Week 11: Start screen and fixing code

This week will be mainly adding codes for mechanics or editing code in game maker. I have learnt how to use code more effectively and to clean up unnecessary code. This makes the game less buggy and when in need, the code is easier to read and edit.

To update, Meepoo’s collisions are incredibly frustrating at the moment because she gets stuck everywhere. From the walls to the edges of the floors, she just can’t seem to move without getting stuck.  It will be something that I will continue fixing and testing.

I was looking over personal notes and testing the HUD (heads up display) which will be used for the health bar/ flower counter/ vase piece counter. These are things that can’t be interacted with and will just be visual in the game. The text boxes for the cut scene is something I am also starting to finish up. Since they are more of a GUI, they can be interacted with (to skip a text box using the keyboard perhaps?).

UPDATE: Finishing up the text boxes currently and I am adding text to it (script for characters and narrator talking), so there is a lot of rewriting to make sure it is simple and to the point. Surprisingly, this is taking quite some time because I thought I knew the story well enough to come up with character and narrator scripts instantly.  It actually takes a lot of editing to make it flow and understandable.

Coding language is interesting and in terms of coding for game, there are definite differences compared to coding for databases, websites or GUI’s. Using python again was still a challenging experience , even though I had basic knowledge of it. Since I was coding specifically for a game, having that past knowledge for coding databases, websites (HTML), GUI and python really made me understand it more and find errors a lot quicker. Here are a few examples of my coding:

controls
This is the code for the Keyboard inputs (controls). As a side note, I should also show the set of rules early in the game so players know how to play.
collision ground
This code is for the ground collisions. The script checks Meepoo’s contact with the ground tile and stops her from going/falling through it.
fade
This code is for the fade. This goes between rooms (in game maker terms) and it generates a fade transition. It will be used for the start screen, start of the cut scene and end etc.

I have also learnt to use time management better because in game maker, the engine follows your code to produce an outcome and when errors show up, you have to set time for testing and research. I am also learning to code more in depth for mechanics which I haven’t done before so having that success of a sprite moving or collecting something is really nice. I have to admit, I am not great at making a game or coding but I am trying my best to make things work and be less buggy. I have noticed that I am making more notes and changes to my game in order to further develop it. I only hope that the final outcome will be worth while and playable.

UPDATES: I have decided to not use slopes in my game because it creates more problems and I have already used too much time just researching and testing it. Even though I used a method that was a common fix for slopes )which we learnt in class and was online), I found that it caused more problems and still didn’t work.

I have also decided on using one enemy in the first level because while I had planned for two types, I found that the enemy I was more invested into was the Chumps (little blue creatures). The mechanic for admitting flowers took more time to develop as well because of the randomization, therefore I have decided to just use one enemy in level 1 and focus on this mechanic. I am also trying to figure out how to make them spawn from the sky and what amount would be acceptable to fight off. I think having this one enemy is already enough to push the player for obsessing over the vase piece because the more that they are in your way (since they come towards you) , the more you want to defeat them to get to your goal (finding the vase piece). This comes back to the idea that the harder something is to get, the more perseverance we will have to retrieve it. It depends on whether the particular item is a ‘need’ or a ‘want’ and how much we value it.

I also created a start screen for the game to open up with because I felt like it was appropriate.  The background was also for testing the colours and designs. This made it really helpful for shapes and objects. The start screen also includes some objects that i wanted to showcase and the two human characters. It’s not animated but will have some animation on the start button to emphasize it.

startscreen capture with gimp
Start screen includes the main character (Meepoo), Baguette (Friend), Watermelon (object Meepoo could collect if she goes back for Baguette), Vase pieces and a Burr Flower (to increase health)

Game Review: Kirby – Super Star

How challenging was it to discover the value of the game? The value of the game needed more time to be uncovered but from the beginning when the story is told, you get an idea that it is about justice and bringing back balance to Kirby’s home from invaders.

Graphics: 7/10

The graphics are nice and don’t just play towards bright colours in this game. It does have dark elements because of the change in setting and time (from day to night) in the level. The style is less pixel art based as some previous Kirby games have been, it has smoother transitions for colour and shadows which is a nice touch. I did find that this game has a lot of flashing for either boarders or sprites when in battle. This could be tiresome to the eyes and even triggering.

Sound: 8/10

The sound was really enjoyable and had that classic Kirby theme. A lot of whistling and pitched sound effects were used to bring that lighthearted mood. When you complete a task, the main theme that plays to say it was successful was also a piece that was very encouraging and delightful.

Story: 7/10

The story has Kirby go on an adventure to find all the stolen food before everyone in dreamland starves. is still the hero of the story and needs to go confront the enemies, King Dede and his minions. It’s not a rescuing mission but it is still about saving the day and does help reinforce the values.

Controls: 7/10

The controls are simple and there is a very helpful tutorial in the beginning if you are a new player. While it is responsive, I found that the flashing of Kirby constantly made the controls harder because you would get distracted and confused what to use for attacks.

Replay Value:7/10

This game is quite fun, especially in the adventure aspect, however the constant flashing of visuals, especially the main character you play as (Kirby) was very distracting and even tiresome for the eyes. So I wouldn’t recommend this if the player is sensitive or can be triggered by quick flashing lights.

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