Starting a new project. Help

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Mar 20, 2016 at 5:06 PM
Creating A Legacy...
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Okay so I have been inspired by many other indie games to start my own project. I've been in the concept stages for quite some time and I have a idea of what my story shall be and some designs of how my game shall look.

First off I am aware how big of a thing starting something like this is, I've just planned a small game for now, nothing big and huge in scale as that is being silly. The game will be a platformer similiar to Cave Story, Tess, Knytt, Seiklus.. That sort of thing.

So what do I need help with? Just some advice really,
What engines/game making programs are best? I've used game maker before and also MMF2. I prefer game maker though it feels simpler but able to do cool stuff too.

Also any advice on sprite dimensions would be cool too, I have concept art and would like to start turning it into sprites soon but I would like to have some helps on what each sprite should be dimension wise in comparison to what dimensions each tile shall have and how big the background is. I've grown as a sprite artist but everything seems to become out of proportion when all put together :/

Any help whatso ever would be great, I'm wanting advice, This isn't one of those threads with an idea but requesting everyone else to do it for me haha. Though if your interested in maybe bringing some ideas or creative stuff to the table be my guest.

Thanks
 
Mar 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM
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I'm making my first project in Game Maker, it's a good starting point in my opinion.
 
Mar 20, 2016 at 6:17 PM
Creating A Legacy...
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Are you building your own engine or are you expanding on one already built? Whats the game's genre?
 
Mar 20, 2016 at 7:45 PM
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For game engines, it depends on what you want. If you want to learn lower-level game programming, you could try something like Java with the libGDX library, C# with MonoGame or SDL with C++.
However, if you'd like to use a prebuilt engine, GameMaker is a good choice. I've heard that Godot Engine is also good for 2D games (although I've never tried it myself).

For sprites, just pick a tile size depending on what art style you want - do you like pixel art, or hand drawn sprites?
If you're going for a pixel art style like Cave Story's, just make the tiles and characters somewhere between 16x16 and 32x32 pixels. Backgrounds can be pretty much any size since they loop.
Otherwise, I recommend you make the sprites as large as possible, then draw them scaled down in-game.
 
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Mar 20, 2016 at 9:12 PM
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SDL with C++
Actually all you need is C for SDL, which could be better since C is simpler.

I definitely agree with using GameMaker if you're starting off since it's simple to use - good games have been made with it (like Undertale). It's great for quickly starting things, but if you want to get really deep it's going to be harder since the documentation for the code isn't great and doesn't fully explain the behaviors of everything.
 
Mar 20, 2016 at 10:25 PM
Creating A Legacy...
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Yeah I think I'm going to use Game Maker. Thank you for the tips.

I've written up the first part of the game script if anyone would be interested, It's a good and interesting read! Tell me what you think :)

DREAM BOY.
A game in the making by StereoPixel.
Plot Prototype.


Scene 1: Intro.
Location: Unknown.
The game starts with the main character in a open field like enviroment. it is night time and the scenery and background is very wacky and dream like. There is hills in the background with mishaped and angled buildings on them. As light walks through the field encountering many enemies on which he must jump on to eliminate. These enemies shall be basic critters or small simple circular creatures, They shall be the basic enemies of the games, Kind of like goombas from Mario or the critters from Cave Story.

As you progress through the landscape the surrounds begin to become stranger. Tree's and inanimate objects begin to have eyes and human like features. As you venture forward you come to a river where a shadow figure of a girl is on the other side. A converstation sparks..

Mysterious Girl: Hey its you again, the shadow figure
Light: Shadow Figure? You're the shadow figure... Where am I and who are you?
Mysterious Girl: I could ask you the same questions..

The screen begins to shake..

Mysterious Girl: It seems its time for us to depart... Cya! :)

She runs off into the distance off screen

Light: Wait! Come back here!...


The screen fades to black.




Scene 2: Good things start with supper.
Location: Light's home.


The scene changes to Light's bedroom. He's laid in bed and wakes up from what the player now understands was a dream.

Light: Another dream? That one felt real for sure.. Just who is that girl?

From another room he hears

Mum: Light! Supper is ready!...

Light: Coming mum!

You take control of your character once again and navigate the house until you make your way into the dining room.


