Now that the holidays are officially over (I still had a Christmas a couple weeks ago), I’ve had a chance to sit down with a few of my newly acquired Steam Holiday Sale purchases and have been hitting education hard. I’m making some good headway on The Game Maker’s Companion. Right now, I am working through the Zool tutorial, again taking everything from the Drag & Drop instructions they give you, and converting it all to code. It feels a bit tedious at times, and I have run up against a small bug, but I am finding that I can just read the function and variables they are using, and work through the proper syntax. I feel this will be beneficial as I move into more complicated code and it can’t hurt when adopting other languages in the future. The insight I am getting into the construction of a functional game has been invaluable so far. The use of state objects, constants, and timers has never made more sense in the context of a game. While Game Maker has a fancy way of helping you order creation, movement, collision, user interaction, etc., I feel the structure of a more raw language is much clearer. All of the same rules apply.
I have been studying several 2d lighting engines written in GML (Game Maker Language) and studying some horror and stealth games for inspiration. I have always loved action stealth games, and with the releases of Dishonored, and Mark of the Ninja this year, I feel good about the future of the genre. I have also been playing through Lone Survivor and picked up Home to throw on my list.
Just today I received my copy of Level UP! – The Guide to Great Video Game Design, and have just broken the cover.
I plan to have a playable version of Zool for everyone next week. From there I think it’s time to start picking away at my big project. 🙂