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Post Tagged with: Inspiration

Switching Over: Corona to Gamemaker

Switching Over: Corona to Gamemaker

Vlambeer’s ‘Nuclear Throne’

Lately I’ve been watching Vlambeer livestream development of their lastest title ‘Nuclear Throne‘, a top down roguelike shooter. I also bought the steam early access version of the game and have watched the game evolve through its weekly updates.

One thing I noticed while watching the livestreams was the speed and ease that JW is able to update the game and add new content. He is using ‘GameMaker’ for the development and has done so for all of his games aside from a few flash ones.

I’d also heard that Cactus, the game

developer behind ‘Hotline Miami‘ also uses ‘GameMaker’ exclusively. Cactus is well known for pushing the envelope when it comes to striking and unusual visual styles and content in his games.

Dennaton Game’s ‘Hotline Miami’

I was pretty dedicated to using Corona as I had invested so much time learning it but I thought I’d download the GameMaker demo just to have a play. GameMaker is known for the ability to create a real game in a matter of hours and Corona for me had started to become a bit of an uphill battle as the bigger the game got, the more and more code there was. Often I would just find myself staring at code for ten minutes and then realize I’d forgotten what I was trying to do.

So I downloaded GameMaker and did a few of the tutorials. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the coding in GameMaker is not too dissimilar to the Lua coding in Corona. Also the ability to know play my game with the keyboard and mouse rather than the painful process

in Corona of having to load up the simulator and then open Corona Remote on my Iphone in order to control the game. I could also now play my game in full screen! Corona only allows you to test you apps in set resolutions according to the device you are targeting.

In the past I’ve heard a lot of negativity toward GameMaker. People seem to not consider it a ‘serious’ IDE. I think the name ‘GameMaker’ doesn’t help toward this impression. But for me as an artist and not a hardcore C++ programmer that isn’t satisfied with making a game unless they built the engine from scratch, it seems perfect. The ability to build a game with code but at the same time have a GUI to keep my brain from freezing from code overload is incredible when my only other experience is using basically a text editor and a compiler.

Other awesome features of GameMaker that Corona doesn’t have include:- A built in map editor
– A sprite editor
– An image editor for quickly chucking in test art
– A code editor
– A drag and drop interface for doing trivial tasks

And heaps more!

With GameMaker you can liter

ally make a

game in hours. But the best thing for me about GameMaker is the ability to experiment quickly, be it gameplay, levels, feel or visual effects, playing around is EASY.

Here are my two favourite GameMaker games:

GameMaker: Studio is available here: Yoyo Games


23 November, 20130 commentsRead More
The real world is an Oddworld

The real world is an Oddworld

Wow I was really inspired by this talk from Lorne Lanning. I really appreciate the what he is trying to bring to the video game medium and the way he goes about it.

6 October, 20130 commentsRead More
Gnostic Notes

Gnostic Notes

Photo on 21-07-13 at 10.51 PM

The last few days I’ve been busy with work and other various things. I’ve been going to a Gnostic introductory course for about the last two months and it has been a great source of ideas and knowledge. A lot of the concepts for Mystic Assassin are being directly inspired by what I’ve been learning there. Once I’ve learned a bit more I’ll give some insight into the basic concepts of the Gnostic esoteric tradition.

Today I managed to iron out a few more game design things in my notebook and the game is starting to crystallise in my mind. I now have a better idea of what I need to code and create art for. I’m aiming for this to be a free to play game with in app purchases and will probably do a survey/facebook poll to see what kinds of things people would be most interested in purchasing in the game. I’m thinking of having a form of crafting from items you collect in the astral plane so I will probably have a paid option for purchasing those items also.

Until next time!


21 July, 20130 comments
The Vibe

The Vibe

Concept02The vibe of Mystic Assassin will be dark, ancient and supernatural. I envision delving into the most ancient depths of the universe where the old gods still reside amongst the infinite waves of consciousness. A place full of mystery and secrets.

I want it to be a meditative experience using the sound and imagery to transport the player to an alternate dimension. I want to use this game as an avenue to explore creating the world through different mediums that I don’t usually get a chance to try. I’ll be attempting to do all the sound, music, animation and motion graphics. How they’ll come out I’m not sure but I’m keen to learn.

