Indie Game Prototype Analysis
We were introduced to a new game engine named Game Maker by YoYo Game’s which is a free engine that can be used by anyone to create small indie games as well as larger ones too. Games such as Hotline Miami were created in Game Maker.
What is Game-maker?
Game Maker is a game engine which is a lot less complex compared to other engines such as the Unreal engine. Game Maker would be suitable for small indie games that would be used for personal or commercial use. It’s mainly all drag and drop and no coding is required in the creation of your games.
How does Game-maker differ from other programs?
Game Maker is easily accessible anywhere due to it being free and on such platforms such as Steam. The layout of the engine is user friendly and features a clean and pleasant design. It doesn’t require much processing power compared to a engine like Unreal. It features it’s own asset creation within the engine which means you wouldn’t need other software such as Photoshop to make assets, compared to unreal where you would need to create all the assets outside of the engine itself.
How will this task help you to meet the current requirements and parameters of your project?
It will fundamentally increase our knowledge about the engine itself which will help us to navigate the engine and all its features easily when creating the final project. This means that less time would be wasted when creating the game as you would already have a knowledge in the engine.
It would also allow us to try out a art style that would work with the game. Letting us understand how to create backgrounds for games, sprites and platforms and how they would all work with one another without looking out of place and well.
What research activities did you undertake in order to help you with your work?
I researched into the location of the game which is the Jurassic era, this would help me in the creation of the background and level design. This would help me plan out the enemies too which is great, allowing me to represent the dinosaurs as well as I could to the real thing. I also researched into the main character which is Oscar Wilde and also developed a story that I wish to follow and tell through the game as well as I could.
We were also given a demonstration of how the engine works by our tutor, we written down notes of all of the key things they told us.
How will this task help you to plan and organize your work on the current project?
The purpose of this event for me would be to understand the engine and how a clear knowledge on how it works, it would be a personal demonstration on how it works. This would help me in the creation of the final game for this term too, allowing me to create the most immersive and well put together game with the skills I learned through this task.
I would class this as research in a sense of finding out how the engine works, it would be primary research and also developing my ideas on the limitations of the engine.
How did you apply your practical skills?
Compared to Unreal this was a lot different and more challenging. We were more limited in the things we could do such as the character sprites and the size of the level in terms of resolution. We would create sprites at a 8×8 resolution which limits us on the detail of the character and movements if we were to create them. Although you could simply do animations such as jump and a walk cycles which is great.
Learning how to properly make the sprites stand out from the background without making it horrible visually was a new skill which I learned when developing this prototype.
How effective were your solutions in solving interactive based problems?
There were a lot of bugs to begin with such as the character falling through the map, getting stuck in the platforms and also bad controls. When developing the background I kept it simple and didn’t add much detail which made the platforms and character stand out.
I would improve it by fixing some of the bugs within the game such as a strange teleport glitch which would send the character across the level and fixing the collisions with the platforms found within the level. My work isn’t all to great and for a prototype its average. If I could of practiced more and worked more on these things the prototype game would of turned out much better and more playable too.
Oscar Wilde Design Document
Oscar Wilde is trapped in his own novel, his mission is to escape the world by collecting pages and avoiding enemies that would be found within the game. Once collecting all of the pages he would put them into the cover of the book and would teleport back into reality.
To collect pages that are scattered across the levels. Helping characters from his other novels in order to them to hand over pages to the Jurassic novel and allowing you to progress to the next level. Fighting through monsters or even avoiding them.
Rules and Mechanics
- Movement / Controls: The controls will follow a standard side scroller scheme which would be the arrow keys for movement, up would be for jumping and left and right would be for movement in the x axis. Space would be used to fire a projectile and would be fired in the direction which the character is facing.
- Enemies: There will be 3 types of enemies which are the following: un-killable such as the dinosaur, these would be large and slow. Melee Ink monsters which stand still or move on a path, they damage you when you contact them. Ranged ink monsters are stationary and fire projectiles every couple of seconds, these damage the player.
- Obstacles: Would navigate over the dinosaurs and the platforms which would be mapped out, also the player would have to avoid projectiles fired by the enemies.
- Lives / Health: Player would have 3 lives and once they are depleted they would have to start from the beginning.
- Collectibles / Items: There will be 2 different collectibles, Jurassic pages and novel pages. These would look different and serve a different purpose for each one. Jurassic pages would be used to finish the game, collecting all of them would bring you back into reality. Novel pages are used to complete the level and gain access to a Jurassic page.
The visual style I try to aim for would be a dark and grim setting, set during the night. I would focus on colours in the green and red spectrum as they’re representable to the location and enemies. I would work on a 16×16 resolution for the sprites not including the dinosaur which would be a 32×32, to give the dinosaur some scale.
Sound / Music
I would use traditional 8-bit sound using BFXR and would use music which would give a exploring and mysterious vibe.
The audience of my game is anyone whom may be interested in the Jurassic era and enjoys platform games. I would say its suitable from ages 3+ due to its uncomplicated design and mechanics.