Over the past weekend I entered the reddit.com/r/gamemaker game jam called GM48. In the jam the entrants have 48 hours to complete a game on a chosen theme, this time it was “Guns That Don’t Shoot Bullets!” All content is encouraged to be original.
I made a puzzle platformer game which I call “Gale Force”. The idea is that you use the “Gale Gun” (a gun which blasts out large gusts of air, partially inspired by the Thundergun from Call of Duty: Black Ops) to restart the machinery of a facility by powering small wind turbines. The image below shows the basic concept.
I completed the game jam just in time to submit my work. The game is quite short though and can be completed within about 5 minutes if you are good enough, this was mostly due to me working too much on game mechanics whilst forgetting about level design until the very end. The game is surprisingly stable with only a few bugs that I am aware of.
Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the source code files when I was clearing out some folders. I have a backup copy of the game from about halfway through the jam so that is something to fall back on. I aim to work on it and release it within a few weeks in a fuller version. I am taking a break from my mini project Southern Voyage to work on this micro project. I promise I will not start working on a nano project or a pico project next. I’m doing this to give myself a quick break from coding the same game for too long. I’m looking for a quick code and release so it will not be a large game. Hopefully this will give me some momentum when I return to Southern Voyage. If all goes as planned this will be beneficial to my progress in the long run.
The game can be played in its current state by downloading it from this page. I will try to get a HTML5 live version online once I get everything back up to date.
I’ve been so busy with life that I have not had a chance to update the blog until now. I’m about 6 days late, but I eventually got some time to make a post. I’m going to make another post again in the usual Monday 21st April to get back into the normal routine again.
So over the last fortnight (or so), I’ve been working at a lot of different aspects in the game.
The main focus was backtracking over code I had wrote much earlier. Initially I decided that I wanted the collectibles the character gathers to execute the code for their usage e.g. gold coins will generate money when a button is pressed nearby the merchant, however I realised recently this was not a good idea and so I changed it so the physical objects in the level (in this case the merchant) will actually execute the code. Sounds like a simple swap around but in reality it took a good bit of reworking to get it all running.
I also made some changes when I was finishing up, such as a neat green or red outline around the physical object to let you know if the interaction will be accepted or not, as well as dialogue for non-successful actions. There is still lots of work to be done on this.
I also improved the HUD so it is less intrusive in the players view, I also redesigned some of the HUD artwork while I was doing this also.
Many other small changes were made, however they were all pretty boring, such as added a variable to prevent grass from growing on soil blocks, slowed collectible items descent speed in water, altered non-playable characters’ so your they can now turn around and face different directions, and so on…
There’s still loads to do but I have a large break from my day job coming up in which I aim to develop a lot of things in the game.
Check out the game on this page.
OK, time for the fortnightly update. I made some progress in many, many areas in the game, includng:
- added new upgrades items which improve health, inventory size, etc…
- added new status refill items which refill health, oxygen, etc…
- added some new character sprites
- created a new room transition system which is much improved over the previous version
- altered the cheat function to make it easier to use in the game
Had a few bugs in the game which really set me back trying to fix but I got everything resolved in the end.
I also released put a copy of the game online which can either be downloaded as an .exe or played via your internet browser. You can access the game here. I am looking to update these versions of the game every fortnight when I make a new blog post. Hopefully you will see the improvements that are being made as the game is developed.
Not much else to report, its been a fairly quiet (but busy) fortnight. That’s all for now…
Recently, I’ve not had a lot of time to work on development of the game, this is mostly due to life simply getting in the way. Although, when I did get time to develop the game, I used it well. Recently, I’ve been working all over the project in many different areas, such as:
- improving enemy AI behaviour which has produced good results so far
- improving the debug system, this will likely not be seen by many people but it really helps me during development
- world building, a fairly time consuming task to do. I have pretty much doubled the size of the in-game world over the last 2 weeks
I’ve came up with a better name for the game, “Southern Voyage”. This name may or may not be temporary, though for now it will do. “Oyster Island” was another idea I came up with but in the end I didn’t think it suited the feel of the game well. Coming up with names for games is a super difficult task I’ve discovered, thank goodness it only needs to be done once per game development cycle.
I am aiming to have a playable beta version of the game released in the very near future, no exact dates for now though.
There is still lots of development to be done on the game, but I am slowly working my way through it all and sticking to a decent schedule. That’s all for now…
Over the last 2 weeks I’ve made some good progress on many aspects of the game. My main focus was overhauling enemy AI. Initially I tried to add complex pathfinding algorithms but I found they were too time consuming to implement, so instead I opted for a more basic AI system. I created some new enemies to utilise the new AI and the results so far look promising.
I also fixed the remainder of the outstanding bugs that were present in the game, this was slightly time consuming but it needed to be done. Another task I had set myself was to create at least 1 well defined area in the game. This was finally possible as I had all the components necessary. I filled an area with terrain, enemies, etc… and the result was pretty nice. The area felt good to play through and should be serve as a good example for what I need to do later on in the level design stages of development. I also added some new nature inspired terrain and backgrounds, such as trees and grass. The new additions contribute a lot to the feel of some areas. Overall, the last few weeks have been good for game development but I feel like I could have done more. Hopefully I’ll be more productive in the coming fortnight, until then goodbye…