Following Let's make games!

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  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 16:31:26 47,497 posts
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    This week's Saturday column is Rob Fearon on: Three screens and the truth, where in Rob writes about creating games as a hobby, like you would join a band or the likes.

    The question in the comments came up:

    @MrTomFTW Can i ask what videos/websites/tutorials you have used to get your self started? I don't know if you want to create a thread in the forum or what not. I've just started watching some videos from Awful Media and the general beginner videos on the unity website as a primer really. Be interesting to hear your tips.
    I figured a thread would be better, as to allow discussion over time if it takes off.

    So I can only speak for GameMaker: Studio, which I've been experimenting with since I spoke to Quantum Sheep at EGX last year. You can get the standard version Free on Steam or
    direct from the Yoyo Games website. Although I've sprung for the professional version which removed any creation restrictions and allows me to export the game as a stand-alone Windows program. You can also pay for modules that allow you to export to Mac, Ubuntu, HTML5, Android, WP8 and iOS but they range from 70 - 190 each so I'm in no rush to buy them. Especially since I've not finished anything yet, and what I have made is amateurish.

    Games you may know that have been made with Game Maker include:
    Death Ray Manta
    Hotline Miami
    Gunpoint
    Stealth Bastard
    Spelunky (HTML5 version)

    I originally started with the Tutorials built into GM:S, but to be honest they're not so good. Instead I recommend YouTube as you've got the following:

    Make A Game With No Experience by Tom Francis (of Gunpoint fame)
    Shaun Spalding's tutorial videos
    rm2kdev
    HeartBeast

    If you've got a Reddit account I also recommend /r/gamedev /r/GameMaker and /r/GamerMakerTutorials. All full of lovely helpful people.
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 16:35:04 47,497 posts
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    Oh and in terms of resources, I've been using GIMP to create sprites.

    For retro sounds you can create your own on http://www.bfxr.net/

    I've been studying sprites at http://www.spriters-resource.com/

    Zoe Quinn's http://www.sortingh.at/ will help you with advice on getting started and resources.

    You can host and sell your game on http://itch.io/ for now they don't even take a cut of any money you may make.

    Edited by MrTomFTW at 16:35:28 21-02-2015
  • wrinkly 21 Feb 2015 16:39:11 3,721 posts
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    Could you please exclude Quaddy from even contemplating this, as what he may come up with fills me with horror.

    Thanks for your understanding.
  • wrinkly 21 Feb 2015 16:52:22 3,721 posts
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    .........although I do hope it will encourage people to try. It would be very satisfying to be able to produce, host and even sell your own game, although I think it's a bit too late for me to even attempt this.
  • faux-C 21 Feb 2015 16:52:24 11,204 posts
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    Great thread, thanks. Loads of useful links there that might actually give me the kick up the arse to do this. Had Game Maker sitting around on my hard drive for ages.
  • JoelStinty 21 Feb 2015 16:56:40 8,073 posts
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    Thanks Mr Tom. i been watching a few videos of basic basic basic stuff, but even that is over my head. Mainly the terminology. It seems that i need to get a grasp of c# before i even get started.
  • spamdangled 21 Feb 2015 16:58:29 31,761 posts
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    @MrTomFTW
    no mention of Risk of Rain or Gods Will Be Watching? Shame on you!
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 17:01:56 47,497 posts
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    @JoelStinty Believe you me, if I can manage to get stuff off the ground then you can.

    Follow that Tom Francis tutorial series from the beginning, it is seriously brilliant.
  • Deleted user 21 February 2015 17:04:39
    Cheers Tom. I've followed, would love to get have a go.

    When I next have a holiday I'm going to have a proper look.
  • monkehhh 21 Feb 2015 17:07:51 5,142 posts
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    Nice one Tom! Anyone interested should definitely check out Tom Francis videos, he knows his stuff and presents it well.
  • disusedgenius 21 Feb 2015 17:10:47 10,055 posts
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    MrTomFTW wrote:
    Oh and in terms of resources, I've been using GIMP to create sprites.
    Just to jump in on that point, the artist on the game I'm working on for fun/learning is using GraphicsGale for his pixelart. Apparently it's got a lot of features that makes life way easier if you want to jump on the hipster bandwagon. All he's using Photoshop for is laying out sprite sheets.

    fwiw, we're using Unity - I really didn't get on with gml's scripting language so being able to use C# is much nicer. I'm not sure if I have any tips for getting started - my day job is vfx so anything feels nicer and more logical than Maya. Usually I just search on google until I hit a stack overflow reply that helps!
  • JoelStinty 21 Feb 2015 17:23:06 8,073 posts
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    @MrTomFTW Thanks. I'm on Mac :( so can't use gamemaker, anyway i'm going to try one of the video tutorials on the unity forums :)

    Edited by JoelStinty at 17:23:21 21-02-2015
  • ruckusroberts 21 Feb 2015 18:21:32 2 posts
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    @JoelStinty Same here - been inspired to look around online for Mac friendly engines today. Looks like I may have to learn Unity which is a little daunting and apparently it watermarks your game until you come to publish it and then you have to pay $1500 (I may have misunderstood this - getting confused already!)
  • quantumsheep 21 Feb 2015 19:15:45 3,128 posts
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    *waves*

    'ello! What a fabulous thread! :D

    @JoelStinty I'm on a Mac too and use GameSalad - you can find it here: www.gamesalad.com

    It is really *really* simple to use, and similar to GameMaker - you can only export to iOS/Android/Tizen/Mac(App Store) right now though, and there are silly limits to publishing if you use the free version.