Mum: Having one of your afternoon naps again Light? You sure are sleeping a whole lot recently, Are you okay?

Light: Yeah, I'm fine mum just tired a lot I guess. Whats for supper?

Mum: I made homemade beef stew, Your favorite!, I was planning on making a cake but I forgot the flour sadly. Would you mind going to the local shop before it closes to get me some supplies? You can get some sweets and some juice too if you'd like?

Light: Sure mum!


After eating your dinner you head outside your house into the first real level/enviroment. The setting is your local town, Buildings and different sorts of shops scroll through in the background, Enemies on this stage will just be rats/mice, birds swooping down, foxes and other real life animals. Also cats what pounce on you from walls. You will go from being on the main street to back alleys, a tunnel, and a final grassy hill up to shop.

Once at the shop you will be able to enter it. Doors what are able to be entered will be a black frame like Cave Story.

In the shop dialouge will happen as soon as you enter.

Light: I've only ever been in here for sweets and stuff for mywe. I wonder where the flour and butter is? Hmm... Maybe I should ask the shop keeper?

You walk past the isles and see multiple cans and products off food, also you see a sweet isle whilst walking by.

You make your way to the Shop Keeper standing behind the Counter.

Shop Keeper: Hey Light! Here for sweets again?

Light: Yeah. But my mum needs some flour and butter for a cake she's making. Where are they?

Shop Keeper: Wer'e really not that busy so I'm sure I could get them you, I know which ones your mother likes to use. Why don't you go and pick some sweets while I get them? I'll be here when you've finished just come and speak to me

Light: Okay, Thanks!


You walk over to the sweet isle you passed earlier, but this time theres a girl stood there browsing.

As you walk over she turns and talks to you.

Girl: Sorry, Am I In the way?

Light: No, it's okay I just want to look for some sweets too.

Girl: You can go first, I'm sorry.

Light: Hey, you was here first its okay. Why dont we both look?

Girl: hehehe okay!

Light: I havn't seen you here before, are you new in town?

Girl: Kind of, I don't come out a whole lot though

Light: Why not?

The girl evades the question and changes the subject.

Girl: Hey look, White chocolate cookies! My favorite :)

Light: You didnt awnser...

The girl runs off the the till

Light: My question.. Is this run away from Light day or something? I must be REALLY bad at talking to girls. *Sigh*.. I guess I'll try these cookies she just bought and get some of this orange soda too.

You make your way over to the shop keeper and you see the girl there too

Shop Keeper: That will be $1.50 please young lady.

Girl: Here you go, Thank you mister!

Shop keeper: Your quite welcome. Hey have you met Light, I see you must be new around here, Maybe you two can be friends?

Girl: Erm... I don't really have time for that.. Sorry..

She runs off outside..

Shop keeper: What a MYSTERIOUS girl eh? Thats $2.50 too Light, plus $3.00 for the baking stuff. Tell your mum I said hi wont you?

Light: Sure. Thank you.


You head out of the shop.


Scene 3: Cats and Cookies.
Location: Local Town.

Back at the entrance to the shop you see the girl walking away, When a cat on a wall pounces down on her and lands on her face. she starts running from side to side, arms waving in the air.

Girl: Hey! No fair I cant see! Get off me you stupid mongrel.

She rips the cat off her and boots it flying..

Girl: Whew.. Oh no! My cookies I dropped them.

Suddenly multiple cats run past her knocking her over and steal her cookies. They see you and a mini boss battle begins. Defeat all the cats to win.

After defeating them. One last kitty runs off with the cookies.

You go over to the girl and help her up.

Girl: Thanks. I guess I owe you one. I can't believe they took my cookies though.. *Sigh*

Light: It';s fine, and here you can have some of mine.

Girl: Hey thanks! That's very I kind of you, I guess I owe you even more now *sigh*.

Light: Cheer up it's okay! :) I tell you what why don't we go to the local park and play for a while? I'd love a new friend..

Girl: I don't really have time though.. and anyway I bet I couldn't be as cool as your other friends.

Light: Well... I don't really have any other friends.. I understand you have no time.. It's okay.. See you then :/

Light walks off with his head down..

Girl whispers to her self: Awww.. Now I feel really bad..

