Tinkering with side-projects like Mancala has taken a back seat over the last week, despite my previous raving about wanting to get back into Blitzmax once again. Aaron and I discussed the relative merits of using something huge like Unity for Paradroid and we ended up deciding that it’s overkill for the type of game we’re trying to recreate, and probably for the types of games we usually prototype or develop as well.
This isn’t a reflection on Unity but rather just more of a dislike from my side than his as he was slowly getting on with his side of the project until some test runs on GMS2 showed things could be put together much quicker. And a lot less bloated. Some day Aaron may well want to go back and tinker with it some more, but I’m more uncomfortable with it than him so I suspect I would be doing stuff other than coding if we ever both worked on the same game with it.
And so for now it’s enough of both Blitz, Unity and Mancala. We’re back to tinkering with Paradroid and both working with GMS2 installations working via Parallels, as the Mac version of Gamemaker Studio isn’t being released until 2nd quarter of 2017. This is, frankly a pain in the butt, as the program is still beta anyway, so there’s no support for running it this way, and we’ve both already lost stuff due to adapting to how we have to develop at present.
Aaron has already got “001” droid up and running on a map with the collision system working almost perfectly. He stumbled a bit when he didn’t realise that GMS automatically strips out duplicates and does other space-saving stuff on tilesets which screwed up all his original maps, but he’s over that now.
I’ve done provisional work on all the intro screens displayed on the title, including the scrolling system which broadcasts the information in several stages. Some work to do on the colour system, and it’s got some graphic glitching I need to fix, but it does work with the bodgy code that’s in place at present. Like any new programming language that you learn, a lot of time is spent hacking things together and then going back to fix them up and improve bad areas as you go. I doubt much of this code will stand up once I have a few more run-through’s on the title sequence again to try and get mine running the same way. Heaven knows how Braybrook did all this, plus the actual game, in around 54k back then.
As before the gameplay side of things is still all in Aaron’s side of the project. My end has expanded a bit into working out a way to get the sound effects. A look at the music I have for the title screen that includes the sound effects will hopefully let me strip out some of the originals later on. I’ve also got my beady eye on the transfer game because someone has got to do it, and it looks like it’s going to be murderous to code at present. I’ll definitely be looking at doing this towards the end, once I’m much more familiar with the GM language itself , and using the tools of the dev system much better.
I’d post up a few screens of the title sequence in action – minus animation obviously – but there’s a nasty graphical glitch I need to fix first before I do that. And, considering Aaron is working on an actual Paradroid font, how all this stuff is displayed may get drastically changed anyway.
And, on a final note, I’m going to implore you crazy kids out there who also try and do this game development thing like us to be careful with your data. I have a back up system that runs every night and backs up all sorts of stuff onto my Qnap drive. I also back up stuff once a week or so onto a USB drive. Every month or so I’ll put a copy of it all onto another drive and take it round my mothers house. I’ll then copy it all onto her laptop as well as keep it on the drive as a back up. I’ve got dropbox installed and stuff like my code gets put on there as well now.
You’d think I had myself pretty much covered but I got caught out last night with a little prototype I put together to show off some basic stuff that GMS 2 can do very quickly. I’ve done a couple of these over the last week or so, mainly just to copy out bits of working code I can reuse into my code snippets program. I’d estimate I was about 60% towards a workable, very basic game, including rammed in front and back end screens when parallels crashed. Not a big thing I thought at first but, due to using GMS2 in an emulated windows environment via Parallels, it looks like the system uses some kind of virtual storage system to put the stuff that’s being saved out from any Windows application and it never had a chance to dump out all the data by me exiting the application – in this case GMS2 – normally. So the game is now gone and i’m going to have to recreate it. I only had an hour or so’s worth of work into it, so it’s not a disaster, but it does make me think that I should be a lot more careful in future when it comes to saving stuff out with this system. I’m thinking of letting it just write out to the folders reserved for the PC file system within Parallels now and then copying regular across to a stick, or the Qnap,Mac drive.
Never assume you’ve got every risk covered – because you probably haven’t.
Now I’m going to rewrite this game again – mainly just to piss Aaron off 🙂