Hybrid-casual city builder (HTML5) - playable prototype

A very early prototype is ready (password: defold).

I’ve decided to make a HTML game.

One of the videos that motivated me to do so was this presentation from @britzl .

Another video that inspired me was this podcast.

The gameplay is very similar to a popular mobile game called “King or Fail”. I modeled gameplay almost 1:1, but I plan to make changes later. Copying it 1:1 was easier for the development stage.

King or Fail has combat, but my version will focus on the city building. I would like to have 50 levels ready before launching.

So far it has been challenging, but doable. Defsave from @Pkeod has been a huge help. For the most part, everything is savable in the prototype aside from the harvestable resources (e.g., if you pick 4 of 8 berries and reload the game, it will have 8 berries again).

The goal of the game is to make money. I think the saygames style of games do a good job with monetization. This “hybrid-casual” game uses hypercasual gameplay but adds more depth to make sure players stick around.

The first few weeks were spent building the foundation for the game. I can now add buildings, levels, and other unique things to keep the game interesting.


Been busy lately so no much progress. But I did manage to update something — the way the market works. The goal was to update the display. I was initially having trouble with keeping this updated considering many things could be happening at once, such as adding/selling items.

I started with using factories, but this became too complicated. I then decided I don’t need to actually create objects. Sprites will get the job done.

The end result was achieved by disabling and enabling sprites each time the market updates.

This was a small, but important update. There will eventually be multiple types of markets and similar interactive objects that use the same logic.


Been traveling with a newborn (3 months) and finding time to work on this hobby is slim. Ideally it would become a stream of income, but I’m not at that point yet.

I’m still making progress. The one thing I need more of is time. I know what to do. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do it.

Just like my previous attempts at making a game, this one was too ambitious. I do think however this time I am closer to getting it done than before.

I’m wondering if there’s some type of compromise for getting the game done sooner rather than later. Maybe only offer 20 levels — or about ~1-2 hours of gameplay. That I think is more than enough to test the waters… and potentially see some ad revenue.

Decided to launch with 10 levels. This will be anywhere from 30-120 minutes of gameplay, which is more than enough to get some initial metrics. A lot of the logic I created for this game can be reused elsewhere, so it should ideally take less time to create additional games of this style.

Feels good to have a goal in sight. There’s much to learn still about the process since this will be my first full release. It all seems very doable.

Here’s another preview of how I’m testing things out in the prototyping stage.


The core mechanics are working up to level 6. Adding more levels is a matter of time. I’d like to now flesh out the secondary mechanics from 1-6, such as animations, sounds, and ui.

One thing I’m kind of stuck at is graphics. I had planned to draw my own using a tablet I purchased last year, but I am currently traveling (for 6 months) and I left the tablet behind.

In the meantime, I’m working on the placement of the buildings. There’s an free app built into the Mac called Freeform that’s helping me with this process.

The plan:

The result:

I don’t want to get stuck for too long with the graphics. I’ll have to figure something out soon.

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I updated the prototype on itch.

There are many bugs, but the map layout is coming along. Resources are set to 1k each. The current version is not about resource gathering, but instead about layout, logic, and flow.

Password: defold


Making progress. Just wanted to say: keeping a scope small is one of the best talents you can have. Ideally, I could launch new games every 2-4 weeks.

Experimenting with some simple graphics and animations. The process is as follows.

  1. Inkscape to draw the character animations (one spritesheet)

  1. Load the large sheet into Tiled, export it as an “map” image

  1. Create a tilesheet in Defold and apply the tiled animations accordingly


Took some time to figure out this workflow, but now that I am using it adding graphics is fairly fast and simple.