In Transit (a retro homage to paperboy optimized for mobile)

DEVLOG #001: Hello World!
I really need to slim down that tag line! hahaha!

So it turns out I built a version of this game on Gdevelop a lil while ago and wanted to port it to Defold. (you can check it out here! In Transit)

I’ve been busting *** for a couple of weeks now and decided I want to also start a devlog to document the process, so here we are. After googling “where should i host my devlog” a couple of times, I figured this would be the best place! Not just are all my Defolders already here, but I would love to contribute towards raising the profile of this wonderful engine.

Ok, enough of that haha, lets get to the game so far…

I’m still sorting out video, but for now take my word for it. I managed to follow the Implementing Parallax tutorial on youtube ( Parallax )
I modified the code slightly, instead of using 3 sprites the exact width of the screen, I use 2 that are double the size of the screen. It works just as well (as far as I can tell!). I don’t know if its gonna help performance tho, but the challenge was fun.

I need to make a bunch of factories to throw parcels, spawn houses to deliver to as well as street lamps and random debris (for atmosphere).

I ain’t gonna lie, I was like two seconds from switching over to Godot for my games. I was stuck af for a minute there and was having a hard time with the lack of tuts on YouTube as well as the documentation. The only thing that kept me from jumping ship was this very forum. A few searches as well as asking a few questions and I was back on track. With that said, my final thought of the night is simply: Ask for help.



Hey, congrats on releasing your first Defold game! Well done!

I like the retro GB style graphics, really cool. I wonder if maybe the houses to deliver vs not deliver to could be distinguished in some other way than an outline? Sure, it gets the job done, but I feel there’s a missed opportunity here. Perhaps houses to not deliver to should have no lights coming from the windows and the door nailed shut or something?

I was a bit surprised that the game took so long to load, but then I checked the developer console in Chrome and saw that you’re downloading several MP3s. perhaps only download one and the rest in the background?

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There are a shed load of Defold example games on github, if you can find them. There are links to key repo’s on the learn page and links to other scattered around this forum. I prefer working examples, as I tend not to understand or believe something, until I see it working.


Thanks! I really appreciate the feedback. Yes, I am thinking of adding a glow the the “delivery” houses as well as more feedback when a parcel is delivered like a little score pop up or something. There could definitely be more visual ques as to what is going on.

HAHA! oh man! I have been wondering why the load time was so long all this time!! That’s why i put so much on the load screen itself. I will undoubtedly keep that in mind on this build.

Oh excellent! I will for sure learn how to use github for this reason alone! I know, I know, I should already have that down haha! I literally just learned how to use git last week.

DEVLOG #002: Glitch, please!

It has been a week filled a sh*t load of progress in the games mechanics department. I am happy to say that the game looks superior to its previous version. The parallax is smoother and the spawning/destroy cycle is very efficient. Its wild how little code it takes to get things moving compared to how many blocks I needed in Gdevelop.

In the pursuit of efficiency, I got caught up trying to figure out modules, but for some reason, I couldn’t get it to work. I spent wayyyy too much time on this little side project. I decided to ask the Defold Forums and of course, I got my answer in no time and it worked like charm. Next time, I will for sure go there first.

Heres a short clip of a crazy a** glitch I had to deal with. Tbh, I didn’t solve it, I just found a way to circumvent it HAHA! whatevs, it works now.

Enter the GUI-verse… This should be interesting. Im going to start with this video I found on YouTube from Tactx Studios (

I spent a lot of time trying to sort out modules because I thought it would be useful to learn but then I realized it was side tracking me too much from the game. And that’s my point, don’t lose sight of your game and ask for help!


Keep up the good work~! Honestly, it seems like you are getting the hang of things. I am looking forward to seeing how your game progresses.


Thanks! I was really having a hard time when I started. But it has seemed to click, mainly due to the help of the Defold Community and this very forum.

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The community is pretty top-notch in my opinion. Especially when you the consider the latest influx of indie devs who left Unity (such as myself). This forum, github examples, Discord and the few video tutorials have been SO helpful.

Totally! I plan to get familiar with the Discord as well. Oh yes, i’ve noticed the uptick in Godot users from Unity as well. Quite a shake up!

I was going to go to Godot as well, but I thought it would be better for the overall indie dev ecosystem to have many devs in the different engines to keep alternatives healthy. I may go to Godot sometime, but I have been lucky to start to get the hang of Defold. This engine will only get better. I hope to someday contribute a module of some sort…when I get smart enough.

In the Disord, I make sure to post links to any tutorial or example that has helped me in the learning process in the beginner’s area for future newcomers.


Good call! I agree! I felt building on this engine and promoting my game would also be promoting the engine. I hope to be able to contribute as well. I’m pretty dug in for the next few games I have in mind.

Nice! I downloaded Discord on my phone, now just to play around with it and figure out the ins n outs.


Of course dude!

I came to this screen resolution because I wanted to use the dimensions of an OG GameBoy (160 x 144 Pixels), but realized it looks sh*te on a mobile phone so I stacked two (160 x 288) and it is almost the exact shape of the modern cell phone in portrait orientation.

Assets → game.project → Display
Width: 160
Height: 288

This is how you get nice dark borders in your HTML5 Build…

Assets → game.project → HTML5
Custom CSS: /builtins/manifests/web/dark_theme.css

And finally, this makes your pixel art look crispier than a head of lettuce with the roots still attached.

Assets → game.project → graphics
Default Texture Min Filter: nearest
Default Texture Mag Filter: nearest

You’re probably gonna wanna make a display profile, ya know, for your GUI. Here’s a link to that! GUI layouts in Defold (do y’all say Gee You Eye or Gooey or Gwee?)

