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[Devlog] "MOBILE CUTE BUNDAM" / Cute-'em-Up [SUBMITTED...??]

A topic by NineByNine created Jan 08, 2017 Views: 531 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 14
(1 edit)

Gametype: Vertically scrolling shoot em up

Engine: Gamemaker Studio Pro
Developer: Uh.. me!... ^^;

So yeah, I uh. I guess I should do a devlog, it might help me collate thoughts and such. so...

Here's the plan I guess. Inspired a little by Twinbee, Kirby, Cotton, Parodius, that sort of thing, I decided I would try and make a cute vertically scrolling shootemup. It allows me to make nice, colourful, simplistic backgrounds and sprites and learn how to do good looking animations for them with pixel art.

I'll be honest, with my rl work schedule I'm looking to get at least a 1 level prototype done with boss and everything but any progress I make during this jam will be useful and good for me.

I've made my plan today, mostly, of what things are going to be, so I can work on those, and I suppose I'll officially start tomorrow, given I don't have to work tomorrow! So there's that.

I have as of yet no idea of a title or a plotline, only that I like cats more than I like dogs, but bunnies are even cuter than both (With some notable small exceptions in all cases), so this is gonna be bunny themed. maybe I'll put a cat or a dog in there too. :D

So first steps are to do a good looking player ship, some bullets, and maybe work out how I want damage and explosions to look. Fiery ones aren't that cute so I was thinking like... stars or something. in pastel shades.


please do include pastel ships i'm very excited!


Sounds great! also, "Cute-em-Up"sounds like an awesome fallback title if you don't think of a better one


Alright so I spent some time working on sprites and such, and figured I should make a bunny themed space ship for this, so knocked together a very crap looking sprite, which is... this!

Now, I don't really like how it looks, those big black borders are ugly as sin to me and I really wanna work on the shading, but I was having trouble visualising it. I got access to a tablet though so decided to sketch out some of this idea into several views and knocked htis up in about 10 minutes or so in Krita.

Dunno if it's easy to see but I was trying to work out where the wings fit and the guns (which thinking about it I'mma have them be railguns. which fire carrots. because carrots are cute. and contain iron. or ... something... i dunno maybe they do , these ones do. idc. iron carrots. magnetically accellerated carrot shots whatevs :D

I like the idea that the "ears" are actually missile pods (maybe manouvreing thrusters too on the backs I have to draw those in maybe). That "gem" on the head is the cockpit where the pilot actually sits

Speaking of carrots:

Now see, I feel much better about that sprite (it's expanded a bit so it's easier to see things, it's like, a third that size really). But yeah the player ship fires those! Healthy!

Someone liked the idea of star-splosions and I like the idea of fluffy marshmallows so here's a sprite of the star splosion piece!

You'll note there's only one. I was looking at the sprite code in GML and I found out I could not only set the colour of it through image_alpha but I could pick a random range of colours, or a specific colour, tried it out, and got some neat results, and managed to hack together some code where it picks a random colour from a set of pregenerated HSV values stored in variables (probably a much more efficient and tidier way of doing it but this seems nice and simple and logical to me), then fades out after it's thrown in a random generation. I can generate a few of these from a destroyed entity and fling them out and have them fade out and slow down hopefully somehow, to make cute little explosions without resorting to fire and noncutethings. I first tried this with greyscale stars but they just didn't look good . :( but with this light blue it makes really quite nice pastelly shades!

Finally, here's some clouds, because a background should have clouds, and this first stage at least is on a planet.

These are actually four separate cloud images in one sprite strip, since I wanted some nice randomised scrolling to the background, and looking at the sprite code I can pick a particular frame of an "animation" and leave it on that one. the idea is to have it pick a sprite frame at random for each instance of the cloud that's spawned, lock on that one, and fling the cloud down the screen at a random horizontal position. It's kinda late today but I'll see what I can knock together tomorrow after work.

Might have a working prototype at least! Having done some experimentation with GML before christmas I feel like I can work this out fairly quickly :)

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Alright my tablet is being awkward again so working on a long background is....being arduous, and yesterday was a total bust. Friends, let me tell you something about day jobs: they may screw up your work flow something fierce. ^^; Also I've had a terrible time sleeping lately so mostly I've been out of sorts the last ...week or two?...

I did manage to code together THIS though (hopefully this posts okay), sorry for the placeholder background, but this should get across what I've managed to hack together so far. the gumballs are totally temporary placeholder things of course.

