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[devlog] SpaceTime

A topic by Caiman created Jan 02, 2016 Views: 511 Replies: 18
Viewing posts 1 to 14
(Edited 1 time) (+1)

Hope I'm not jumping the gun by posting a development log! I'm very new to the gaming community and this is actually my first time making a game! My goal is less finishing the game so much as it is getting a prototype level done for a larger project I'm working on!

Plot Synopsis

Somewhat, something gave Rhea the ability to go back in time, and split off new timelines to get a better conclusion to her current predicament. Her younger sibling is being taken to someplace cruel, and she's going to find a way to stop this no matter how many repeats it takes.

No one taught her about proper time management, though, and as the tangle of offshoot timelines grows messier and messier, the more clear it becomes that something's trying to stop her.


While visuals of this game are going to be a rough draft for the game jam, the final idea is to go for a solid block cartoony style! Main visual examples I can think of are the recent Charlie Brown movie, the general look of most papercrafts, etc. The idea is simple yet defined, with color set mostly by mood!

This is likely to be more of a stretch goal than anything else, but I do want to at least get some concept arts done for the general mood of the game I'm going for!


The basic concept is a platformer involving the concept of time travel! The main character can only move in one direction (left or right depending on the stage), with other motion added in by jumping/falling etc. The puzzle mechanic involves a combination of manipulating time and space. While the player avatar reverses, the space around it stays similar, and the player must coordinate this in order to progress through the levels.

Here's a basic example of using this mechanic to get inside a locked elevator! Through time travel, you can change the players position to a previous one while the position of everything else remains the same! [A shitty phone photo, sadly, since my tablet pen is currently AWOL]

While there will be other forms of game mechanics in the final version of the game, this is the mechanic I'm hoping to have a good draft of by the end of the game jam!

Braid is a similar game, and I've played through the demo in order to make sure none of my mechanics are blatantly similar. The inspiration of this game falls more towards Life is Strange, whose endng had a lot of lost potential. This left me with a lot of ideas that I want to try to do something with!

Day 1 Goals

Mess around in Gamemaker and get a general feel for how the code works

Hash out character concepts for Rhea

Jam HostSubmitted

hiya! you're completely fine posting!! i'm glad to see that others are doing so!!

this concept for a platformer looks pretty awesome! i'm really curious to see how the whole time-power stuff goes because time shenanigans always end up Very Badly for the time traveler ! it almost guarantees tears and pain

good luck pal!!!


Aaaa thank you! To be honest, I still need to do a lot of hashing out of the plot! I got the big events and tones planned out, but all the little details and how best to incorporate them into the game will probably be the hard part!!!!!! This game jam I'm hoping mostly to hammer out mechanics!

Honestly the moment you try to use time travel for anything important, you're screwed. That's what i'e learned from video games.

this looks really cool!!

Haha, thank you! I look forward to seeing your stuff too!


I love games with cool puzzle mechanics like this...

Will the time travel be more about position (like with the elevator example) or do you spawn extras for certain things?


Ah, this might get a bit wordy, so I apologize ahead of time!

I didn't mention this in the main post, since its not what I'm working on for this game jam, but extra's are part of the game mechanic, or plot at least! The main focus of the plot is how when you leave old timelines behind to pursue a bitter one, you're still leaving versions of yourself behind. Due to not being a main timeline, they mostly see their world deteriorate as they live through the shitty situation you left them with. Basically, they end up coalescing into a 'beta' version compared to your 'alpha', who's sick and tired of having to deal with this bullshit and just wants you to stop. The overall theme I'm going for in this game is like... how much is it worth hurting yourself to help someone you care about.

I'm hoping to make it more about position, but I'm still very early on in puzzle design so it's likely that a bunch of changes will be made! My main concern right now is creating something interesting while still keeping it different from games that have similar mechanics!

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

Got a beta character deisgn done and a quick basis for the general style I want to go for in the game!

Day 2 Goals:

Figure out object rules to allow them to interact with each other properly do you can like. Bounce unto a platform.

Fiddle with gravity and stuff to figure out how that works.

Decide on color schemes for first level.

Replace default asset with art asset.


I'VE GOT A BASIC PLATFORMER WORKING AND ITS EXCITING!!!! I'm making good progress ehehehe. Right now I'm doing collision testing! Right now it works.... too well. It prevents collisions by keeping you stuck there forever.

Anyways, here's a screencap. All the sprites are beta right now, in case that wasn't super apparent!

Embedded image permalink

That lizard is me. Stuck there. Forever.

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Day 2 Progress:

I got a color test done! I know the general style I want to do the sky in, though I want to remake it in different colors. Once I finish that up tomorrow, I'll replace the Neko Atsume background with it.

I got burnt out a bit, so I didn't get as much done on character modeling. However, learning more about how gamemaker code worked allowed me to get some insight into the easiest way to design it!

