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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