
  • Input Consumption
  • Full (mostly) Support for Tiled TileMaps and TileSets
  • Isometric Tile Sorting
  • More to come.

Originally, the game was some kind of undefined sailing based game, inspired by the sailing aspect of Wind Waker. Over time, this transformed into a clone of Retro City Rampage, and eventually to a "Retro Red Dead Redemption". These were never really fleshed out ideas, mostly just excuses to add features to the engine.

A while back I decided that the game would be isometric, which certainly has its challenges, but the perspective just gives everything a unique look. I settled on the concept of Flask & Barrel a few years ago, with the main inspirations being Wind Waker, Breath of the Wild, Earthbound, and Crawl.



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