Friday, 4 May 2012

Jumbo Platform tutorial.... Evolve from a noob to a pro

Everything you'll ever need to know to make a cool platformer


So, you have decided to make a good platform game? Well, why not make it great!
You have probably heard that platform games are the easiest genre of games to make and it is undoubtedly quite true. Though this blog is inclined towards the "Gamemaker" software, and all the experience I gathered is from the GMC forum, all the discussions (except the GM-specific programming) here is applicable towards game design as a whole....
So, lets turn our head towards platform games again..
The first platform game I remember playing is Dave, though others may relate themselves with  Mario...
But the truth is that inspite of being the most ancient genres in the history of gaming, they remain one of the most discussed genre in every game design forum. This is probably because they still remain the ABC of game design ..... Every game designer starts his journey learning the basics of game programming and design .. and what's better than a classic platformer ??? Every game design forum (and specifically the GMC forum ) is full with "How to"  questions on platform games ...
A typical question starts like ->
" I am a noob in GM forum. I started making a platformer a few days back and now I'm stuck in a problem.
*The problem goes below*  "
So, does it prove that platform games are very tough?
No, it just proves that everyone typically starts with a platformer and they need a bit more help to evolve as a better game designer. Most of these so-called "newbies" starts  googling "Platform Game Tutorial" and no doubt, there exists a lot of good ones... But the problem surfaces when these tutorials end and they suggest you to try some advanced concepts like knock-back, springs, water physics, AI enemies or even slope movements..
Most of the noobs can understand what they have learned till now,
but these new things appear alien to them .....
They try to use real physics laws, which are impractical in this case.. So, I'll try to streamline this self-learning process for the future ones and tell them which tweaks are important for a good game..
Every advanced concept of platformer-cum-fighting game that I can think of will be present in my Blog.
Head over to the To Do list to see what will be added next.

Head over to the Available Tutorial list to see which tutorials have been added.

So where do I start?

Let me suggest you this tutorial page: Tutorials by Mark Overmars
1.You should read the first tutorial  there to get a good idea of what a good game is and how to make sure yours is too.
2.You may read the second and third tutorial if you are not adept with the basics of a game.
3. You must read the platform game tutorial before you continue reading this. This tutorial covers the basics of a platform game in general, and also tells you about its programming aspect in Game Maker 8.
*If the links are ever down, inform me. I have them safe in my hard disk*
This blog post can be considered a direct continuation of this tutorial.
Every advanced topic that is listed at the end for the reader to try out will be present here, but that is not all.
Read the To Do list and Available tutorial list to see what they are.
I can assure you even a Pro in game maker will find something of his interest in those list.

To Do List

All this topics will be added as tutorials very soon...
Technically, 1 (or, sometimes even more) every day....
 Use Atom Feed at the top-right or bottom of the page to stay updated...
And rest assured you'll never miss one..
*Technical information about the Atom feed*
 Atom feed on the top-right -> Feedburner feed
Atom feed on the bottom -> Blogger feed
Choose the one which suits you... 
And if you'll like a RSS feed, tell me through the comment section...
1.AI enemy
(Can be very easy, as well as very complex.. But the one here is mediocre... After all, AI is a vast topic)
2.Spring (Can be used as trampoline similarly)
3.Moving platforms
(To quote Mark Overmars, the creator of Game Maker ->"this is not easy!"
But, personally I think, it wasn't that hard either.. Atleast it was a lot easier than the next one...)
4.Water physics
(I hate to break the truth.. This isn't fluid simulation... But it's better than the water used in the "Bounce" game, commonly found in Nokia mobile phones... This one really wasn't easy to come up with...)
5.Advanced push-back function 
 (This one isn't really as simple as it appears. For eg. even if 2 objects undergo oblique collision in the air, this push-back will work perfectly. Also, this is achieved through an external update function. Just for your info, all the in-built variables of any instance in game maker are updated through an internal updated function.. This is one of my favourite..)
6. Double jump and run
(Maybe only beginners will need it...Commonly asked question on GMC forum)
7.Awesome Dragon-ball style projectile..
(Similar effect as energy balls in Dragon Ball Z(DBZ), if you know what I mean.. It looks very cool...)
8.Swift slope movement
9. *Your request here*

Colour coding-> Red -Very advanced  Blue -Bit advanced Green -Quite easy
Also, you can request anything related to platform games here and if it's good enough, it'll be listed here alongwith your name and ofcourse, an awesome solution...
If you know about a really advanced topic (not only platform games) and how to implement in Game Maker, tell me about it. If it's hard enough (I'll take a 2-day time about learn about it and if I can't find any solution), you can be a prestigious co-writer or guest writer in this blog ....

Available tutorials

1. Swift slope movement

(This is a very popular question in GMC forum ... How can I make the player move swiftly up and down along a slope?? ... The solution will work like a breeze ... Move smoothly along any rough slopes or planes)
2.(To be added soon...) 

One  topic will be discussed from the TO DO List every day..
You can request a topic from this list to be discussed soon by posting the name of the topic and a +1.
For e.g. Double jump and Run +1.
Your vote for a topic counts.. The one with the highest vote is discussed first....
If a topic lingers in the To Do list for more than 10 days, it'll be discussed as a special extra blog on the 11th day, in addition to the one Voted favourite....In this way, there won't be any backlog...

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