mercredi 24 décembre 2014

Developper Diary #6: Here we go! Game Maker!

Everybody thought I was crazy: a videogame?! All by yourself?! It was the ultimate challenge and I was ready to take it on. I did a few games when I was a child on my Thomson MO5 (BASIC language) so I knew algorythm and such. At first, I planned on doing a small game in one month on RPG Maker. But it didn't support HD graphics, so I tried Unity.

At that time, Unity was only made for 3D games. You had to use program a 2D environment in the 3D engine and it was just really cumbersome to use. Since I couldn't make 3D graphics and I had to try something else.

I knew Game Maker for a long time and already tried it a few years later. At that time, it was very buggy and complicated. I downloaded the newest version and it was a nice surprise: it's perfectly organized to easily make a simple game and it has its own coding language for those who wants to make more complicated stuff. In about a week , I had a stage ready. My scope enlarged and I decided to make a real game that could compete with professionnals!

My adventure with Game Maker was nice... but complicated. First, Game Maker was (and still a bit is...) buggy. Many functions don't really work the way they are advised to and get ready to face a lot of bugs everytime you update the program. One time, they suddenly changed the sound system. I had to rewrite every sound functions in my game. I nearly cried, frankly.

One important thing to know with Game Maker is that it is advertised to be a very easy drag-and-drop game maker but this only works if you're making a very simple game. If you want to make a big, more complicated game, you will have to actually CODE. Another thing is that the developers and even the community will tell you that you SHOULD load every assets of your game in the program. Let me tell you that if you're making an HD game with huge sprites and stuff, Game Maker won't be able to handle it. You WILL have to load everything externally. I had to learn all this b myself with a lot of frustration and anger.

But I think Game Maker is the best. It's easy to use at first and then it allows to expand into more complicated algorythm with its own language. It also helps a lot in organizing your assets and your files. I tried Unity lately and it still is unwelcoming and overly complicated.

I planned to work one year on the game which would be called "Heavy Metal Death Pirate". It was clearly not enough. There was too much to learn and too much to do. I worked 10 hours a day, sometimes more. The 29th of january, as I was nearly finished with the game, I had a cerebrovascular accident.


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