Creator of Bluish-Green Productions, I use GameMaker Studio to make games for iOS and Android
As a designer, I will always strive to make games that I would want to play. This means doing my best to emulate the best, and avoiding the worst practices in the gaming industry.
Many games nowadays use the so called "Freemium" model, where games are free to play, but feature micro-transactions to capture value from the consumer. Done right, there is nothing wrong with this practice. Done wrong, it stands to destroy games as we know them. Rather than focusing on making games fun to play and capturing value from consumers in the traditional way, many games resort to exploiting the player and coercing them into spending more money on the product than they otherwise would have. These games are all about "pay-to-win" where the player is given the option to purchase items that will either speed up their progress or just immediately let them win a game. There are so many things wrong with this from a designer's perspective, never-mind an ethical one. Let me be clear; there is nothing wrong with making difficult games, but when the difficulty is inflated to brutalize you into coughing up coin, that's crossing the line. The way I see it, the best way to operate on the "Freemium" model is to provide users with a free chance to try the game, and then charge for additional content.
Bluish-Green Productions will NEVER resort to pay-to-win games. Better to live happily and make a modest sum than to alienate consumers and be hated by the world while you rot on your pile of money.
~Attila "Gabriel" Branyiczky
As I've said in various other posts, I went to RTX 2013 as an exhibitor, and it was a lot of fun! Among the connections I made, I got to meet a LOT of cool people (in no particular order);
Everyone I met was super cool! All of them were much kinder and humbler than your typical movie stars. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see some of them again at an event a little closer to home.
If you're reading this and you went to any RTX event, who did you get to meet?
Bluish-Green Productions has been going through a lot lately. It's gotten an official website, it's on the brink of it's first official retail release, and before long I'll be attending my first ever Expo where I'll be exhibiting. Oh! And I'm in a University program to get a Bachelor of Information and Technology with a specialization in Game Design.
So yeah, many irons in the fire. But there's going to be a lot of cool stuff coming out of Bluish-Green Productions in the coming months and that's definitely something to look forward to. I haven't been able to work on Tutorials as much as I wanted to because there's no money in it. Hopefully some of my other projects will prove more fruitful and I can afford to spend the time making free content.
Here's to the future!
Because of where I work I was able to borrow a copy of the Game Maker's Companion, and I've been going through it for the past few days. AND IT IS FANTASTIC! It's like the course in game development I never got to take at school. It really shows you what Game Maker is capable of and how to make a professional product with it, as well as how to organize your game so that you can easily interpret your own programming. I just thought I'd pass along my recommendation if anyone is considering picking up a copy.
Aside from a few quick game projects, what has Bluish-Green Productions been working on? Nothing fun, I can assure you of that. I've been doing plenty of work, but none of that is going to end up in your hands as a playable anything... unless you consider 1500 word essays a form of entertainment.
Well, there is one thing that I've been working on that's game-related: Sprite Origin Manipulation.
If you know anything about Game Maker, you know that every Sprite has an origin point which can be defined prior to running the game. If the Sprite is rotated at all, it rotates around this origin point. However, the origin point cannot be changed, so if you have a Sprite which rotates around a central axis, there is no way to make it rotate from a corner, or any other coordinate.
This is the problem I am tackling. I'm sure there are Dlls and other advanced systems that other people use to make this kind of stuff work, but I'm trying to develop a system that works only through Game Maker's own programming language; GML. That way I won't need to include any additional files if I'm distributing a game that makes use of the system, and also because I don't know how to write Dlls.
The system I've been working on over the past 4 weeks (yes, it has taken me that long) works like this:
1.) A Sprite's new origin point is saved in a pair of variables.
2.) The Object makes a new Sprite with origin coordinates at the ones specified in the variables.
3.) The Object's Sprite is deleted, and replaced with a the new Sprite.
4.) The Object physically moves so that it's new position cancels out the change in origin coordinates.
If that last step doesn't make sense, allow me to explain in greater detail:
When an Object's Sprite changes points of origin, the Sprite's position changes. If you change the origin point of a Sprite from (16,16) (centered on a 32x32 Sprite) to (0,16) (anchored to the left-middle) There is a difference of 16 pixels on the x-axis. The Object needs to move in the opposite direction to compensate for this apparent change in position, so that it looks like it hasn't moved at all.
I've actually got that working. The hard part comes when you start to change the origin when the Sprite has been rotated. Remember, the rotation is only visual manipulation of the Sprite, Game Maker doesn't understand that (for example) the bottom-left corner of the Sprite is not where it thinks it is. I need to make additional calculations for it to understand that.
Right now I'm at a particularly frustrating point where I've got 2 pieces of code that look identical, but only 1 of them works correctly. Which of course means that they aren't identical, but it's REALLY hard to find the difference between them.
I'll probably upload the system when I have it working. Or perhaps you'll just have to wait and see it in a future game of mine. Whenever I get the time to make one...
EDIT: March 26th 2011:
Above problem solved by a generous programmer from the Game Maker Community, problem with crazy schoolwork? Still ongoing at this point... :(
(Happy New Year!)
As you might have guessed from the title, I'm writing today with a plea: PLEASE comment on the media I share with Mod DB.
NO I am NOT trying to get my games to be super popular by asking people to comment on them or anything like that. (Although that would be nice).
I am asking people to leave comments so that I CAN MAKE MY GAMES BETTER.
I've seen from statistics that all of my games have been downloaded a lot of times, especially Robo's World 3. But guess what? No one ever leaves comments.