The main achievement of the day was in coding! I was able to hash out the basics of a platformer! Tomorrow I want to work more on the mechanics that will make this game unique, so I'm going to make running one-directional and see if I can leave a trail of where the character has been. While I'm so far unsure of how to trace the character back in time, being able to trace the path the character makes should be a good start. After that, the next step would probably be to see if I could trace the character down the path along the center? But Im getting ahead of myself! If time allows, I also want to mess with gravity and speed to see what gives the best game feel.

Goals for Day 3:


-Analyze Running Patterns

-Make Final Sprite in Layers

-Adjust each layer to create a running animation

-Sketch out ideas for platforms and backgrounds and gen level design


-One-direction running

-Leave trail of path


kim good luck!! this is some really cool progress. my quick guess might be that you could make a 2D array for the x,y coordinates past and then storing those and drawing them at different opacities as they go further down in the array :0c it might be a bit heavy though so maybe google around to see if there's anyone who's done trails in GML before.


OOOOOOOO THIS IS SO USEFUL AND IM GONNA DO SOME RESEARCH AND GIVE IT A TRY!!! This helps a lot actually? Cause I'd just figured out how to create an empty path variable and getting the coordinates for it!! > : ] Aaaaaaa im hyped


omg awesome yess ?!?? i'm not too familiar with gm's path class but if you can get the coordinates you're golden!! you prob want something that refreshes the array every tick--moving each position further down and getting rid of them after x index. all of these are associated with a certain opacity inside the 2D array.


TODAY I figured out pathfinding and got movement restricted to just one direction! It's 2 am and I'm tired, but I'll post some images of it tomorrow. Goals for tomorrow:

  • Have something following the player character OR
  • Creating a path by plugging players movement coordinates in
  • Scrolling background w/ clouds
  • Basic character sprite
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DAY 4!!!

I managed to get a few things finished up today!!! First of all I got done w/ a WAAAAY nicer beta background for the game. And I was able to freshen up my skills and learn HOW TO MAKE THEM SCROLL!!!!

I've also been messing around with paths, too! While I'm trying to get in how to plug in my time travel game mechanic, I've been working on learning paths which will be a major thing to know in order to implement it! As you can see, I have a screaming blue guy following a preset path in the background, and I also have a happy little guy who follows me if I'm in a certain radius of them!

They won't follow me into the abyss, though. They have self-preservation. (And gravity makes me fall too quickly to stay in the radius but. I can't stop laughing at how 'NOPE' it is.)

On the less visible side of things, I've been doing research into how to use 2D arrays, since I'll need them to record the position of where my player's been! I'm estimating that this is probably going to take a couple of days to figure out, so I'm trying to take it in steps!

School begins tomorrow, so I'll have to be SUPER GOOD AT TIME MANAGEMENT! In order to handle game jam!


  • Implement a 2D array that plugs in a log of the characters position.
  • Rough sketch of a basic simple puzzle room.
  • Goodbye jumping lizard you'll be getting replaced with a new beta sprite.
  • BONUS: Make level larger, implement a camera scroll.
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School bean over the past few days and it kept me busy, ahahaha. Fortunately I did get a very big bit of progress done, which is that my character can now travel BACK IN TIME WOAH!!!! Basically pressing down now cycles you through your past positions!!!!! There's a lot of bugs in it, but look!

There's def a lot of errors that I need to parse out, here's quick list.

  • When protag gets to origin point, code doesn't know what to do and just spins off. I need to put an if statement in to make it stop once the code reaches zero. Or a while loop?
  • Path isn't a direct repeat of the path character went.
  • Falls straight down, this is a problem w/ gravity i think.
  • Player gets stuck to ground after time traveling, can't jump. I'm assuming this is problem with jumping collision.

Tis is exciting though, and the fact that I got it to this stage surprises me a ton!!!! I'm gonna tinker around with it a bit more tonight.


an if statement is probably your safest bet!! you would prob just set it back to 1 or 0 if it reaches 0. this will be so cool when you weed out the bugs!!


The next few updates won't be too exciting as its mostly debugging!!!!! But here's today's update!

I've fixed a bug involving corner collisions! Without timetravel, this only becomes an issue if you hit the corner HEAD ON, cause then you get stuck one pixel below it. Once the time travel coding was implemented, however, smeething happened to cause every encounter with the platform to be registered as a corner. As a result, jumping on it you immediately got stuck and couldn't move horizontally. Some rearrangement of the base moment code fixed that, though, so now that aspect is fine! B )

Current goal is to fix one bug a day, and hopefully have this mechanic polished out by the end of jam!

Two main bugs to fix at this level:

  • You keep on traveling back even when down key isn't pressed to induce time travel.
  • Travel beyond starting point.
  • It goes to a direct path to the starting point, as opposed to the path you went through.
The best way to fix this would probably be to see what is considered the ending starting point. Set if statement to make it stop when it reaches coordinates of starting point, and that should help with beginning to isolate the problem!

Did some more debugging!

I was able to isolate problems and realize none of it was coming from the array, but rather faulty coding in the stuff setting it up. I want to change a few of the base speed values, so I can start trying to isolate the problems in code from there. If it moves faster, I know its directly linked to horizontal motion and can proceed from there.