    Though as a learning tool, you can't go wrong. I recommend looking at some of the examples. I learned from an Asteroids clone, and after mucking about with it was able to tell what made it tick pretty easily.

    It's all about variables :D

    As something to introduce you to game making, there's no better place to start in my opinion (on a Mac anyway).

    You can find my games here as examples of what you can do with it: http://quantum-sheep.com :)

    I've also been looking at Construct 2, mainly because it's capable of exporting to PC/Mac (i.e. Steam) and Wii U. But that, like GameMaker, is PC only :(

    For 3D stuff, Unity is great and free, with some limits.

    I can't actually run Unreal 4 on my Macbook, but will certainly take a look at that when I'm able to!

    There are so many great tools that you can try for free that I try and encourage *everyone* to make games. There's nothing stopping you!

    It's great fun too :)

    Hope that helps! Thanks for making such a top thread, Tom :D

    Toodles!

    QS =D

    Edited by quantumsheep at 19:17:28 21-02-2015

    Edited by quantumsheep at 19:20:06 21-02-2015
  • monkehhh 21 Feb 2015 19:19:15 5,142 posts
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    If people can post up videos, images, scraps of paper, demos, whatever they come up with.. I think that would be great (and probably why I like watching stuff from people like Tom Francis), because I never finish anything!
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 19:26:15 47,497 posts
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    Tell you what, here's something I've made today. Took me 4-5 hours ish.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/58364081/Hyperdrive.exe

    Obviously it's VERY incomplete, full of bugs (see what you can notice :)) and has no real "point" to it.

    Arrow keys move, your little block can take 10 hits before game over.

    Edited by MrTomFTW at 19:27:16 21-02-2015
  • Deleted user 21 February 2015 19:29:01
    Lately I've been messing around with App Game Kit 2. It has a built in BASIC of its own and you can use other languages such as C++ as well. It is good at handling sprites. A very decent bit of kit for building 2d and retro inspired games, assuming that you don't mind putting in the effort and coding.

    Web site is:

    http://www.appgamekit.com/
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 19:32:44 47,497 posts
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    Robbed via a Google :)
  • monkehhh 21 Feb 2015 19:33:44 5,142 posts
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    @MrTomFTW nice.. it ran, felt good and my PC didn't set on fire :) My favourite way to break it is to skip the main 'tunnel' and go across the top!
  • Deleted user 21 February 2015 19:46:03
    I'm making a game based on Frasier.
  • JoelStinty 21 Feb 2015 19:46:57 8,073 posts
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    ruckusroberts wrote:
    @JoelStinty Same here - been inspired to look around online for Mac friendly engines today. Looks like I may have to learn Unity which is a little daunting and apparently it watermarks your game until you come to publish it and then you have to pay $1500 (I may have misunderstood this - getting confused already!)
    Ha. That's a long time in the future! Baby steps. At the moment I'm just kind of aiming for being able to move a square or circle move around on a 2d plane :)

    I started working on one of the tutorials. Rollerball, where you move a sphere around a plane to collect tokens. I've made the sphere, added some lighting and got lost as soon as the tutor Opened up the coding page. Even though I could follow the instructions, all i was basically doing was copying and not really learning anything, saying that I guess if I tired it several times I would maybe able to take it in and able to replicate what I have previously done using different shapes and that. And then with the coding... I don't know why I am doing It or how the make up of the code works. If that makes sense.

    So yeah I think I need to learn the basics of C#. Have to check to see if I can get visual studio or whatever it is called for OS X and find some tutorials

    Edited by JoelStinty at 19:48:26 21-02-2015

    Edited by JoelStinty at 19:52:32 21-02-2015
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 19:49:09 47,497 posts
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    monkehhh wrote:
    @MrTomFTW nice.. it ran, felt good and my PC didn't set on fire :) My favourite way to break it is to skip the main 'tunnel' and go across the top!
    Hahaha, yes well there is that. I know how to fix that, I just haven't put it in yet.

    The main bug that I have right now is that every 20 seconds the speed of the tunnel increases. The way I've done that is I have a variable in my control object called "tunspd", which is set to 1 when the game is started. Every 20 seconds it is increased by 0.2

    The speed of each block is controlled by the following line:

    phy_speed_x = -4 * obj_tunnel_ctrl.tunspd;
    So I'm setting the horizontal (x) speed of the block to -4 x 1, which will increase to 1.2, 1.4 etc.

    Now it works, but if the speed isn't a whole number the game leaves gaps between the blocks and I don't know how to fix it right now :)
  • MrTomFTW Best Moderator, 2016 21 Feb 2015 19:56:40 47,497 posts
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    Fucked if I know, I'm still learning :D
  • disusedgenius 21 Feb 2015 20:02:44 10,055 posts
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    Try using -4.0 as well - it may not know you want to use floats rather than ints. And, as steve said, there might be a deltatime to take into account - otherwise you'll get all console dev on us and have calculations based on framerate. :)
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