Girl: Hey wait!

Light turns to face her

Girl: Okay then! Lets go! But I can't be long I need to get home soon or else I'll fall a...

Light: Fall what?

Girl: Never mind. I've got to home soon so we will have to be quick. Let's go! I'll race you there!

The girl runs off screen and you follow

Scene 4: Swings and Roundabouts.
Location: Path to the Park.

This level you will be in a field grassy enviroment and will meet forest/wood like enemies, real animals like before so Rabbits. Birds. Dogs and Cats.

The level will have park benches, trash cans, lamposts and other park like objects on which there be platforming puzzles. There is no swings/rides just yet though

As you get close to the end of the level you see the park and the girl there waitng

Girl: You finnaly made it slow poke!

Light: Hey! I had to carry flour and pop too! No fair.

Girl: I'm just kidding. I'm Lucy by the way... Your light right? I heard the shop keeper call you it. Look swings! Let's see who can go the highest!

Light: Well nice to meet you then Lucy! and yeah thats right. Okay lets go then.


You both go on the swings and there will be a mini game where you have to press the jump button each time light gets to the peak of each stride forward and backwards.. Depending on who stays high on there swing for longest the converstation will change after the mini game but only the first couple of lines.

If you win.

Lucy: Hey your good at this! You must come here a lot.

Light: Yeah I always come to this place when I'm bored or want to relax.

If you lose

Lucy: That was real fun slow poke!

Light: Real funny Lucy... But yeah that was pretty fun with someone else to play with.

The converstation carries on normal now no matter if you won or lost.

Light: I love coming here late afternoon, There's never anyone else here.

Lucy: I guess you find it hard fitting in then?... Yeah I know the feeling people always make fun of me, I hated it in my old town.

Light: Why is that? You seem fine to me.

Lucy: Because... because.. oh whats the point... *Sniff*

Light: Hey whats up?

Lucy: Nothing, it's just your a nice person but we can't be friends.. It just CANT work! *Sniff Sniff* I HATE being like this, I hate being broken!

Light: Broken? Your not broken..

Lucy: I AM!

Light: Why are you shouting at ME? I'm just trying to help.. See I mess everything up.. I'm the one who's broken..

Lucy: *Sigh* look what I've done now.. You're not broken Light. I'm sorry. Today has been amazing and I've really enjoyed it. I just wished we could be friends.

Light: We can be if you'd like?

Lucy: But.. but.. I may not be around a whole lot.

Light: it's okay I can wait. I'll be here when you need me, I'm alone most of the time anyway so..

Lucy: Really... You'd do that just for me?...

Lucy runs over and hugs Light, His arms are stretched out straight not knowing wether to hug her back or not.

Light: Ermm.. this hasnt happened before.. errr..

Lucy: Thank you so much! *Sniff Sniff*

She stops hugging you and presents you with a bracelet.

Lucy: Here, You can have this for the cookies, I've got one on each arm but I'd like you to have one. One's pink and this one is blue so meh, It will suit you better anyway. This way we will always have something that connects us and reminds us of our friendship even when we're all alone :)

Light: Thank you Lucy. That means a lot, It's awesome!

She resumes hugging Light and this time he puts his arms around Lucy

Lucy: Light.. I've got to go soon but.. I don't want to go.. Not just yet.. Just.. A.. Little.. longer...

Light: You sure? you don't want to be late... Lucy.. LUCY?

Light: Hey! Wake up!.. What the, she fell asleep on me.. I should probably take her home if she wont wake up.. but where does she live?.. Hmm. Well I guess I should head back to the shop with her and see if the Shop Keeper saw which way she came.

You put lucy on your back and travel with her on you.

You had back through the level again to the shop.


Scene 4: Lucid Lucy.
Location: Local Shop.

As you approach the shop yet again, You hear a ringing sound coming from Lucy's pocket, You go inside and take it out.

Light: Hey a phone! It's her Mum ringing... This isn't going to go well..

Light picks up the phone

Lucy's mum: Lucy? Lucy?! where are you, you know you'll fall asleep soon, come home!

Light: Erm.. She already fell asleep..

Lucy's mum: Who's this? Is she okay? What are you doing with lucy!?

