Growing the Platform Game – You’re On Your Own, Now (If You Want to Be!)

Having introduced the idea of a platform game, your mission, should you care to accept it, is to build a platform game of your own, on your own, using the Game Maker Platform game tutorial, as well as any other resources you happen to find, to guide you…

If you don’t fancy the idea of that, I’ll carry on developing the platform game here in the Digital Worlds uncourse blog, at a slightly gentler pace. I’ll also show how to use some of the new techniques in the context of the maze game world.

So – if the DIY platform game adventure is for you, read on… feel free to blog your progress and link your posts back here, or even set up a page for your game in the Digital Worlds wiki. If not, get a yourself a cup of tea, write down some requirements about how you’d like some monsters to behave in your platform game world, and stay posted…

For those of you who’ve opted for the solo mission, visit the YoYo games website, and download the Platform Game Tutorial (if you haven’t already done so) and use it to guide your exploration of how to develop a simple, arcade style 2D platform game.

We’ve already looked at how to create a simple platform world for your player character to explore, but the Game Maker tutorial goes into more detail. If you work through it, you will learn how to:

  • introduce monsters into the game: you already know the basics, but here you’ll find how to ‘squish’ monsters by jumping on them, and how to use invisible markers to limit the territory the monsters patrol;
  • make the platform look pretty: the tutorial includes a tileset in the Resources folder that is ideal for creating a stylish looking platform game;
  • construct – and explore – huge rooms: our games to date have shown the whole extent of a room within the screen view. It is possible to spread a room over several screens however, through the use of views. At any particular time, the player character is kept in focus and a view of a small part of the room around the character is presented. This technique requires the player character to explore several screens worth of room – not all of which can be seen at once – in order to negotiate the level;
  • introduce ramps and ladders: as well as jumping to get between levels, it’s sometimes nicer to walk – or climb. The tutorial describes how configure the player character to walk up a ramp, thought you’ll have to do a bit of thinking yourself (or peek at the tutorial programme code!) to work out how to create a ladder with the correct properties!

Feel free to work through the above tutorial as quickly, and as in as much depth, as you like.

If you would like to explore the construction of platform games in a slightly more theoretical, formal academic sense, try working through the Game Maker platform game lecture notes from the UCSC Foundations of Interactive Game Design course: Creating a Platformer using Game Maker (collision detection, undesirable collision detection cases, creating simple state machines, jumping mechanic) [(PDF) (iPaper)], Creating a Platformer using Game Maker, Part 2 (advanced collision detection, all-in-one collision handler for platformers, jumping onto a moving platform) [ (PDF) (iPaper)]. Audio versions of the lectures are also available from the actual course site.

Remember, if you don’t fancy the idea of working through the YoYo Games Game Maker tutorial at your own hectic rate, I’ll carry on at a gentler pace, over the next week or two, here in the Digital Worlds uncourse blog…

1 Response to “Growing the Platform Game – You’re On Your Own, Now (If You Want to Be!)”

  1. 1 Ashley January 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    It would be nice to find a generic tutorial/how-to-guide for platform games; as opposed to Game Maker stuff. :)

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