Oh uh, yeah, damage isn't modelled on the enemies there, that's... that's just compression artefacts ^^; But yeah coded that all myself, though had some help with the generation of the clouds. Alarms were being.... unfriendly. Someone I was talking to helped me work out a manual way of doing a ticker and keeping it all in the Step event which fixed the bug that caused the clouds to just.... stop generating forever after a certain period of time.


Those multicolour explosions are looking excellent, really nice effect.

I thought so! I kinda want them to be a random number of them between like, 3 and 6 but that's a cosmetic thing. I really like how they spin and fade out and look lovely pastel shades though.

your visuals are looking great! i absolutely love the bunny theme *u* "cute em up" is a genre we need like 500% more of immediately.

Thank you! *^^* And yes I agree. cute games are very much needed because there's not nearly enough of them :)

Quick update, been working on background scrolling much of today, getting that squared away, so far so good, just had some problems with the background so switching to a tile based background instead to see if that works. Will keep you posted :o

background tiles worked just fine! Spent all day workingt his out which is a bit of a shame. >_>; Next task is paths for enemy spawns and such and I have an idea for that, and paths seem pretty simple to do.


wow love how you're playing with the random hsv + particle fade outs!! you might also be able to trim your particles to certain ranges of hues and it'd be interesting if there were some luminosity or additive effects you could play with also--just some thoughts. keep up the great work!


That's an interesting idea, and certainly possible. I think I'd have to start using draw_ functions though and those are awkward and I don't quite know how to use them yet ^^; or how to make glowing effects or whatever. but that'll come in time! Right now I've been working on making the level actually populated by enemies to shoot at and such, and working on getting shot at yourself too. so far it's coming together nicely. Gonna have a nice multi-part boss for the first (probably only) level too I think. should be dead simple to do ^^

Okay so another update: No pictures of progress just yet I'm afraid.

I finally built a background out of tiles and have worked out scrolling the level, and I've done some preliminary work on enemy waves, designed a new enemy, and have been getting code together for them to shoot at me too :D Gonna be working on the getting damaged code and also trying to work out how to make a sprite "flash" when its hit and damaged. this was giving me some trouble until like 2am last night so I called it a night, and I would have done more work today but I got home from work SUPER late, so... tomorrow will be coding day :)


I don't know about the new GameMaker version, but in the old ones, the elaborate way to do the "flash" on hit was to write a shader for it, but that can be a nightmare in and of itself. The simpler but brute force method is probably to add a damaged animation or create a second object on top to create the flashing effect. Good luck!

Using a sprite animation frame is a neat idea but awkward from the point of view of wanting the sprites possibly to animate in the future. Shaders seem to be the "simplest" way of doing it but this would also require me to learn OpenGL's own scripting language and uh...

yeah that is...that is a challenge I am entirely unprepared for. I am definately having a second object on top that's solid white but getting it to actually flash on and off correctly is being nightmarish at the moment. ^^;

alright so I puzzled with the few hours I had available to code today on trying to get the flashing working
it....did not.

alarms just are being awkward and refusing to behave, and the method I used before that worked absolutely fine is ALSO being disobedient

it's like the entirety of GML has just decided to be belligerent and refuse to work in ways that they did before and it's making me frustrated, but also it's 1am as I type this and I have work tomorrow and that's also contributing to my frustration, so time for bed and hope I can get osmething working tomorrow.

at this stage due to rl work scheduling and what time I've managed to dedicate to it I will very unlikely be able to finish anything playable but I am pleased so far with how much I've learned! so there's that at least!

and chances are I'll keep working on it in some capacity.

as a consolation here's at least an image of a new enemy I put in.... I mean, it looks garbage but .... it's something new!

Oof, okay yeah, I think I might have to call this a non-finisher at this point, I'm afraid. Between my work schedule and having a terrible inability to sleep properly for going on 3 weeks now, as well as various other things, I'm having severe trouble even getting this to a state that has working gameplay mechanics let alone even a single level to play to completion. I doubt anything playable will be done by the time the gamejam is over and I really apologise for that, but I'll do what I can to get what I have finished.

