Creation of a Video Game with No Knowledge: Upending the Tea Table

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about the development of this small little game that I’m building, so here goes. I started to run into issues with animating my little robot buddy, so I threw the character out the window, thus upending the tea table. He’s not gone entirely; however, as I’ve simply taken away the robot and decided to give him back his legs. This allowed me to animate him – even if it isn’t the smoothest animation – a little easier, and to look more believable. OK, so it’s really not upending the tea table, but a change nevertheless.

playerboy

Of course, this means the backstory for the character has to change. No longer will Stompy, his official name, be embarking on a quest to discover why a trap was set for him. Instead, Stompy will go on an adventure to save his sister, Stompette, from a mysterious alien ant race. Definitely a little more simplistic in nature, and also not very original, but given the game’s biggest influencers, – Super Mario Bros., Adventure Island, and Zelda II – I think it was an appropriate change.

Also, I’ve implemented a lives system similar to those found in old school games. Once all your lives are gone, it’s Game Over, and that’s the bottom line. I’m not going to be implementing an infinite lives system that holds your hand, or loads of checkpoints that encourage sloppy play, instead, I want some of the game’s difficulty to come from the pressure of holding onto every chance you’re given. For those curious, I don’t plan on adding a continue function, but there will be plenty of hidden 1-Ups.

I’ve also added some new graphics, and improved upon older ones, as seen in the screenshot below. Plus I’ve been playing around with the layout size, and character physics to find what works best for my vision. As for stage design, I’m nearly done with the physical layout of the first level. It will be short and easy to beat, giving you an opportunity to get used to playing with the game’s character. I’ve got ideas for other levels, including vertical stages, and a fortress stage that will play similar to the palaces from Zelda II. Plus, I’m thinking hard about what kinds of power-ups to include; an invincibility power is almost guaranteed.

sspeak

I still have to create art like trees, bridges, enemies, etc. for the rest of the game, but I’ll also be building levels as I go. Designing levels is proving to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I believe that a good, fun level is hard to execute, especially when I have little to no experience doing so.

My plan is to have a 3-4 level demo by the end of April. If the feedback is good, and the consensus is that there’s potential, then I’ll continue – I do have ideas in mind for three more worlds. You’ll be able to find the game on the Scirra Arcade, plus I’ll add a link to it on this website.

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  • superphillip32

    I have to have two game prototypes completed by early May for my Video Game Design 1 class. I have yet to start on them, but that’s not important. Important is your game, which is looking nice. I love independent works like this!

    • http://twitter.com/MiniFortress Mini Fortress

      How did I not know you were doing game design classes? Are you learning to code, and/or using GameMaker/Construct?

      Thanks for the kind comment, I’m hoping it will be at least a little playable. Regardless, it’s been an awesome learning experience which in itself will be rewarding.

      • superphillip32

        I’m using GameMaker. At the first half of the semester we were walking through the tutorials of The Game Maker’s Apprentice book. I hope that some of that I still remember to actually make what I’d like to make.

        • http://twitter.com/MiniFortress Mini Fortress

          I’ve heard of that book, but I’ve never taken the time to track it down. I usually stuck with tutorials, but didn’t have the patience to learn GameMaker.

          Would you ever consider posting a blog about it? I’d be interested to read about the prototypes that you design.

          • superphillip32

            I might do that. If I don’t, I will share it with you regardless.

  • http://www.digitallydownloaded.net/ Matt S

    What are you making this in, Parko? GameMaker?

    Keep these updates coming! This is the first I’ve seen, and I’m very interested indeed.

    • http://twitter.com/MiniFortress Mini Fortress

      I’m using Construct 2, couldn’t really do anything with GameMaker, no matter how hard I tried. Construct 2 is definitely the easiest tool for developing games that I’ve tried.

      I will definitely keep them coming! I’ll also be posting videos of the game in the coming days, most likely a run through the first level.