#1GAM December14 – Unreal 4

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This time of the year is rather busy so I decided to stick to something small this month and end the year on a laid back little project. This month I’ve started dusting off some of my old unreal 3/UDK knowledge and learning Unreal 4.

I followed one of the tutorial series over on the Unreal Engine youtube channel which put together a neat little level. Using this as a foundation, I tweaked, expanded and swapped out some elements to create a simple little level.

I’ve barely touched the surface with the blueprint system but managed to add my own set of swinging doors as a first step. It looks to be quite powerful so I’m excited to play around some more!

Nothing too fancy, but a good introduction to the engine.

With this submitted, I’ve managed to complete another year of One Game A Month. I look forward to next year.

#1GAM November14 – Slowly But Surely

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The goal for this month was to get something playable out into the world to get some much needed feedback. I’ve managed to put a little proof of concept together, so consider the goal met!

If you’d like to play check it out here. I’m very open to feedback so send it my way. It is still full of bugs and rather lacking but still a good little indicator of the core mechanic.

Miner POC - Punch

At this point I have a good idea of where I want the game to go so I will keep prototyping, adding and tweaking.

Notable changes for the month:

  • addition of ceiling enemies (not in POC however)
  • foundations of a character select screen
  • indestructible blocks
  • UI tweaks
  • beginnings of lives system
  • you can now punch the enemies

#1GAM September 14 – Forget Me. Not.

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Earlier in the month I mentioned I was working on a prototype for this month’s game. The game is going really well but a change of circumstances means I’m going to pursue further dev on it in Unity instead of Gamemaker. I’ve been working on switching over these past few days and I’ve already matched what I was able to achieve in a month of work in Gamemaker. Oh Unity how I missed you.

Anyway, back to this month’s game. The end of the month was quickly approaching and while I had made some good progress in the GM prototype, I just wasn’t happy with it and wanted to scratch the itch of releasing something of decent polish. I had been mulling over an idea for probably most of the year but hadn’t figured out a way to implement it in a good way. The idea had been to make a game about Dementia within the context of data corruption.

screenshot 2

I spent about a week putting the game together and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It isn’t a long game but I feel it gets my point across with the impact I was hoping for. I shared the game on twitter and it received a really lovely response which has been a wonderful and surprising bonus!

If you’d like to play the game, Forget Me. Not, you can over on itch.io or gamejolt.

#1GAM September 14 – Progressing

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This month has started fairly well. While I’m still finding the move to Gamemaker rather annoying at times, I’ve made some decent progress and my comfort level is improving.

The game is still very much a prototype but I’m liking what it is becoming. The idea was inspired in part by a Warioland 2 level in which the player had to charge through the walls, roof and floor around them to move between rooms. Also serving as inspiration is a Mario Party 5 mini game where you race to be the first to ground pound through all the blocks.

Out of this comes the basic idea for my game – a randomly generated area that the player can destroy in all directions. Destruction will reveal collectables, enemies and upgrades for their miner. Their goal is to reach a set position before the time runs out. I want the game to be pick up and play with plenty of juicy extras to keep the gameplay interesting.

My focus has been getting the player movement and actions feeling as slick as possible. For the first week I worked towards getting the basics up and running; platformer movement and destruction.
miner punch
This past week, I’ve been working on tightening things up as much as possible; getting destruction in all directions working pretty well and getting the controls more responsive. I also added some simple animations to give a bit of an idea of where I might go art-wise.
miner progress 2.gif

For the rest of the month I’ll be working on the actual game loop, essentially, giving the player a goal with success and failure conditions.

#1GAM August 14 – Learning Gamemaker

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Woe is Me

As I mentioned last month; coming from a lot of Unity experience, Gamemaker feels really weird.

My biggest issue with the engine is that it feels really messy. This boils down to how the workspace divides everything into pop out windows. For example, every object is controlled separately from their own pop out window. Each of these objects are controlled by a series of events. In my case, each of these events uses a separate code block meaning that for each and every code block, for each and every event a new window is opened when I want to make changes. This leaves the screen cluttered and somewhat frustrating as they can be difficult to distinguish from one another. See the below screenshot for an idea of what I mean.

cluttered

It may well be a case of me working messily but in any case it has been rather annoying. I’ve put a request in to see if the support team can provide me any insight into my workflow woes. Still waiting on a response but if any of you Gamemaker users have any tips I’m all ears!

Out of all this struggle I got a little disheartened. Devolution as it is now was created and completed in one month. I know I can’t expect to have the same speed with a new engine but it is quite the bummer to struggle to make progress. Rapid protoyping has become a major element of my creative process and I’m missing it.

This month’s effort

My attempted solution to slow progress has been to go right back to the drawing board and complete some tutorials. I chose this one, which has been a solid starting point for what has become this month’s game – Mummified.

mummified_gameplay_snippet

The tutorial was for the most part, really useful. It did however leave the project with a lot for me to do, which worked out okay. I ended up:

  • recreating most of the sprites to suit my chosen theme
  • adding some new sprites both original and sourced
  • tweaking the control scheme to fit a gamepad
  • rebuilding the wave system

I could easily keep adding more (different enemies, more weapons, health packs, levelling etc.) but as I’m not planning on taking the game any further I’d rather move on and see what else I can learn. As I’m using just the base version of Studio I’ve only been able to create a downloadable Windows version. If you would like to play (you will need a controller) download it here.

I’ve got another idea I will begin working on as a prototype next month which I hope will be my ‘test’ project for the engine. Basically if I can’t get this basic idea to work nicely in Gamemaker from start to finish I will have to consider abandoning the engine for any further Devolution development.

Assets Used in Mummified:

Palm trees created by: Warlock’s Gauntlet artists – rAum, jackFlower, DrZoliparia, Neil2D. Source 
Shotgun Sound created by: Vincent Sevedge. Source 
Music ‘ Uncle Stu’ created by: Proffessor Lamp. Source