BONUS: My GB Pallet
Presented in Hex Color, CSS & “0-1”

DARK: #202020
(32, 32, 32)

MID-DARK: #606648
(96, 102, 72)

MID-LIGHT: #b0b98e
(176, 185, 142)

LIGHT: #e5edc4
(229, 237, 196)

Converted with: Hex to RGB Color Converter
There you have it. Happy Defolding!

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Something about those very detailed realistic looking houses makes me feel like this would suddenly turn into a pixelated horror game at some point :laughing:

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lol thats my neighborhood, man! hahaha

spoiler alert tho: i do plan to drop a game mode with zombies, because f*ck yeah!

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DEVLOG #003: Enter The GUI-Verse

I’m not going to lie, that GUI was kicking my a** for a second there! I still have tons to learn about it, but I did manage to make a stable score and parcel count. I don’t get how it works, but it does! I ended up with a folder named “guis” and a file named “gui.gui”, but it f*cking works! HAHA, for now that is good enough. This time I did not check out any videos, I just went ears deep into the Defold documentation for about two days strait.

I also added a global game_speed variable that makes the game go brrrrr with every parcel you successfully deliver. Unlike my previous build, I put a cap to the speed. That sh*t was too crazy with no limit.

A break. I need a f*cking break before my brain goo leaks out my nose. But, after that, I plan to continue my deep dive into the GUI-verse. I want to add some lighting to my game as well, which made me realize the GUI is just a mini boss… the real boss Lvl.1 Shaders. FML.

I am an artist first and foremost. I have been making art all my life. The smartest thing you can do after grinding on a piece that still needs ways to go is to take a step back, let your senses come down. Its easy to miss mistakes and ultimately burn out if you don’t.


Very solid style with a good vibe, I like it. I’m glad to have an artist type developer like you join the defold community. Let’s each work hard to make cool games! :muscle:


Dang! Thank you very much for the kind words! And hell yeah, I consider myself an artist first and foremost hahaha! Thanks for noticing. Tbh, I have been able to make up for some of my lack of coding skills with how I plan my art assets.

DEVLOG #004: But is it fun?

Well, shit. I thought I had sorted out the mechanics… but mechanics ain’t shit without some rules. My old build was very unforgiving. One missed delivery or one wrong deliver and BANG! GAME OVER. I always felt that that was true to how old games used to be, but the million dollar question is this: Today, Is it fun?

Short answer: Fuck yes! Of course it’s fun, I find that fun!

Long answer: Nah. I find that fun. I’m totally acclimated to this game play and I enjoy “hard” games, but most noobs find this shit frustrating. I know this, because they told me.

I decided to craft all new rules for the generic Arcade Mode. Now its only GAME OVER when you run out of parcels, and you get a Bonus Parcel for every three (of five, idk yet) successful deliveries. I plan to drop an intra- interstrus- (googles) Interstitial Ad for more Parcels to avoid that dreaded GAME OVER… Stay tuned for that in the futurum.

Next on the docket was figuring out how to play this on my iphone, and thanks to the Defold Community I got that sorted so… Time to establish a proper GAME OVER and MAIN MENU.

It’s crazy how a game comes together. You make something simple, realize you need another piece to make it work. You have no idea where to start. Then you research, sort it and repeat. I have been using my old build as a template, but I am realizing now that I need a Trello board and about a dozen sticky notes… Time to organizize.


DEVLOG #005: Simple Servers or How I stopped worrying and learned to love the network

Progress has slowed down on In Transit because I needed to learn a few things that have less to do with gamedev and more to with good practice. First off, Version Control. I had none. HAHA! My idea of version control was copy/paste all the code to an empty doc. I had tried wrapping my head around git in the past, but it never really stuck until I saw this video that broke it down in a way I could understand.

I’ve just about wrapped up my games mechanics and realized I had not tested it on mobile… Thats bad because it is designed for mobile! I spent some time on Defold Docs Defold development for the HTML5 platform

to learn how to test my game on my iphone, and I could not get it for the life of me. Ya see, I am more of an artist than a code ninja. Yes, I have dabbled with html, css, js, php and now lua, but what the fuck is a local server and what does it do? hahaha! I am hardly an IT guy. Sometimes it feels like the docs are not written for noobs like myself. But thats fine! Thats where the forum comes in. I submitted my question and BANG! I had my game on my phone by that evening.

In case you’re like me and really need some hand holding in this department, I’m gonna break down how I test the latest build on my phone …

NOTE: I am running Ubuntu 20.04.

  1. From Defold → Project → Bundle → HTML5 Application…
  2. Select Create Bundle… (Will be created in Defold folder).
  3. Open Files → Open Home → Open Defold → Open js-web → Open
  4. (You should see index.html) Right-Click the folder → Open in Terminal.
  5. In Terminal, type python -m SimpleHTTPServer
  6. Terminal replies with Serving HTTP on port 8000
  7. Open Ubuntu’s Settings → Wi-Fi → Click “Gear Icon” in Visible Networks next your connection.
  8. Copy IPv4 Address.
  9. Open Browser on Iphone.
  10. Enter IPv4 Address followed by Port Number (8000 by default) found in terminal
    Ex: (host computer’s IP + port server is hosted on)
  11. Bobs your uncle.

Special thanks to mchlkpng for the example!

I got side tracked af with all this server talk, but yeah. I should really getting back to my MAIN MENU & GAME OVER.

Finally running my game on my phone I quickly realized it needs some tweaks to the main mechanics. Sometimes what works perfectly on desktop does not translate to mobile. For the love of Drokk, when designing gameplay for touch screen, remember human thumbs block way more real estate then a mouse cursor!!!