print("hello world"); //Welcome to my new blog!

Hey there! Welcome to my new blog! This is where I will post my ideas and projects that I am working on. This will include game development and electronics and robotics projects.

Today I am working on a game that I am making for the Ludum Dare which is an online game making challenge. Participants have 72 hours (48 if they are taking part in the Compo) to develop a game based on a chosen theme. This time the theme is 'Shapeshift'.

The game I am designing will be a 2D platformer. The player will be able to 'shift' into different creatures, each with their own powers. I'm making this game with Gamemaker:Studio. My main reason for choosing Gamemaker is because I am very familiar with it and it has a good room editor. I will need that room editor to make the levels for my game.

Whenever I want to program a game, I have a design process I go through. Design is very important for all elements of a game. For example, if a game had amazing graphics and a great story line but had badly designed controls, the game would be no fun to play. So, to organize my ideas, I draw them out on paper. I might do a sketch of what the game should look like to help me lay out the user interface. I also think about controls, graphic types (pixel art, HD, etc.), and key gameplay elements. By key gameplay elements I mean the goal of the game and what will happen in a run through of the game.

One of the most important things when designing a game is simplicity. No one wants to play a game with a cluttered user interface or over complicated controls. Keep things simple. Controlwise, give each key a specific purpose. This does not mean a key only does one thing. You could have a 'interact' key which lets the player talk to something in the game but can also open a door. Or the 'up' key could both make the player jump or climb a ladder. When thinking about the gameplay, don't have the player doing tons of tasks. Players don't want to be confused as to what to do next. I personally hate it when I get stuck in a game because I missed where the quest giver told me to go and now I can't talk to him again.

In my game for the Ludum Dare, I have the 'W', 'A', 'S', and 'D' keys control the motion of the player. The up, down, left, and right arrow keys will control what 'shift' the player is in (what creature the player is). When the player shifts into other creatures, a energy bar will start to deplete. The player will have to collect energy orbs while avoiding traps and enemies. The main goal of the player is to get to the end of the level. I haven't come up with a solid story line yet but I have some ideas. It will be interesting to see what I can come up with in the short amount of time I have!


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