Robo's World 3 is just in Demo form right now, and I would be more then happy to craft the game based on player feedback, only there isn't any. This limits the quality of my games, because I cannot make them better until I hear what people like (so I can do more of that) or what people don't like (so I can avoid that).
I should make this clear right now, THIS SHOULD APPLY TO EVERYONE'S GAMES and NOT just my own. By leaving comments with constructive criticism, you help creators to make better creations.
This isn't so much of a problem with large-scale projects, as I've seen with the RA3: Paradox mod that I follow. But if you just do a quick scan of my games you can see that of all the media I've added there are almost NO comments... :(
So as we go into this new year, let's do so with the resolution that we will leave comments on people's media!
I don't usually review games because I don't have all that many, and quite often I don't get games anywhere near release date.
Christmas having just passed, I did get 2 new games: Kirby's Epic Yarn and Super Mario Galaxy 2, so I thought I'd share my opinions on them.
Playing Kirby's Epic Yarn is just like eating yarn.
It doesn't have any flavor and while it's not going to kill you, you probably shouldn't do it. If you decide to go on anyways you will only feel unsatisfied and possibly sick.
I made it through half of the game, and if the lame story doesn't drive you away then the gameplay will. Let me be clear, I wanted to like Kirby's Epic Yarn... it just seems that Kirby wasn't the right character for this game. Nor should Nintendo have picked anyone different! Rather, they should have made a new character, (something they haven't done for a while) to replace Kirby. The only reason I can think of that they chose Kirby for this game is because he is "cute", just like the only reason Kirby was chosen to be in Kirby's Canvas Curse was because he was "round". And in that game Kirby at least copied the abilities of his enemies, something completely missing from this game!
I'll be honest, I stopped playing roughly halfway through the game, the lack of any challenge whatsoever just made it absolutely no fun. Sure you'll fall of a ledge every now and again, but the game just respawns you from a safe place, and all you loose are points. These points are like Sonic the Hedgehog's rings, only you don't die if you run out. You can literally go through the entire level without getting any beads, die as many times as you want (good luck finding a way to die) and there will still be no penalty.
I'd like to end on a more positive note, the graphics are "cute" and the use of the "materials" that make up the world are nicely put together. And yet, for all they have done to make use of everything yarn has to offer, it still seems that they could have done more. I've never seen such a massive effort made and still felt like saying they didn't do enough... The most fun level I can recall was when the art style meant nothing, and you are in a race to the finish in an "Off-roader" transformation, something which could easily have been done without yarn.
TLDR: "Cute" graphics, not fun, not challenging, LAME story.
Super Mario Galaxy 2, was SUCH a breath of fresh air after Kirby's Epic Yarn. I really liked the original Super Mario Galaxy, and had mixed feelings when they announced a sequel. I was glad to get more of Super Mario Galaxy, but I (like many others) thought this might be a bit of a cash-in on the first game's popularity.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER TO HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Yes, it's more Super Mario Galaxy. But if you remember one thing about Super Mario Galaxy was that they constantly introduced new elements to the gameplay, and very rarely did something appear more than twice over the whole game. So what does more Super Mario Galaxy mean? It means more gameplay elements!
I haven't played anywhere near as much of this game yet, so I can't comment much on the story. So far, it seems like a bit of a re-hash but who cares? This is a Mario game! Bowser kidnaps the princess, Mario is off to go save her. No one really cares about the story in a Mario game, and I think the sad thing is that Nintendo seems to have realized that, and are therefore putting less effort into the game's story then ever... but like I said, who cares?
While my standards had definately been kicked down by Kirby's Epic Yarn, I have to say that Super Mario Galaxy feels like pure fun forged into disc form, and I cannot recommend it enough!
TLDR: PLAY THIS GAME
Okay, so that wraps up these two impromptu game reviews, I may do more of these in the future if I should feel so inclined, (and especially if I get a 3DS!)
In keeping with what I said in my previous blog post, I have created a brand new game!
Is this the one I hinted at to have been inspired by Forge? Nope, that's still coming.
Is this the early finished release of Robo's World 3? Nope, that's a long way off!
So what is it?
An image creation tool.
A WHAT? Yes, that's right! No lasers, no robots, no game. This is a tool for creating black and white images.
I might even make the source code for this available if enough people ask for it. I will also be featuring creations made with the tool in the "images" segment of it's page.
Well, no one reads these anyways...
I write today because I have come to a realization. I CANNOT finish Robo's World 3. Really. If I were to make the game as it is in my head with all the features, I'd be at this FOREVER. I am ONE PERSON, not two or three, ONE!
So will I stop making games? HECK NO!
But I'll be more realistic about scale! What I can and cannot do given the limitations I have in terms of time.
Expect Robo's World 3 to be finalized in some way shape or form.
And for that matter, I'll still be working on that "other" project I alluded to in the previous blog post.
Today marks the turning point in my development strategy, so what does it mean for you?
More games, less time in between. Hopefully I can even finish 1 - 2 a year!
Here's to the future!
School... another year full of work, tests, and meager weekends. Oh well, there will still be time for game making, or Halo: Reach. (really, it's one or the other nowadays!).
But what game to make? Continue Robo's World 3? Or make a new game which will take less time to make?
Hm....... Option 2!
This will be a brand new "creation made in Game Maker". Why not call it a game? I have reasons!
All I can say right now; certain game modes of Halo Reach are a definite inspiration. I'll upload some screenshots and other info as things come closer to release. (This won't be a surprise like Speedrun).
Good luck to all in the new academic year!