So far, what I have is :

a completed background
two types of enemies and enemy waves sorted out (and very easy to make new ones too)
Basic shooting and movement
a player sprite (sort of. It really could use work)

What I'd ideally need is:

Working damage mechanics and lives
a UI of SOME kind
A boss
Music and sound effects

Those are liekly not to happen since I have spent several days trying to puzzle out why GML is being obnoxiously obtuse about why something that worked just fine previously suddenly does not behave at all like expected, but I'll keep plugging on and see if I can't get something released.


I haven't given up! Today, this morning, I managed to get a decent nights sleep (more or less. fever dreaming about code is not fun e_e; ) but I felt rested and energised and had another crack at damage mechanics, sprite flashing and such. and i got it working PERFECTLY! It's a little hacky, maybe, but it works great. :D so now I can focus on other things!

Still need to work on lives, and some more enemies, music and sound (that takes a far lower priority though really), and a boss. I also got a neat idea for a special attack as well, which I won't spoil. I'd post a gif or something but it's not at a good enough state to show off the work on it and it's difficult to clip it right at the moment. I got a lot of background objects that will be invisible still showing as I test things out. ^^;

Soon though, I promise I'll release something soon. Even if it's not complete it's getting closer to a "playable" stage!...still gotta work on that UI >_>;

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Alright! So we're nearly at a "playable" state! I have the enemies plotted out, planned, made and programmed, the game stops scrolling when you reach the boss area. I even have a health bar! Everything is placeholder sprites and assets I'm afraid so nothing looks really good. In fact a lot of it looks pretty awful.

Things that this game could REALLY do with before it's truly in a releasable state are a titlescreen, a pause menu, and a boss, also a gameover state.

I have until 5am on Sunday my time to do this and submit it.

It is 6:15pm on Friday. and in 45 minutes I will be occupied until nearly 10pm at night.

I have work from 12pm to 8pm Saturday. ._.;

Trying to program anything else in time might be entirely futile at this point, but if it gets to Saturday midnight and I can't finish it, I'm releasing what I've got at the moment as it's stable, there's no bugs that I can find or unexpected behaviours, and it runs okay as far as I know. ^^;

I've learned a lot not just about programming in GML, but also about myself trying to do this (like really I work FAR better if I wake up in the MORNING, and get to bed at a decent time... even if I have trouble sleeping like that, and trying to program whilst tired is a recipe for disaster and nothing else.), and it's been a great experience. I wish I could have devoted more time to the project (and that I had more artistic practice as well), but I will keep working on it, and upload successive, stable, playable versions for free on

I've also not given up at all on programming. This was fun! There's nothing quite feeling like some kind of mad genius when you get something working in code and see it work :D THere has been several times, including with the damage-flash code, where I have done the whole mad scientist laugh and crowed out "IT'S ALIIIIIVE" to an empty house ....or what I think is an empty house. whereupon i get odd looks from my housemates e_e;;

But yeah! So, expect a submission of a barely finished but stable and working alpha probably tomorrow, that will HOPEFULLY have a boss at the very least in it! or a menu. or a pause menu of some kind. e_e;

ALSO because I've not really shown much else off, here's a gif! of...well...more or less a bunch of stuff that works now ^^;...except I still have a high fire rate and infinite life for testing purposes >_>; whups. Please don't let me forget to fix that e_e;

also I have a name for the project, even though there's no way I could make it ACTUALLY involve the bunship transforming into a giant robot; but it's too good a name to pass on

"Mobile Cute Bundam" :D

ALRIGHT so, yeah I'm not gonna get any chance to work on this given it's already midnight >_>;

but here it is! So far the fruits of my labour of MAYBE one weeks worth of work I was able to get done on it during the two week period ^^;;

On the upside, I'm glad I didn't give up. #MyFirstGameJam has been a lot of fun! I've learned an awful lot in these two weeks, not least of all some much better habits for creative pursuits, and I still plan to keep working on this even after the fact. My plan is to add a lot of features that are missing, (like you know, an actually playable game for a start as opposed to a barely playable prototype e_e; hahaha) and also fully flesh it out with powerups. I plan to not QUITE make it a typical vert scrolling shooter, and to have a more "risk/reward" style of play , without going into bullet-hell precisely.

I don't wanna give away all my secrets, but I've got plans. big plans. :3 Maaaybe even cutscene plans. and art. of the pilot. and her foes, and maybe better dang art as opposed to the godawful stuff I've done at the moment. ^^;

Stay tuned to my page I guess! Maybe. Thanks for the great time and the comments!