Stole a couple of hours away from doing other work today to whip up some concept art for part of the level. Just trying to get some ideas out and the general vibe. This isn’t quite it but it’s a start. I have a cool idea that as you play and get into deeper levels of the meditation by filling the focus meter slowly the background changes and you can watch the universe being created via a multicultural fusion by way of Czepta creation myth occurring beyond the cave as you play.

Until next time, here is the latest concept art.


18 July, 20130 comments
The concept so far…

The concept so far…

CZEPTA//The Prophet Rides Again CZEPTA//The Prophet Rides Again (2012)

My focus for the last year and a half has been the creation of my story world known as ‘CZEPTA‘. It manifested itself for the first time at the end of 2012 as a preview comic entitled CZEPTA//The Prophet Rides Again. I continued working on the comic throughout the start of 2013 but nothing was really working. I always find it’s easy to think of a great intro but getting into the meat of the story is another thing all together. I wrote a couple of full scripts and even started drawing pages but it just wasn’t right. I took some time off to develop my art skills further and made a new portfolio. During this time I’ve also been working on another comic series entitled ‘Landfall’ of which I’ve just finished 30 pages of line art but still have a lot of colouring to do.

So with Czepta I’ve constantly been wondering about the perfect way to make it digital. It was slowly dawning on me that if I wanted to make a living telling my stories then comics were probably the most difficult way to do so. So as I started thinking of creating a more interactive experience akin to my favourite web series ‘Nawlz‘. Nawlz is great but is quite linear and there were many times reading where I wanted to peek around a corner or look closer at a poster down an alley. There also seemed like many opportunities in the narrative for non linear exploration of certain scenes and environments. The more I thought about this, the closer my idea started to get to a video game.

Once I learned about Corona I did a few tutorials and started doing some design work on the Czepta game. My basic idea was for it to be a point and click adventure which would basically allow you to explore the world of Czepta all you like. The only game I’ve really played and finished in the last few years has been Telltale’s The Walking Dead. This game is one of the finest implementations of a story in a game I’ve ever experienced. Although you could argue there is more watching than playing to be done. So this was the game style I had in mind for Czepta minus the ‘choose your own adventure’ aspect. For the cutscenes I would have a kind of motion comic and you would have to progress the story in a similar way to the Walking Dead.

Original Mystic Assassin Concept from Wulfpak Saga 2009 Original Mystic Assassin Concept from Wulfpak Saga (2009)

I realised quickly that what I wanted to do was beyond my technical skills and therefore decided to make a smaller more simple game first. I had a few dumb ideas based on the tutorials I learned but decided to tackle one of the many other stories I’ve come up with over the years. I decided on ‘Mystic Assassin’ a character I came up with when I made WULFPAK! in 2009.

The Mystic Assassin were basically the bad guys in the wider story and a bunch of demonic ninjas. WULFPAK! was heavily influenced by early Wu-Tang and the Mystic Assassin costumes were influenced by ‘Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ ‘ music video.

I had another similar looking character which I created during my time living in Melbourne in 2010 which I created as an idea for a parkour style adidas game. I only did one rough sketch of him but this is basically the starting point from where I’m going with the game idea.

addidas The Adidas Concept (2010)

So, Mystic Assassin at the moment will be some kind of endless runner/platformer based inside the Czepta universe in some kind of alternate dimension. I want it to be a kind of standalone mini-story and force myself not to blow it out bigger than that. I also don’t want the game to be about violence. So there won’t be any fighting monsters or anything like that. The general story idea I have in my head at the moment is that the Mystic Assassin are a kind of supernatural shaolin brotherhood that exist outside of time in a spirit dimension. They are training themselves in astral martial arts and must practice manoeuvring through the astral landscape whilst maintaing a high level of focus. The deeper they get in their meditation practice, the more mysteries they unlock including communing with ancient gods. There will be obstacles and challenges and great rewards.

Well that’s the general idea so far and enough typing for one night. If you read to this point thanks for your interest and I’ll endeavour to start pumping out some nice art to look at as soon as I’ve cleaned my plate of the freelance projects I’m currently tied up with.



17 July, 20132 comments
VIDEO: Juakali – Dem City

VIDEO: Juakali – Dem City

Dem City be Babylon. This video here has an awesome vision of Babylon. This is the vibe of CZEPTA and keeps my head in the zone. Check out a sampling of Juakali’s ridiculously heavy bass on his soundcloud:

30 January, 20130 comments