Jono Shields

Nuclear Love


You can look at my last couple of posts for my grand desires to compete in GBA Jam 2022. But the best laid plans and all that.

I ended up not actually starting any sort of entry until the 28th of October. 3 days till the jam ends.

So I sit down with my brother for coffee and we get chatting. It would be cool to do a Halloween themed game since the game ends on October 31st. We spitball some ideas and end up talking about doing a post apocalyptic dating game.


We jam on the idea and come up with a few characters...

  • Blob (A mutated mass of flesh and skin)
  • A zombie with a scottish accent
  • Linda the lobster lady
  • A sentient trash compactor
  • Ted (a normal guy, wears a sweater)
  • Mom (look there aren't a lot of options)
  • Unwilling Participant (some guy in a cage that just doesn't want to be there)
  • Jack (a jackhammer brought to life)
  • DJ Mike (deaf, but surprisingly strong musical skills)
  • Eleanor (machetes for hands)
  • A pigeon
  • A Skeleton Man

Here is the first pass of Blob (lol, also the last pass?)

In a past post I mentioned a dialog system I had been working on. I took inspiration from there, but it really needed an overhaul to work for this purpose. So I set to work fixing that up to handle characters with different emotions, much longer conversations, scenes.

But once that was working we just started pumping out a ton of artwork and dialog to fill in the gaps.

I really wanted to fit in as many characters as possible, but once we started writing we realised that it would be too much work for 3 days. Instead we chose to focus on just four and turn it into a dating show.

We landed on Blob, Duncan (a scottish trashcan robot), Linda (the lobster lady) and Skully (a skeleton man).

Luckily in a bunch of past games I have done a lot of dialog. So reusing bits and pieces of code from around the place we were able to put together a scene with some branching dialog.

This is an example of how the branching dialog works, an excerpt from our date with Duncan...s

A foodtruck ay...
Do you come here often?
You cud say thart.
So you come here to? [Work] [Sleep] [Hangout]

[Work] So you work here?
This is mah foodtruck. ->foodtruck

With the help of modern tools like Stable Diffusion and Aseprite we were able to churn out the background images super quickly. And sticking to a limited palette for everything made the sprites simpler to draw too.

Although everything does look a little... rustic?

After all that we did manage to get the game in at the last moment.

However we were informed of a major bug a few hours later. Apparently I overlooked some minor code that let you choose your final date. So no matter how everything went you always ended up with Blob. Yeah. Not great.

We eventually released a fix, but left the original there for posterity and to be judged for the jam.

Check it out on

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