Week 7| Indie game prototype analysis.
This week (Week 7) marks the first moments in which we are able to work on YoYo Game’s Game-maker. We were tasked with creating and prototyping a game for others to Q&A test based on what our groups had chosen and decided on from a few weeks ago.
What is Game-maker?
Game-maker is a program that could be used to make some very simple games in a short-ish amount of time these are also known as game engines. This program makes it fairly easy to make games compared to other game engines E.G. Unreal-engine 4 as you don’t have to do any coding etc just drag and drop.
How does Game-maker differ from other programs?
Game-maker is very user friendly especially compared to say, Unreal engine 4. Game-maker is very easily accessible to almost everyone, so long as you have a Steam account and a basic computer. Other programs such as Unreal engine are also free however they come at a price because you need a better PC to run it and unlike Game-maker, Unreal doesn’t have it’s own sprite editor this factors in other costs because then you’d need to get another program that would be able to edit things such as those.
How will this task help you to meet the current requirements and parameters of your project?
The purpose of this task was for us to make a working prototype and have it Q&A tested by other members of the class. Our aim as a whole was to learn and to create assets of projectiles, characters both good and bad, platforms, paths and lastly backgrounds.
As a whole I think I achieved this purpose of learning these skills although whilst making my game, it had a whole bunch of problems aside from the glitches of game-maker itself to list just a few; when placing my enemies in the room with my character and paths I had accidentally set the enemies character settings to whenever it created my enemies they would instantly destroy my protagonist. This was ironic however because my enemies at this point in time were Grim Reapers.
What research activities did you undertake in order to help you with your work?
The research I undertook whilst learning this project and helping towards my current task was rather subliminal, aside from the primary research we carry out each day when we get seminar type talks and demonstrations from our tutors and did weeks ago for one of our homework which was to watch a video or two about the basics of Game-maker. The subliminal part of the research was when we was learning to use Photoshop for a completely unrelated task this skill can be utilized within the majority of tasks we’re doing at this particular point in time other research that was carried out would be the errors and observations during the making of my game because if one thing did not work we would have to go back and double check all the options and if those options weren’t right we’d change them and try it out, then again and again until we got it right.
How will this task help you to plan and organize your work on the current project?
This work task and current project would enable me to get a much better grasp of an understanding for the time I would need to set aside for something of this caliber in the future. If I decided to take up the challenge of making a game for my FMP I would need to set aside a much bigger amount of time as during the production of my game I encountered many problems, glitches, bugs and some downright disasters which were a nightmare to fix.
How did you apply your practical skills?
The practical skills I applied were using Photoshop to make our sky background and note taking because we had to follow through with what our tutors told us to do after the seminar type talk. Making games is no easy feat especially when you use Game-maker which has its fair share of bugs and glitches. I have learned a lot. I can now effectively program in moving enemies, shooting/throwing main characters with projectiles platforms and finishing areas which will end the game. Screenshots provided below for evidence.
How effective were your solutions in solving interactive based problems?
My solutions were mostly decent in solving the problems as I ran into a few rather big problems here and there, my pixel art was rather good I’d like to think although my weakest moments are when I was first starting doing this task and when we had to implement and make our enemies move because I had a big problem with the settings where they would create the reapers and then instantly destroy my hero sprite, that’s not what I wanted however. I wanted them to destroy my sprite as he touched the reapers.
I could probably improve my work dramatically if I watched a whole bunch of tutorials on YouTube or possibly read some articles. I would say compared to others I’ve had relatively more bumps in my road compared to theirs but i’m in a good spot in the same place to theirs. I was inspired by my random sprite of a character as when I made him I didn’t realize till a little bit later he looks like he is riding an invisible bike, so the that inspired me to change the projectiles from the average lasers to him throwing tyres at the enemies. Screenshots provided below.
Key things to know when Working on Game-maker
Working on game-maker is a 50-50 experience from what i’ve witnessed as you’ll either be really pleased and excited with what has happened or you’ll be dissapointed/sad/annoyed as some bugs would’ve occured or it just doesnt do what you attempted to program it to do.
Order is extremely important within Game-maker as demonstrated within a few of my screenshots that certain things had to go in certain places so that it would work as you intend it to, if not then it simply wouldn’t work.
Naming the assets is one of the most important things you could think of doing as you could have hundreds backgrounds for example and be scrolling through background0 – background 100 with the simple method of naming demonstarated below in these screenshots helps keep everything neat, tidy and organized.
Games Design Document