Click the banner to go to my games

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Games development update 17/11/2018

It's only a text update for this week as I'm going to start doing something a little different with the live streams next week.

The idea behind the live streams was to record each one and share it to YouTube as a development diary. Unfortunately, I think that this idea isn't great as it means people have to sit through an up to 2 hour long video every day to see what I've been doing. So, I've decided to condense the live streams down into a weekly "dev vlog" that I'll upload to YouTube every Saturday staring next week.

This week I spent some time redesigning the sprites for enemies, player and bosses. I wanted to move away from the Master System-ish look that the game had previously and more towards an 80's arcade style look.It still requires a bit of work, but it's getting there.

The game now has three properly working levels with the game getting progressively more difficult through each one. The idea is to include 10 levels with a boss at the end of nine of them until you reach the "super boss" on the final stage. The enemy spawn rate still requires some tuning to keep the game engaging without letting the difficulty get too hard on the earlier stages.

I started working on the ground levels, but I've not found an elegant way of incorporating them into the level design yet, so they've been shelved for the moment. The code is in the game, but there's nothing to trigger them just yet.

Okay, so that's it for this week. Now I;m off to play Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Games development update 10/11/2018

There are no video dev diaries for this week as I wasn't really able to spend much time on Twitch. I did, however, manage to do some development on BlasterMax and here's this weeks update:

Boss sprite being created
The game now has three bosses with different behavior for each one. The first boss moves left and right while firing at the player, the second boss moves and fires the same as the first but creates a shield between itself and the player to prevent you from shooting it, and the third has the same movement but is backed up by two circular enemies that take turns attacking the player. All three bosses currently have the same sprite, but I'm working on making each one look different.

I've now got the level progression working properly, with the game starting with the red enemies on level 1, red and blue on level 2 and red, blue and yellow on level 3. There are also a UFO enemy and a bomber enemy that appear randomly starting from level 2.

I want to add more sound effects to the game so that different enemies have a different sound when shot. This is a fairly easy process to complete and I'll probably get onto sorting this out next week.

I also want to add some ground levels at some point. This is only an idea at this point, so it's not a definite addition yet, but I've laid out some ideas for ground based enemies, tanks and gun turrets, that I can look at including on later levels.

The schedule for next week is to do three games development live streams on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These will be at the usual time of 1pm until 3pm UK time. I may also look to add some evening streams, as I've now got a desk mic that allows me to stream while not wearing my headset, so I can now hear if I'm needed elsewhere. The only drawback of the desk mic is my mechanical keyboard is quite loud and it sounds like it's feeding off the suffering of human souls when I type, so I may have to look at getting a quieter keyboard.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Games development update 03/11/2018

I started the games development live stream last week with the aim being to run it like a tutorial series for newcomers to learn the basics of making 2d retro games in Game Maker Studio using GML. It's going well, but I don't think I'm very good at explaining things properly, so I'm going to change the format slightly by still steaming development and trying to talk through the process, so people can follow along, but without the added pressure of trying to pace it like a tutorial. This is mainly because I'm finding it a bit hard to be on camera, coding and talking about what I'm doing all at the same time, and also because I'm probably skipping over stuff and making it a bit hard for beginners to follow.

So, what's the current state of the game so far? Well, I've compiled a playlist of all of this weeks dev streams that takes you through the processes of starting with a blank canvas and getting things working. The game currently has one proper stage with a boss that spawns at the end of that stage.

Level 1 boss
On the first level the player has to destroy 10 enemies, not counting asteroids, and that triggers the boss encounter to end the level. After that the kill total rises by 5 each level until the player hits level 10 where the final boss appears. Once the final boss is defeated the game will end.

My biggest priority at the moment is getting all the enemies and bosses built and moving around, then I'm going to get to work on the level progression so that the game gets slightly more difficult each level. I basically want to add a modifier to the enemy speed variable that increases by a small amount each level. I'll get on with this when I'm back on stream on Monday.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

New dev stream

I'm starting a new games development live stream on Twitch. The idea behind it is to make some retro styled 2d games using Game Maker Studio 2 and use ideas and concepts that I think would be easy for someone new to development to follow along with and learn how to make arcade games of a style similar to 1980's arcade machines and consoles.

My aim is to create the games in as simple a way as possible, using very simple code that isn't too complicated for beginners, and stream the process as I work through the games. This will include problem solving, tracking down tricky bugs, play testing and the highs and lows of working through creating a game.

A lot of the games development tutorial videos on places like YouTube tend to be quite scripted and the developer has everything laid out before hand so you rarely see them making any mistakes or having to deal with bugs. This, I think, gives newcomers a wrong impression that games development always goes smoothly, and when they start running into problems it can be quite a struggle to stay motivated. So, I thought I'd make my own live stream where you can watch the whole process of making a game and see how I encounter problems and find solutions to them, and upload the videos to YouTube so people can follow along like a series.

I'll be live most week days between 1pm and 3pm.

If you want to check it out, you can find it on Twitch at

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Anyone fancy a dungeon crawl?

Retroids has kind of been abandoned for the moment, as has Cult of Monsters and Asteroid Mining Company. With everything that's been going on here, with my mothers cancer and other issues, I've developed a habit of starting projects but not finishing them. I had a feeling that this is probably down to shooter fatigue (I do tend to make a lot of shooting games), so I thought I'd try something new.

My new game is called Tiny Dungeon, and as you can see it's a sort of dungeon crawler. The game is very early in development, so I don't expect it to be released for some time, but it's coming on quite well. I can only work on it in the afternoons when my mother goes for her nap, but it's progressing quite quickly and I'm hoping to get back to more regular updates on the development. It might not be back to my usual post per week, but it might be a post per fortnight or something along those lines.

I'm not going to go into too much detail as to how the game plays yet, as the mechanics are still quite basic and could be subject to change, but as it grows I should be able to share some more details.

Watch this space for further updates!