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  1. #1
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    "Making a game with no experience" (Tom Francis)

    So I saw a bunch of people in a RPS "What are your 2015 game resolutions" kind of post saying that THIS year is going to be the year they finally get round to making a game. I was one of them, and until this weekend had made no forward progress.

    Tom Francis (ex-PCG, Gunpoint dev, as I'm sure everyone knows) is doing a video series on GameMaker called "Make A Game With No Experience."

    I made a game with no experience this weekend and had a whale of a time. Gamemaker isn't the tool I necessarily want to make my dream project in, but it's super easy to get started with and I feel like the ball is rolling on Project Dream Game™.

    Here is what I made with Tom Francis' tutorials. It is a bit derpy but surprisingly fun to play. Also the death screen is unintentionally hilarious because of how the enemies grow over time.



    Anyone else here following these tutorials? Anyone else here want to? If so I can totally recommend them -- not only did they get me off the ground with making a game but Tom is a charming and entertaining fellow.

  2. #2
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    You're a step ahead of me - I resolved to produce something this year too, installed both Stencyl and GameMaker and have so far dabbled in the former. I saw reference to Francis' videos as well and bookmarked them, but haven't watched them yet.

    I can recommend Stencyl for a quick start to making mobile games. The interface has felt intuitive so far. The threshold for getting just something down is low, as opposed to Unity toward learning which I put a little effort last fall. Unity is what I'll ultimately want to move to in my learning, but I stuggled with it's programming component. Stencyl's visual coding with elements makes code easy to play around with as well and takes that edge off the learning process.

  3. #3
    Network Hub Skyturnedred's Avatar
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    I jumped on board too. My sprites are closes to Tom's monstrosities, yours actually look quite nice. I've mostly followed what he does on the videos, but starting to experiment a little too.

    Soon, my turn-based dream game will be a reality.
    Last edited by Skyturnedred; 19-01-2015 at 12:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    I made, with a group of others, a point-and-click adventure in GameMaker once. Good times. Best IT assignment I ever had.

    (Unfortunately it was the only fun one)

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    Recommend you watch vlambeers live stream for their development on nuclear throne (and some of the archived stuff) as they are using gamemaker studio also. Think they use stencyl too.

    Also shows gamemaker is perfectly acceptable tool for making high quality 2d games.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Skyturnedred's Avatar
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    Shaun Spaulding also has a lot of good videos on how to do some basic things and some very specific things.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Part of me would love to give this a shot, but I simply don't have any ideas for stuff I'd want to see realised as a basic 2D prototype. Still, I admire anyone who's taking even these first few steps, seriously.

    I am making a visual novel, though that probably doesn't count as a game for most people. :( Still. Nearly got an alpha version done, all the text finished, all dialogue trees finished, public domain/CC photos and music (appropriately credited) to flesh it out with backgrounds and ambient noise at least. It has been fun, for the most part, though not particularly complicated and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it.
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Anyone else here following these tutorials? Anyone else here want to?
    I haven't started yet, but it's on The List. I've been seeing a lot of positive responses to it on Twitter, so it seems like a good place to start.

    Ultimately, I'd really prefer something in 3D, but I know that as things are now, I'll never get anywhere with that other than thinking about it, so perhaps a 2D project would be a good motivator.

  9. #9
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Similar View Post
    Ultimately, I'd really prefer something in 3D, but I know that as things are now, I'll never get anywhere with that other than thinking about it, so perhaps a 2D project would be a good motivator.
    That's pretty much exactly my situation. I've bounced off Unity a few times though, so starting on something a bit easier doesn't have that feeling of biting off more than I can chew.

    Besides, 2D art I can probably handle. I used to be okayish at 3D modelling, but I'm a terrible 3D animator.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    It has been fun, for the most part, though not particularly complicated and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it.
    I'd recommend posting it over in the Lemma Soft Forums. While it isn't the highest visibility spot on the net, you will at least find a receptive audience.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuddenSight View Post
    I'd recommend posting it over in the Lemma Soft Forums. While it isn't the highest visibility spot on the net, you will at least find a receptive audience.
    Already a member. ;) But I appreciate the advice, nonetheless.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    So I saw a bunch of people in a RPS "What are your 2015 game resolutions" kind of post saying that THIS year is going to be the year they finally get round to making a game. I was one of them, and until this weekend had made no forward progress.

