As I predicted early on, putting aside time to record my progress would be hard when in the heat of actual development. It’s not all bad, because with this update I have three games I have created in Game Maker to share. I find Game Maker a great tool for prototyping and suspect it’s powerful enough to create a full featured game. It’s “drag & drop” coding feature is great for getting your hands dirty, and learning how to structure the events of your game.
I began Game Maker by following a tutorial by Derek Yu. It runs through the steps, start to finish, on how to make a shoot ’em up level. It gave me an idea of how to navigate the Game Maker UI, and how to manage my assets and code. I found this extremely helpful, not only for learning Game Maker, but game development in general. If you are interested you can check it out: Game Maker for Beginners: Part 1. I replaced all the sprites with those from Air Fortress, and threw a little eyeball creature of my own in for the hell of it. A link to play it is provided below.
After completing what I could consider my first game, I was feeling pretty confident, so I decided to undertake a project of my own from scratch. I wanted to take an old game idea, and put a slight twist on it. I decided to do a capture type game, where an object is bouncing around the room, and you have to confine it with barricades to a set amount of space. My little twist was that these barricades (in my case force fields) have health, and can only be hit so many times until they are destroyed and the ball breaks out. I had a hell of a time making the walls draw correctly, and getting the ball to bounce off the drawn walls at the correct angle was even worse, so I took a break from it, poking at it from time to time.
While developing my own game, I started going through another tutorial, but this time for a platforming game. I picked up The Game Maker’s Companion because it has some “next level” tutorials, and I felt like I had a good grasp of the concepts. The tutorial makes full use of the Drag & Drop functionality within Game Maker, which I don’t particularly love, so I decided to convert the entire thing over to using GML, which is Game Maker’s build in language. Someday I am going to require the additional power and control enabled through GML, and frankly I find the Drag & Drop stuff unintuitive and hard to decode exactly what each element is doing. This introduced me to a whole bunch of different functions built into Game Maker, and helped me finish up my own game. Check below to download both.
All the games below run in Windows. If you want a Mac build to try out, I can also throw that up here.
Here is the shoot ’em up game I built with Derek Yu’s tutorial. Derek Yu is pretty awesome with Game Maker. The first version of Spelunky was build by him in GM. Again I went through using Air Fortress sprites, and added some of my own stuff on top of it.
This is the game built in GML from The Game Maker’s Companion. All of the art was provided. I rewrote it and designed a level around it.
This is my first game built from the ground up! It’s just a prototype, and I’m aware of the collision bug, but I’d like to hear some feedback on the concept. Also, if anyone has advice on calculating the area not inhabited by the ball object based on dynamically drawn borders let me know. 🙂 That’s my next challenge.