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Ferg's Gaming Dev Thread


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Like most people who spent their childhood with friends, staring at a CRT monitor or television, I have the ambition to create something I love: A computer game! You may remember me talking about learning a language to help me fulfil my ambition of producing a computer game, whilst some of Java was fairly straight forward, I found it very difficult to stay enthusiastic towards learning it, simply because I wasn't seeing the results I wanted to see fast enough.

Most Programmers would scoff when I state that I have moved onto using Game maker studio to produce my game ideas saying that "real game designers" would do all the coding from "scratch" and that my impatience meant I would never be a real game programmer. The fact of the matter is that I'm not a programmer, I learned this quickly in Java. What I am however, is an artist and whilst game maker studio helps me with programming the game to do what I envision, the graphics, level design, story line and scripting is entirely produced from my brain using nothing more than stationary and Photoshop!

So this thread is something to keep me moving along with my project, each time this thread is updated I will talk about what I have done and what you will see next, the thread will be in chronological order and all additions to the post will be headed with the date and time they were posted!

[h3]The Plan[/h3]

So I thought I would tell you a bit about the game I am creating, I don't want to ruin the surprise of the game, so I've tried my best to include enough detail to give you the gist of the game without revealing too much!

The game is a 2D side scroller which focusses on puzzle solving and plat-forming elements of games, enemies will exist in the game but they are not a primary focus. The game will come as 5 episodes each containing approximately 40 minutes of game play in the form of 40 1 minute or so levels within 4 or 5 chapters of the episode. That means all 5 games together should provide around 3 hours and 30 mins of game play, which is respectable for a small story orientated side scroller. Each chapter of an episode with have an introduction and conclusion cut scene.

The basic story of the game is as follows: You are an Android aboard a prison ship that is on a collision course with earth it's your job to stop that collision from ever happening. That's all I'll give you for the story line so far, some of you know more than that but only because you expressed interest in being involved in the project.

[h3]Game Mechanics[/h3]

Progress on the game mechanics so far is as follows: I have created a 10 room test level with an unanimated sprite and some obstacles. The sprite can move left and right using the arrow keys on the keyboard and can also jump using the space bar.

The next step is to work on adding more control features to the sprite such as crouching, shooting and interacting with other in game sprites.


The main graphics I have focussed on so far are that of the main character sprite. for my test level I started with a 32x32 pixel design with no animations, here he is up-scaled for easy viewing!

He's not much to look at right? He was made in about a minute so leave him alone! It's not his fault he's hideous, it's mine!

The final design will be very different to the fella you see here, too start with I'm looking at creating characters larger than 32x32 pixels and a style that is nicer to animate. To achieve this I will create limbs that are separate from each other in photoshop, similar to how a pose able manikin looks. I have already sketched up the basis for these new sprites. Please be aware that these are templates and not actual sprites!

This is a scale template for my new sprite! The circles and centre dots show where limbs will pivot in the animation process! Obviously our template is a bit of a funny shape for a human, especially the head and chest, but that's because I'm designing an android, who wants a robot to look entirely human right? The next step from here is to begin concepting different limp types and weapons for my main character!

[h3]What's next?[/h3]

The next big step to move this project along is to produce what is called a sprite sheet, this is a document containing every pose a specific character can adopt and is a quick reference sheet for in game animating, they can often have hundreds of illustrations for a single character like this:


[H3]17/11/12 @ 21:43 Further Progress[/H3]

A trickle more to look at seeming as my opening post didn't contain many images here is some early work in progress for Level 1 of the Game.

First, progress on the sprite concept, as you can see the design I have in my is a bit more futuristic than our original pixilated pal, this concept shows some of the core body part design, I plan to make the sprite look beefier in the end, imagine this is what the sprite looks like naked! Also note that the design will be scaled down closer to when it is placed in game.

Next a preview of some of the Level design which I haven't really talked about yet, this is a section of concept work for Level 1, my intention is to great an illusion of 3d using a sort of popup book effect similar to that seen in some other games, Little Big Planet for example (although it is genuinely 3d also) :


The example of Little Big Planet below:


[h3]18/11/2012 @21:06 Update[/h3]

Sprite ready for animation! It's not the best ever, but not bad for my first game IMO Also it/he/she is unarmed atm so expect a weapon in the future.

[h3]19/11/12 @18:43 Update[/h3]

One small step for sprite, one giant leap for my animation!

My first Key frame for the sprite sheet!

[H3]20/11/12 @15:15 Update[/h3]

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present My first run cycle!

I'd like to thank a Deviantartist called Django90 for taking some time out of his day to supply me with one of his animations to use as reference material, it's always good to have something to look at for a start point! And his little animation of a running fox helped quite a bit!

At this moment in time, I have a few things to iron out with the spite and this run cycle, firstly 6 frames works to show the movement of the character but it doesn't look silky smooth, I reckon that 12 or more frames will give some really great results so next up is to create some transitional frames between each of these key frames! Secondly you may have noticed the sprite is lacking hands, he has sort of amorphous blobs instead of hands, they'll be coming along with his weapon soon!

Toss this guy some love http://django90.deviantart.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hey mate long time know updates!? Cant wait to see more this is really exciting stuff! Maybe your doing it for suspense! :P

Sorry man, my crappy job is destroying me, not much time atm, there will be updates when i have the energy to sit down and do more!

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