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Devlog: Dead Mall Side Scroller

A topic by NK created Jul 17, 2018 Views: 155 Replies: 4
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Submitted (1 edit) (+2)

I'm really glad this game jam is 2 weeks because there's no way I'd be able to crank something out in just 2 days, like most game jams. That said, today I tried starting a design doc, only to realize I'm not sure what I could feasibly make, or how little I knew about GameMaker 2. Just to have something done, I started project file and tried to throw together a splash screen with placeholders. First wall - how to fade from and into black.

Current Issues:
- decide on simple game concept

- figure out what I'd need to learn in Game Maker in order to execute the concept


haha that's the idea! even two weeks can sometimes stretch the attention space for some people so it's a hard balance to strike. hopefully you've gotten the chance to take a look at other games on the community--i think there's quite a bit of inspiration for some concepts, and you can always take a look at past jams to get an idea of the kind of game/scope that's appropriate for the jam.

Did you decide on a game concept yet?

Submitted (1 edit)

J: I have been scouring a lot of the Gamejam's resources and a lot of GM2 tutorials wherever I can find them (which turns out, is a lot, I was kinda overwhelmed by the flood of information I found). I finally was able to get some pixels to move on the screen when I push a button, but not sure if it was anything worth updating the devlog for.

watercolorheart: not 100%, but with what I've learned recently, I might be able to push out something that is 2D and single-screen


Oh my god, I made a game. There isn't a lot to it, a total of 4 screens, and all you really do is go right, but it's done.  It barely meets the optional theme.

The goal of the game is to find something to drink- and the only vending machine is on the other side of the mall.

Clearly, I didn't keep this devlog updated, but between my day job, learning how to use Game Maker2/GML, and making assets for the project, the devlog fell through the cracks. Although, I did personally track my progress, and I'll do my best to format it for a devlog.

Most of, if not all of the first week of the jam was devoted to just learning Game Maker 2. Starting on 7/17/18, I started looking into whatever I could find in the way of learning Game Maker 2 from the perspective of the absolute beginner. I ran through the built-in GM2 Demos, both for DnD, and Code. At first, I thought I could get away with doing the whole project in DnD, and very quickly realized that I would not be able to. I shifted gears, and dove into GML tutorials. Read a lot of the documentation, watched a lot of videos. On 7/18, I threw together a test sprite and I managed to put this together. 

<-- Testguy

While this isn't the most exciting thing ever, seeing Testguy move and jump in response to the inputs kind of blew my mind. 

I ended up hitting a standstill from the 19th to the 22nd, as I went on a 3 day trip with my roommates. 

From the 23rd to the 26th, most of the work for the actual project happened. I decided that the game was going to be something SUPER basic- all you really do is move to the right and jump. Since this was my first game jam, even with the two week period, I wanted something I could finish.

For a long time, my project looked like this. No tiles, no background.

I learned very quickly that making background tiles is really hard, but I'll take not-great-but-done over amazing-but-unfinished.

Dead mall A E S T H E T I C

The last big hurdle that I had was audio, I'd never made sound effects (for games or otherwise), and I definitely have no experience with music composition, or theory. The sound effect issue was resolved easily enough, as I found the link to rfxgen on an old Ludum Dare resource list. Through that same resource list, I also found Bosca Ceoil.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

I wanted to try and approximate vaporwave, but I was literally just clicking notes until I got something that sounded cohesive- and I mean that in the loosest sense of the word.

WOW. Despite how simple and lacking in gameplay the end product is, it's a start. I learned a lot - mostly GML and programming principles (too many to list or remember off hand as I write this), how to use audio tools, how hard it is to make tile sets, and working under a deadline. There may not have been a lot at stake, but I definitely felt the pressure.

Side note, I tried using Habitica to keep myself on track while I worked on this jam. I don't know how much it I can attribute to it, but I can't say it was a nonfactor, which is pretty interesting to me since I've always been kinda skeptical of gamifying productivity.

As final note, I'm really glad I took part in this game jam; thanks to the hosts for putting this on. I happened upon this game jam on my tumblr feed. I always wanted to try doing game development, but a combination of real life and me just putting it off for one reason or another. I always thought I wouldn't be able to do it. Hopefully, I'll continue learning and making game and take part in future jams.

Thanks for reading.