Light: I'm sorry.. My names Light. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! She dropped her cookies so and got attacked by cats so I helped her and have her my cookies and asked her to come to the park and.. and...

Lucy's mum: Calm down.. Thank you for helping her. Is she okay?

Light: I think so, She isn't hurt she's just asleep I think.

Lucy's mum: Yeah.. She does that.. Where are you I can come pick her up.

Light: The local shops at the moment..

Lucy's mum: Okay I'm on my way, Wait there *click*..

Light: Guess I best wait here then..


The screen fades to black and a message appears. "Moments Later.."

The screen fades back in to the same scene as Lucy's mum pulls over in a car.

Lucy's mum: Hey you must be light.. Let's get her strapped in then..

Light puts Lucy in the car.

Lucy's mum: Would you like a lift home? it's getting pretty late for a young boy like you.

Light: Please, that would be great!



The scene changes to a car driving down the road, The scenery loops and loops, Lightposts and other cars going past.

Lucy's mum: Sorry about this. Lucy Isn't well you see.

Light: Ahh that's what she was talking about then. She got pretty upset and started saying she was broken, I felt really sorry for her.

Lucy's mum: I see. She's got it tough you know. She has a condition where she only stays awake for an hour or so.. I tell her not to go out but she still does *sigh*. The doctor's can't work out what is up with her, they say all there research has hit a dead end and there is no medical explanation. I really don't know what to do.. Sorry I appear to be rambling. You probably wont see Lucy again until she gets better.. Unless you'd like to come over sometime when she's awake?

Light: I'm sorry to hear that, That's really sad :/ I'd like that, but how will I know when she is awake?.. here I'll write my number into Lucy's phone if that's okay?

Lucy's mum: Yes. Thats fine. Almost here, You ready Light?

The cars pulls over next to a house

Light: Yeah. Thank you again for the lift!

Lucy's mum: It's okay, Maybe see you soon?

Light: Yeah, Bye!


Light walks into the house and the screen fades.

The screen fades into Lights bedroom. His mum is sitting on the edge of his bed.

Light's mum: So and eventfull night then from what you've told me. I was worried. I guess cake will have to wait until tommorow now it's gotten pretty late.
I hope your new friend will be okay. Get some rest Light.

Light: Me too mum... Night...

Light: Here we go again..



Scene 5: Reality to Revelation.
Location: Unknown.


The screen distorts as Light falls asleep and you are back in the world/area you was in the first time you was dreaming.
You explore the same level again until you make it to the end of the level and see the girl across the river.


Light: You again.. This dream is wierd.. The same thing over and over evey night for the last week.

Mysterious Girl: Hey its you again, the shadow figure...
Light: Shadow Figure? You're the shadow fig.. this is pointless you'r just going to run off and I'm going to wake up..

Suddenly a pink light comes from the girls arm...

Girl: That.. that bracelet...
The light from your bracelet and hers shoot rays out and creates a bridge of light across the river. Light walks across and the shadow figure holds her hand out, Light puts his hand against hers and.. A flash of light happens! The girl is revealed to be Lucy


Lucy: I knew it was you as soon as I saw the bracelet! After all this time it was you... This is strange..

Light: Wait. Lucy? This is just a dream though.. You're not real.

Lucy: hehehe.. sorry about earlier.. I guess you got one thing right though it is a dream. I can't believe it any more than you, I'm not alone in here after all I guess.

Light: This is confusing :/... How can this be real but a dream too?

Lucy: My mum told you about me being broken didnt she... Well this is where I go too when I'm asleep, Don't have much of a choice, I don't know why I'm here at all.

Light: But why don't you wake up and stay awake?...

Lucy: I don't know yet... I seem to stay awake shorter and shorter each time.. I hope I dont stay asleep foever :/...


Suddenly a black liquid/smoke like substance rushes past you and knocks you to over, He levitates Lucy in the air.

Lucy: Not you again!! Let go of me!

Black Figure: Why are you here child? This is no land for you! This young soul is mine!!

Light: Hey! Give her back!

Black Figure: Begone!

He strikes you again with his smoke and sends you back to the floor.

Lucy: Leave him alone!, Light take this!

