April 2014 Game Making Progress

There are not much to tell for my progress in April. Unfortunately, I still spend most of my time doing the game assets. I create many new game assets and tweaking the old ones. I made a lot of art work for ’tile’ assets. Using ’tiles’ will save you a lot of time in creating and modifying a game level. A ’tile’ is a small piece of 2D graphic image arts that you can reuse again and again within a game. You can use it to build walls or terrains where your enemy or objects can interact with them (collision, walk, jump, fall, etc). Also, I make game arts for many objects and enemy sprites with many possible instances (for example when the enemy die, fall, walk, stand still, etc). The real progress that I made in April is to include a complete prologue story after you press play in the main menu. I add a skip button in the  short story sequences if a person want to go directly to the next game room.

The main menu now looks better than before and I manage to add the credit room that is easy to make. I also add sprite animations to each of the buttons (play, credit, game progress, music and sound effect options, and tutorial). I plan to include a simple animation in the background of my main menu to attract people attention (after I finished the required sprites).

One day, I suddenly have an urge to build the menu and the prologue story into an android .apk file for testing. In the process, I finally realise the need to put the required game icon objects to replace the default yoyo games logo icons. I took me a couple of days to experiment with different design of my game icons. For android you need to make several different resolutions to support many mobile devices. The .apk file work flawlessly on my Samsung mobile phone and tablet. Also, the display resolution scaling code that I made seems to work perfectly for both devices. In the process, I also tweak the look of my game opening menu and its prologue story. There are still minor adjustments that need to be done. I will continue refining it until I get it right. I have learned the importance of ‘real’ game testing in the targeted devices in order to get the ‘right’ feel although I only use a very simple example. Everything requires utmost attentions in a game design.

I read many things in GameMaker Studio user manual that can be useful for my game and also doing and tinkering the supplied tutorials. Their tech blog is also one of my favourite source of information. The information on the GameMaker forums is also great but you still need to filter them. Different people post different solutions and you need to pick the one that suit you best. Also you need to pay attention to old and new solutions. There are many solutions in the forum using an old version of GameMaker that might not work in GameMaker Studio. In developing this first game, I concentrate more on learning as much as I can to produce a rich game experiences. Although I did not set any strict targets, I will work hard to finish it as soon as possible. Tchau!