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Game Update: Asteroids, Enemies, and Keeping Score.

November 15, 2010

As I already mentioned, I wanted to add things to the scrolling screen game-world to make it a bit more interesting than just the blank ‘space’ that I had so far.

I found three asteroid sprites, that as chance would have it, I found in a resource folder that came with Game Maker 8. I made one into an ‘object’ made it move vertically at the same speed as the scrolling background, and made it so that once it had left at the bottom of the screen it would randomly move to a spot at the top of the screen, so when the player next sees it it will be in a totally different position. Game maker makes this easy to do with the simple command: random_location.

I copied this process for the other, different sized asteroids, placed a number of them in the room and tested the game:

That’s how it looks with the inclusion of asteroids.

Next it was time to make the projectile that pink hair girl would fire to destroy the eventual enemies. I found a sprite to use as the projectile inside a downloaded Game Maker 8 tutorial folder. Which simply looks like:

I struggled for a while with how to make her fire it, but eventually (and by using a tutorial I found) I managed to link it to the space bar button. As soon as the bullet sprite is ‘drawn’ in the game, I made it move vertically at a pretty fast speed. Next, inside Pink Hair Girl, I made a variable: can_shoot. I also set it so there was a slight delay between the speed the player could shoot the ‘bullets’ at. Here is how all that looks inside Game Maker:

Next is was time to create the first enemy for the game. It took me quite a long time to find a sprite that I could use for this, but eventually found one at Super Sprites

Here it is:

I flipped it 180, so that it was approaching the right direction for when I would make it come at Pink Hair Girl at the opposite side of the game screen. I imported the sprite into Game Maker, made it into an ‘object’ so I could manipulate it in the game. I gave it a moderate vertical speed, and like I had done with the asteroids, I made it so they randomly generated themselves after they had left the game screen. I didn’t want these enemies behavior to be too complex: they could be shot and destroyed by the player and they would take some life from the player if they impacted with the Pink Hair Girl sprite. That was basically it.

Using the ‘collision event’ in Game Maker, I made it so if this enemy impacted with Pink Hair Girl, it would change into an explosion, which I had already made a sprite for. It would also take off some life from the player – 30. If the enemy ‘collided’ with the bullet then the enemy would be replaced by an explosion event.

Now that I had an in-game event that would take away life from the player, so the game couldn’t go on for ever, I needed to make something so the player could see how much life and health they had while playing the game.

A sprite was need to show the health bar etc and I used the one that I found in the same folder as the spirte I was using for the ‘bullet’. It looks like:

I imported it into Game Maker and removed the ‘1946’ and airplane on it (which referenced the game I took it from), so it could be used in my game.

In game Maker I set it so the player would start with 100 health and three ‘lives’. I showed the amount of lives the player had left by using the Pink Hair Girl sprite, which I made about 50% smaller and put in the bar above the health meter. So, here’s how the game looks with the inclusion of an enemy and the score bar, from a screen shot of the game:

– Music and SFX

I did originally say that I wanted to be creating the game and the music/SFX simultaneously. But, contextually, there are some reasons why I have decided to make the music and SFX after the game is complete.

The main reason for not making the music now is that the game is going to get progressively harder, with more and different types of enemies appearing as the game progresses. To tie in with the context of the game getting harder, I thought the music could match this, by changing and reflecting that.And for me to be able to do that, the game needs to be complete, so I can construct the music to time in with that.

This would also more accurately reflect what professional games composers do. The games that they are composing for are almost nearly always complete, or in the very late stages of post production.

I haven’t started on the SFX yet because I want to wait until I’ve at least started the music for the game. Then I will have a better idea of what frequency bands will be open to me. For example, if the music doesn’t contain a lot of higher frequencies I can pitch the SFX (Explosions, blasts etc) higher, so they cut through the music more.

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