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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: July Update - Wii U, Clouds and Unity

About Ethereal with 0 comments by ThomasFinch on Jul 19th, 2014

Wii U

Big news first... Ethereal will also be releasing on Wii U! I've recently been accepted as a developer. The PC, Mac and Linux versions will take priority and likely release 1-2 months before the console versions, however.

Engine Work and Overhauls

Last month I considered switching over from Game Maker to Unity. I was intrigued by its new 2D features. After a few days of creating a prototype in Unity, I decided, however, not to switch. Ethereal will continue being developed on Game Maker thanks to its ease of 2D game development. Another reason being that a completely new engine would take away at least a month of development time.
Late June I worked on completely overhauling Ethereal. I restructured much of its code and even removed a few unnecessary features. Along the way, game performance skyrocketed and many bugs were fixed.


These are randomly generated clouds. Over 300 sprites/layers from over 80 poof variations are utilized.

If you're interested, the process is...
The cloud decides its size, then fills that space with randomized poofs. The poofs are restricted to within a certain distance of the furthest poof so the poofs don't simply cover the entire rectangular area evenly. Bigger poofs are added in, and some poofs are given wider range to allow for the unique appearances of every clouds.
Once organized, every poof draws the first layer, then every poof draws the second layer and so on. This allows the edges of every cloud (the first layer) to be drawn below every other layer, so the clouds have a definite edge without each individual poof having a definite edge. All of these layers are drawn onto a surface, which is then converted into a new sprite. This makes it extremely easy to handle. The shade of the clouds is dark as you can see, but that is actually something I made adjustable. The default brightness is that of the example I posted last time. I can easily make the clouds darker depending on how dark the area they are in is. Lastly, the clouds move across the sky slowly. The point of making them randomized is to keep the clouds from feeling too repetitive. So, when a cloud is past the edge of the screen, it deletes itself and a new one is created at the beginning of the sky. At first, the whole process of creating clouds, destroying them and keeping track of them took a lot of processing power, but after a lot of fine-tuning and tweaking, the whole process barely makes a dent! The cloud are not final, of course, as nothing is until the game is released. I will probably tweak them again somewhere down the line, but for now these will do great.

EDIT: I was asked to elaborate on how the clouds are drawn into the game, so here is a post about it:

Other News and This Month

The last news I have is that I've redesigned the indiedb page, the tig devlog and the website! I think they look much better, so check them out. The rest of July, I will be working further on securing funding to continue development (and at a better pace). I will also be programming and designing Pugatory, the world hub. Near the end of July we should be finished with that and I will begin designing the game's first world, Brookstone Cemetery.

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 67)
rhayt7 May 30 2013, 2:27am says:

how do u make 3d games ?

-2 votes     reply to comment
InvaderGames Oct 19 2012, 10:16am says:

This should be updated with the GameMaker Studio information.

+3 votes     reply to comment
XanT Oct 22 2012, 6:52pm replied:

Yep in the process of adding more info/images to the page :) Thanks.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Bonesy0 Aug 17 2012, 5:20pm says:

Despite criticism, it's still a good engine with many possibilities. It's main reputation comes from the noobs and young children who buy it to make games. Many, many games made in this engine are crappy, but this is usually due to having no knowledge or being lazy. If this engine is used correctly (extensions, scripting, actually good graphics), I have no doubt that a good product can be made.

+11 votes     reply to comment
Batguerra Feb 20 2013, 3:16am replied:

Of course there are good games! For example Hotline Miami, award winner and for me the best indie game till now!

+4 votes     reply to comment
HabitueGames Oct 21 2012, 11:03am replied:

I'm trying to make my first release with GameMaker.
I've made games before in gamemaker but this will be the first one that I will release.

+6 votes     reply to comment
dark_grome3326 Aug 3 2012, 3:56am says:

this a cool engine

+3 votes     reply to comment
BenLap Jul 31 2012, 6:58pm says:

Hands down, GameMaker is a straightforward tool to make simple games. You can get a rough prototype of your game up and running in no time. The drag and drop buttons can really help beginners learn the nuances of coding, but GameMaker also includes a code editor for more advanced users.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Cheese47 Oct 11 2012, 5:02pm replied:

I totally agree! GML is very useful for making advanced games and as you progress you almost leave d&d behind.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Elec09 Dec 14 2011, 9:11pm says:

Excellent game creation program, (only one that I have used), but some one needs to update this page! A new version of game maker was released (8.1) some time ago, and I don't think that that is mentioned here. However, this is a great program, and I highly recommend for everyone to try it out.

+7 votes     reply to comment
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Highest Rated (4 agree) 10/10

Great to make both easy, simple games in minutes for beginners, and tons of options for those who are willing to go one step further. Game maker has been used to create commercial games, for iPods, iPhones, iPads and psp. The game maker community on Yoyogames is strong (well over 100 000 members) and very supportive. Posting your game on this community can result in it being published on an international scale, in addition to being featured and played by thousands of people.Yoyogames have also released…

Dec 14 2011, 8:56pm by Elec09

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