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Post Tagged with: Mystic Assassin

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
Updates on Corona Game Design

Updates on Corona Game Design


If you read one of my previous posts you will remember me talking about a small game I wanted to release before I get into Mystic Assassin, which along with Czepta I would class as a more ‘serious’ game (in terms of me trying to actually make a cool and interesting game as opposed to just getting a game finished). The small game is actually coming along quite well and has become a cool casual game that is semi-original.

I will post some images sometime soon but for now I can reveal that it is called “Shark Slam” and has the vibe of a 16bit sega game with an 80s hip hop/basketball aesthetic and is set in a world of cartoon shark characters (eg Sonic but with sharks instead of hedgehogs.) The gameplay is a cross between ‘Super Crate Box’ (which I’m addicted to..) and ‘Capture the Flag’. You play as a Shark Slam team that is trying to make a come up from the obscurity of their local tournament to the Grand Slam.

The game is pretty basic so has been easy to code. I’m confident that by the time I finish this up I’ll have the skills to get back to Mystic Assassin and attempt to make it something decent. And then after Mystic Assassin my skills should be sufficient to get onto my big episodic game ‘Czepta’.

I may have a great new game mechanic for Mystic Assassin that I hope to prototype at a later date. The ‘Endless Runner’ game is no longer something I’m interested in doing nor just a standard platformer. I’ve learned so much about game design this year and especially recently as my study moves past the basics and into more in depth learning.

12 November, 20130 commentsRead More
Learning game programming in Corona SDK

Learning game programming in Corona SDK

Been a while since my last post so thought I’d give a quick update. Since deciding to make a game earlier this year I’ve learned a tonne. Its crazy that at that time I new absolutely nothing about creating games other than that it was probably difficult. Its been a lot more difficult than I realised from the outset but I think running into it with some naivety was good as it allowed me to just dive in thinking it wouldn’t be too hard to get something going.

My original plan to make Mystic Assassin was to create a simple game before moving on to make a Czepta game. However as I worked on it, Mystic Assassin became a cooler concept than a simple endless runner game could justify. Mystic Assassin will still use the code I’ve been working on but it will probably be a plat former instead meaning you will be able to move the character any direction you want instead of auto-running to the right.

Since Mystic Assassin will have expanded features from the basic code I’m writing now, I’m planning to release a smaller game first. It will be just a straight up endless runner/shooter. My aim is to finish a bad game so that I can learn and get the experience of taking a finished game to the App Store. The game has to be bad so that I won’t get caught up spending a lot of time trying to make it good. The goal here is not to make an original or interesting game but simply to have a game finished in the shortest time possible.

Once this game is release I’ll be able to use that code and build into it the more advanced and playable features for Mystic Assassin as the basic template will be complete. That’s one great thing about games vs comics – the ability to reuse all of your assets across multiple games. I’m thinking that the smartest way for me to approach game development is to build and expand upon a single game template that will allow me to tell all of my Czepta stories. Then once the code base is complete it will just be a matter of adding new features with each episode and creating new content rather than having to code a whole new game from scratch every time. Because what I really want out of game development is the chance to tell my stories in a visceral and interactive manner with complete control and self sufficiency.

I’ll share the details of my ‘bad’ game in the coming weeks. It will be bad but hopefully some dumb fun.

1 October, 20130 comments
Prepping for some temp sprite animation

Prepping for some temp sprite animation

I’m gonna be using Spline for the animation in Mystic Assassin. This has many benefits over framed animation such as being able to animate programatically, ability to reuse animations across characters and modify character’s weapons and outfits etc among other things. So here is step one: draw a character and break him to pieces. This will just be a temporary animation so I’ll just be using basic pieces for now. Later on I’ll be adding some frame based pieces to make the cloth flow with his movement etc.



Stay tuned for the animation preview!

14 September, 20130 comments
Pixel Art Experiment and Updated Character Design

Pixel Art Experiment and Updated Character Design

I’m playing with the idea of having some kind of pixel art style for the characters. I’m thinking Street Fighter Alpha style but with some gradient glows etc that don’t need to be pixelated. The reason I’m interested in trying this style is that I kind of want the game to have a ’90s’ vibe. So Sega Megadrive, Super Nintendo, ┬áImage comics like Spawn, Uncanny X-men and animated cartoons. I want to mix this up with a modern soundtrack with the sounds of trap music and dub.

Here’s my first try at some pixel esque art. I think I’ll do a few more to try different looks.


6 September, 20130 comments
Character Design Version 01 Turnaround

Character Design Version 01 Turnaround

Here’s the basic concept for the player character. There are still a few things I want to change but this is the general idea. On his staff are seven chakra stones that can be charged for different abilities. The general concept for the game is still coming together and I want to do some more concept art and some basic game mock ups to get a better idea of what to code.

The character I would best describe as a cross between a street ninja, a shaolin monk and a shaman. Together they form a pretty potent mix of potential abilities and a core philosophy that the character adheres to.

I’ve also been think that I want to stick to my comic book roots so have been thinking of ways to incorporate digital comic techniques to tell a short story within the game.

Anyway here is the latest art!


3 September, 20131 comment
Playing with styles – More Concept Art

Playing with styles – More Concept Art

I’m working on concept art at the moment and working out what kind of art style to use. I’m keen to use something akin to pixel art but without the pixels. By that I mean using a limited colour palette and keeping blending to a minimum. Here’s a poster I just finished using a more comic book style. Planning to do alot more experimenting as have been playing through sword and sworcery and am blown away by what they achieved.


2 September, 20130 comments



1 September, 20130 comments
Writing a compelling mobile game story

Writing a compelling mobile game story

photo2Or at least trying to. That’s what I’ve been up to since my last post. Basically I’ve got the game mechanics working and I have learned enough now to make a game so I came to the difficult question of what kind of game do I want to make? I had went back and asked myself why I’m making a game anyway instead of a comic. Because I want to create an interactive story/world. But at the same time my heart is still more with comics than games. So many games, practically 99.9% of them are about absolutely nothing thematically outside of gambling and killing. They are basically made by most people as a way to escape the responsibilities of reality and disappear astrally for a while.

Although I want people to be able to travel to a new world in my stories, I want it to be for a reason. I want to create a symbolic reflection of how I interpret our current reality and the passages I can see for freedom, discovery, happiness, exploration and truth. Hopefully if successful, perhaps one might carry those symbols into their ‘real’ life and where they might find similar occurrences. Perhaps that might lead one to look at things in a new way or challenge their beliefs.

One of my main interests is to see the world in a magical way. A place where epic battles of good and evil are being waged amongst a landscape as incredible as any great fantasy world. I believe removing the oppressive mundane quality that so much of the human world is enslaved by and instead seeing the world as a magical place of heroes, villains, gods, angels, demons and fantastical creatures we can live a more truthful, exciting and engaged life.

Well these are lofty goals for someones first mobile game, and I only wish to present a hint of this intention and at least scratch the surface. Over time as I mature and create more stories I hope they will become more sophisticated so I can get closer to this goal.

One thing I’ve found over the last week or so is that – writing is hard. Especially when you put way too much unnecessary pressure on yourself to make something that lives up to your loftiest ambition. Hopefully stressing over it will produce something of greater value but that will remain to be seen.

25 August, 20134 comments
Video Update

Video Update

Here I’ve just added some temp graphics as I started implementing some parallax background effects. On the coding side of things I’m starting to get the hang of it a bit better, however its dawned on me the amount of work I still need to do.

14 August, 20130 comments