She throws something to the ground, Take this to the Angel in the forest and you wont have to wake...

Black figure: SILENCE CHILD! Soon you will wake young boy and it will all be OVER! Hahahaha..

He flies off into the distance.

Light: Lucy... I must get her back dream or not.

Light walks over and picks the object up, It appears to be some sort a pendant of sorts..

Light: I guess I best head over to the forest then and quick!...



 
Mar 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM
Alfa
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First off, I didn't notice earlier because I am bad at things, but it's good to see you here again. ^_^

Second off, the plot's cute and will do nicely for a little game! I assume the dialogue will be tightened up and polished as you're actually in the middle of production, so that takes care of my only quibble with it. If you keep the scope small, you have a good chance of realizing this, and I hope the process goes smoothly. :debug:
 
Mar 21, 2016 at 3:34 PM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4489
Are you building your own engine or are you expanding on one already built? Whats the game's genre?
Sorry, forgot to respond. I'm designing a platform with metroidvania themes. If I understand what you mean by engine, no, I'm writing the code from scratch.
 
Mar 21, 2016 at 4:17 PM
Um... Chosen One? Yeah that'll work. : P
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"I could ask you the same questions."
For some reason, I automatically imagined that with a Shaft tilt, shadowed-out eyes, and a wide, sad smile. Sent chills down my spine.
But anyways, the plot seems really nice! Almost reads like a storybook or something, but that's probably just me being weird. It's well written and has potential, hope all goes well.
One important thing which might be easy to forget is to integrate the gameplay with plot progression. I'm not familiar with game development, but I imagine it would be advisable to be careful about not treating the gameplay and plot as separate elements, but to combine them as smoothly as possible to make it feel like a holistic experience or adventure, rather than a game with some story revealed between action segments.
Don't take me too seriously, though, I don't really know much about this stuff. Have fun, and good luck!
 
Mar 21, 2016 at 4:40 PM
Creating A Legacy...
Bobomb says: "I need a hug!"
Join Date: Sep 6, 2009
Location: The Balcony
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Age: 26
Sorry, forgot to respond. I'm designing a platform with metroidvania themes. If I understand what you mean by engine, no, I'm writing the code from scratch.
Yes that's what I meant, respect to you for that. I'm using a prebuilt engine but I'm modifying the code to fit my needs. Obviously I'll give credit to the original author though. Maybe you can help me with the code if I get stuck? If you need some music for your game be sure to contact me. A favour for a favour I guess. :)

"I could ask you the same questions."
For some reason, I automatically imagined that with a Shaft tilt, shadowed-out eyes, and a wide, sad smile. Sent chills down my spine.
But anyways, the plot seems really nice! Almost reads like a storybook or something, but that's probably just me being weird. It's well written and has potential, hope all goes well.
One important thing which might be easy to forget is to integrate the gameplay with plot progression. I'm not familiar with game development, but I imagine it would be advisable to be careful about not treating the gameplay and plot as separate elements, but to combine them as smoothly as possible to make it feel like a holistic experience or adventure, rather than a game with some story revealed between action segments.
Don't take me too seriously, though, I don't really know much about this stuff. Have fun, and good luck!
Thanks for reading through it man! :)

Glad you liked it and the events will take place at different places in the levels not just at the start and end of them, Some just a short burst of converstation then back to the action. Some stuff may be hard though mixing the plot with the actual game, I'm really going to have to knuckle down and learn how to animate cutscenes within the game engine. Like how you start with no bracelet then Lucy gives you the blue one, I'm going to have to make two sprite sheets for the main character, One with the bracelet and one without it. Maybe I should change the bracelet to something else he can carry but not visible.

I've not posted any more of the story, For spoilers of course. That's just the basic opening couple of stages/cutscenes.

EDIT: here's a mock up screenshot, tell me which sprite looks the best please. The third one I've began work on a sprite sheet but after putting it into a scene I realize it may need more outline to be seen clearly. It's a heavily modified edit of the Sonic Master System sprite.




The first is his idle sprite. Second jumping. Third running.
 
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Mar 21, 2016 at 5:45 PM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
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Yeah if you're struggling with some code definitely hit me up. I can't say I really need music at this point but I'll keep your offer in mind.
 
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