Sooo, been doing a lil’ prepwork, so I figured I’d post a couple of extensions I’ve been putting together for all the Game Maker users out there. What they do is kinda random, but who knows, maybe someone will find it useful like me.
- GM Mouse Ext – Adapted from a DLL someone else made (I like the GEX format better). Adds functions to load and use ANI/CUR files as mouse cursors, and functions to contain the mouse to a screen region. [download]
- Line2D 0.2 – Something I put together to calculate line-to-line intersections. Also features a fairly random function that generates a curve based on 3 points (stuck it in there since it uses the intersection functions). [download]
I also took the time to write some documentation so hopefully it should be clear how to use them. I hope someone finds these useful!
This will be my first Ludum Dare. My brother’s been doing this kinda thing for a few years now, and while I’ve always been into programming and game design, I’ve at the same time always regarded accelerated game development challenges with something akin to a child looking at exotic animals in a zoo. I’m not a game developer. In this area you might at best call me a game mechanic prototyper. My area of expertise largely falls in the bounds of website development. Making good, well-designed, well-coded, widely-accessible websites is something I’ve spent a lot of time doing and take a lot of pride in. Even so, one can only take so much discussion and harrassment before they become interested in something for real. I very much want to give this LD thing a try, to see what it’s all about first-hand, and learn as much about it and myself as possible.
All that being said, I do consider myself more knowledgeable on the game development side of things, but only because that is the side of programming that I tend to play around in and experiment with (as opposed to “real work”). I have little to no experience actually finishing or polishing functional games. I’ve also spent quite a lot of time reading others’ experiences (for someone who is yet to participate, anyway) and advice, so I believe myself as ready as a total newbie can be. My plan is to make something as simple and straightforward as possible, with very little text or narrative, focusing primarily on a simple graphical style and solid gameplay. Hopefully my confidence in my planning ability won’t backfire, haha.
In keeping with what seems to be tradition, here are the tools I will be using:
- GameMaker 8.1 – Easily my weapon of choice when it comes to quick prototyping. I wish I could be programming in C# or Python, but time will not be on my side, and GameMaker is my best choice for speed.
- Photoshop CS5 – I’ve been using Photoshop for years, even longer than I’ve been doing any kind of coding or web dev. This is definitely my playground away from “real” games, and I have total comfort with it.
- Notepad++ – Been using this for all kinds of coding and programming for years, and proudly so. Obviously the inbuilt GameMaker editor will be my primary coding tool, but you never know.
- SFXR/BFXR – Sound is probably the single area of media development I have absolutely zero experience in whatsoever. I’m so glad something like these exist, especially since they seem pretty legit from my limited messing around.
- AutoTracker-Bu – Ditto to the above sentiments, except music is even harder, and thus I am even more appreciative. I haven’t played around with this yet, but I’ve resigned myself to no music at all if need be, so I doubt it will let me down.
- SchismTracker – To export the output of AutoTracker to WAV. Not much more to be said here.
- DaFont – I’ll probably not need this, but as with Notepad++, you never know. It’s a great resource.
- Asana – Project management tools are amazing. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to mess around in this during the event itself, but surely it will be useful.
- Chronolapse – Because why would I write a script to capture my screen every X seconds when a program already exists for it? I probably won’t use this to actually compile the timelapse, that responsibility will fall to…
- AviSynth – Script-based video production. Honestly, I have complete faith in Chronolapse, but I just like AviSynth too much to abandon it.
- Pen, Paper and Camera – Let’s face it, sometimes doing something by hand is way more efficient. Concept drawings ahoy!
I’m just gonna put this out there right now… I plan to make a ninja platformer. Sure, it’s not original, but you can’t go wrong with ninjas, and platformers are not too hard. The goal here is to have a very broad and flexible idea sorted so that I can focus on the important stuff (gameplay). I reject the “everyone does it so let’s do something else” train of thought, I do not believe in it, I believe there are advantages to doing what is popular, and even when doing what it popular it is still possible to stand out. Also, adaptive creativity is something I consider one of my strongest suits, so I have complete faith that no matter what the theme ends up being (as long as the theme isn’t “NOT ninjas/platformers” or some variation thereof), I will be able to adapt “ninja platformer” to it. I’ve already got a few ideas for some themes even as seemingly irrelevant as “flowers” and as vague as “collecting”, so I should be fine.
As a side note, this thing falls right around my birthday (24th), so I believe I have a pretty sweet card to play if I need to get people away from me so I can focus on this. Incidentally, I turn 23 this year. No joke, this particular LD is made for me haha.
Welp, I fear this post may be a bit too long, so I think I’ll end it here. Good luck to all, especially those who are doing this for the first time like I am!