A downloadable project for Windows
I had a concept I really wanted to prototype, but I knew it was going to be a short week as I was helping to organize some IGDA and Global Game Jam stuff. Since one of the principles of the game a week challenge is that once the week is over you can't go back to an idea, I decided to do something else as I would have been pretty gutted if I didn't get to spend maximum time on that idea. I might even leave it until my game maker skills are dramatically improved, but it feels like this weird "don't eat the marshmallow yet" delayed gratification exercise.
So what did I do this week? I did a platformer prototype from the excellent Learn by Luke tutorial.This is one of the best game maker tutorial series I have found so far. I had it up and running in less and than an hour and it felt pretty good. I then decided it would be a good exercise to convert it from drag and drop game maker components into code. I figured it would be quick and simple but the week basically turned into a series of me breaking and unbreaking it and ending up with something nowhere near as good.
Here's what I learned:
Go with the bare minimum. I had something that worked perfectly as drag n drop, and I tore it apart and made it work in GML. I should have just left it and got on with designing other mechanics. In future if it works, i'll just go with it. Even spelunky used some out of the box platformer asset.
Polish / feel is super time consuming. I spent alot of time trying to make jumping feel good. Its really hard! Gives me new found respect for something like Super Meat Boy. There are so many variables to consider for something so simple.
Don't use gravity. A large part of my problem was I was using the game maker gravity function. My scale was different to "standard" platforms and it caused me a lot of problems. Also, it's basically a black box so when your gravity is 1 what does that mean?
So the package has two executable this week. The drag n drop and the GML so you can see the difference.