    Tom Francis (ex-PCG, Gunpoint dev, as I'm sure everyone knows) is doing a video series on GameMaker called "Make A Game With No Experience."

    I made a game with no experience this weekend and had a whale of a time. Gamemaker isn't the tool I necessarily want to make my dream project in, but it's super easy to get started with and I feel like the ball is rolling on Project Dream Game™.

    Here is what I made with Tom Francis' tutorials. It is a bit derpy but surprisingly fun to play. Also the death screen is unintentionally hilarious because of how the enemies grow over time.



    Anyone else here following these tutorials? Anyone else here want to? If so I can totally recommend them -- not only did they get me off the ground with making a game but Tom is a charming and entertaining fellow.
    Congrats man! That's ace!

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drayk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    Congrats man! That's ace!
    Indeed, it's very inspiring to all of us who want to at least try to create a game at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    I give unto you the maddest of props. You're a god damned super hero.
    *Mostly* harmless

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    That death screen scares me, in a hilarious way.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Similar View Post
    I haven't started yet, but it's on The List. I've been seeing a lot of positive responses to it on Twitter, so it seems like a good place to start.

    Ultimately, I'd really prefer something in 3D, but I know that as things are now, I'll never get anywhere with that other than thinking about it, so perhaps a 2D project would be a good motivator.
    You've for more chance of actually finishing a project in 2d. 3d is vastly more time consuming especially with creating all the art assets

  16. #16
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    I was wondering if 2D wouldn't be more work. You'd have to draw a whole load of sprites for different frames of action,etc..
    If it was 3D then making the model might take longer, but after that wouldn't it be much easier to use in terms of things like animation, lighting, etc... ?

    Although I assume you could probably find some free 2d sprites / 3d models to get started with.

  17. #17
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    @jams:
    Was that from zero to game in one weekend? Or had you been messing around with gamemaker before?

    Looks like a cool game.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by karaquazian View Post
    You've for more chance of actually finishing a project in 2d. 3d is vastly more time consuming especially with creating all the art assets
    I don't know if that's necessarily true. I guess it depends on your skills and whether or not you're going to use outside assets.

    I love the series, even though I'm working on a 3D game in Unity. Tom is a great teacher and very entertaining. It seems like he has just enough experience to know what he's doing, but is new enough to it so he doesn't assume everyone has some base-level of knowledge. Since I've been programming professionally for about 15 years now, I often forget programming is not a skill everyone has. :-P

    Jams, that game looks pretty great! Any plans to release it?

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    I keep thinking of things I'd love to try, but then I think of what it would actually take to realise and quickly step away from the all-consuming chasm in space-time that opens up in front of me.

    I just watched the first two of Tom's videos and it seems like a perfect opportunity to mess around with ideas and (hopefully) learn some new fun stuff, so I'll probably give give it a go and see what comes out of it.

    And yes, that is a gloriously hilarious/terrifying death screen. :)

  20. #20
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Wow, er, thanks for the praise folks. My game is rubbish and doesn't deserve it! I'm glad people agree that the death screen is funny though.

    @BillButNotBen -- it's seriously zero to game in like 4-5 hours, and I don't think my previous dabbling with GameMaker over a weekend years ago really counts as prior experience since I'd probably forgotten it all. I'm a web developer though so programming isn't alien to me.

    @accos -- no plans to release it, but hey if it turns out to be worth playing by the time I'm done with the tutorial series I guess I might as well put it up somewhere.

    @skalpadda -- the spacetime chasm is part of what made me scale back my goal from full-3D amazingly polished thing (that would probably need an actual team of actual talented people) to somewhat crummy 2D thing that I might actually finish. I guess all I really want to do is prototype the dumb game ideas I get sometimes, and maybe GameMaker is enough to do that.

    Also, my intention with creating the thread wasn't to show off my game (well, maybe a little bit), but to encourage people to have a go. If Jams the Procrastinator can do it, anyone can. :)
    Last edited by Jams O'Donnell; 20-01-2015 at 12:55 PM.

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