Meet Joe M.! He works with instructor Ben as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Joe’s a game designer and a dreamer, with a specific project in mind – an anthropomorphic superhero game set in 1993. Ben’s helping Joe develop the skills he needs to realize his dream. Right now, they’re working on a from-scratch urban combat game in GameMaker Studio, animating players, setting cameras, coding enemy AIs, and moving closer to the dream!
With guidance from Ben, Joe combined sprite sheets, animations, state machines, and camera controls to develop a boxer-type player who defends urban streets from enemies. Joe started with a sprite sheet. Sprites provide the computer with a series of images that can be cycled through quickly – just like a flipbook – to give the pictured object the illusion of movement. By coupling a state machine with sprites, the player can walk and attack as well as stand still. Camera controls, meanwhile, lend the gamer the player’s eyes so that he or she can follow his progress through the game. Joe even gave his player an appropriate environment – a detailed street setting under a night sky!
As Joe progresses, he and Ben add more and more complexity to his project. Recently, they began work on an enemy, using many of the same steps that apply to the player. Joe used code to program the enemy’s AI (Artificial Intelligence), which controls the enemy’s purpose, actions, and responses. To make sure this enemy looks and behaves in a realistic manner, Joe also got to work on his hit reaction. Watch the video closely! When the enemy gets punched by Joe’s good-guy player, he animates jerking backwards.
Excellent work here, Joe! Your GameMaker project is coming along well, and building the skills you need to accomplish your goal of an anthropomorphic superhero game. Ben says you’ve got a knack for level design and that you’re always willing to work through even the toughest lessons. So be sure to keep in touch! You’re going to make that superhero game, and we want to play it.