Archive for February, 2012


February 17, 2012

Some time ago I took a class called Game Design Workshop. It was absolutely the best class of my entire education. For one of the assignments I created a concept for a game that was sort of like a reverse Earth defense shooter. That is, instead of your ship being at the center of the screen fending off enemies from all sides, your ship traveled along a specific path around the edges of the screen and shot at enemies coming from the center. I guess you could say it is a lot like the classic game Tempest. Well, I’ve made some modifications to that original design and I’ve actually decided to start developing it. I’m building it in Game Maker and have already got some of the ship movement completed. Like usual, I’m just using placeholder graphics for now.

At first I was totally stumped about how to do this, but then I started tinkering with Game Maker’s paths system. So basically, I created a predefined path then assigned that path to my player object. Then I mapped movement to the path speed and the player ship came alive! After some playing around, I decided to add a second ship at the exact opposite point of the path. So now, the player will have two ships moving around the path as they choose. I’m having some issues with the second ship not showing up on creation and then ‘popping in’, but I think I have an idea of how to solve that.

Anyway, there’s really nothing to show yet, but I at least wanted to let my current project be known. I’ll update as soon as I get some more work done with it.

EGP Infinite World – Preliminary Research

February 4, 2012

Well with the Experimental Gameplay Project having finished up the ‘5-Button Competition’ it is time to move on. A new month means a new theme and a new 7-day challenge. This month’s theme is ‘Infinite World’, so before I move into a full game design, I’m spending a little time with Game Maker. I have a few ideas, but before I jump in I wanted to see if I could even figure out how to make any of them work. I’ve been testing some randomly generated objects. I think I’ve got the initial workings of this ready. Now I just need to put it through some final tests. If it works out as planned, I’ll begin brainstorming and my 7-day development cycle.

Oh and the roundup for the ‘5-Button Challenge’ has been posted over the EGP website. It looks like I have some serious competition. I’ll update with the status of the event as EGP does. Until then, I have some stuff to randomize!

Balloon Ride: We Have Liftoff!

February 1, 2012

I did it! Balloon Ride is finished, uploaded and submitted.

Wow. I cannot even begin to describe what an exhilarating experience this was. Sure it’s just a simple one-level game, but having something tangible that I can say I built is so amazing. That I built it for an actual competition is even more exciting. There’s a chance that people in Germany might actually be playing my game on a huge television screen!

After finishing up the graphics and some last minute details for the level select and results screens, all I had to do was add a couple of sound effects. I popped a balloon to get the sound of, you know, a balloon popping. I also recorded a sound for the balloon ‘lift’. All in all, this has been an incredibly exciting experience and I learned some valuable lessons in design during this short span.

So, while the game was designed to be played on the step pads I described in the first Balloon Ride post, it is of course totally playable on just a normal computer. It is unlikely to be as fun this way but if you want to give it a try to see what people might be playing, you can do so! Just download the game at this link:

All in all, I had crazy amounts of fun building this game. There were times I had no motivation and just wanted to do something else. But I forced myself to keep going, and I am really glad I did. I’m actually really excited to get going on my next game project.

Until then, here’s hoping I get some screen time with this EGP entry!