Posts tagged Game Maker
Ludum Dare 36: Pride in failure

(If you want to play the game in question before I rip it apart, it's over on

Just two weeks ago I was trying to put together a video game in 72 hours. I had a concept that I knew I could build in that time and I ran with it, even if it wasn't the most unique or interesting thing. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I could had made working with such limited time, even though the game I built sucks. Like, really sucks. 

The game isn't fun or interesting, there's no good feedback when a shot is launched, making the base gameplay stale. The wind system doesn't shift in a way that makes it interesting, and is more of an annoyance. There are usability issues everywhere as I did not plan the UI around the background image I drew hastily in 20 minutes. (and was one of the last things I did before the deadline) So with descriptions like this, it's not surprising that I did not hit any sort of quality standard, but I am still proud of the experience.

Quality in creative works in a hard thing to achieve. I liken it to a dragon you are trying to chase, in a dark non-euclidean void. It seems so simple: its right there. Making the assumption that you just need a little push towards it and you'll reach that goal is an easy one to make. However, you find very quickly that making it just a few inches in that direction is much much harder than one could imagine. That difficulty is where you learn as a creator, and far too often I see and hear of those with inspiration simply give up as they find they can't find the right path to success. This is a part of the process that should be celebrated, as you are actually creating, with success and failures just being the result of it all. You know the whole saying of "It's not about the place, it's about the journey"? It's overused and cheesy as could be, but its so very applicable in being creative.

So, back to making things that suck: what does having a project that, in your eyes, fails actually mean? It means you've learned. Back to my weird depressing analogy: you've navigated part of this maze before. You now know that doing one thing will be good for a project of that type, and you know many things that are bad; you can cross off those paths the next time you tackle the same subject. This is important. You aren't going to make just one game, one prototype, one texture, one model. You are going to make many, and how you slowly make your way towards quality. This is just a step for me, part of that journey.

Update October 9th 2016: due to the sensitive nature of part 2, no matter which way I've written and re-written it, it does not come off in the constructive way it should. As such I not be publishing part 2.

Prototype Concepts with Game Maker

Since I've been back in the saddle in August, I've been plugging away with Game Maker Pro; working on concepts that I've had for a while. What Game Maker has done for me has been largely making a very simple scripting engine that allows me to throw ideas at in a Java-like concept, and have it all work as expected. It's been refreshing and a large case as to what got me back into making things again after the long needed rest of Gauge's demise. Using the very simple concepts that makes the core of Game Maker's logic, I've been able to quickly build simple AI routines, create sound path finding algorithms, and try my hand at something that I need way more experience with: procedural generation. I think with continued time and effort I may have at least something playable, that I hope is worthwhile. The few I have shared some of the designs I have been plugging away at have really liked what they have heard, and some have even let me try the idea with them in a tabletop setting. As such, being able to get this into a medium that actually makes sense has me incredibly excited, and has made me realize just how finding the right toolset and workflow can make a world of difference in the moral in a project, and, thus, the progress that can continually be made.

As things start coming together more and more, I'll be sure to share more details and the nitty gritty.

UpdateSean MacLeanGame Maker