Remember Kevin? He works with instructor Andrew as part of Game-U’s Accelerate program, and is one of the minds behind driveable Unity car models, Crash Bandicoot-style Project Spark games, and of course, chameleon powers! As Kevin settled into his recent lesson, Andrew noticed him reviewing a video of the old Mickey Mousecapade game. The two of them got started on a GameMaker project of the same style!
What’s cool about Mickey Mousecapade (besides Mickey!) is that it combines the platformer and shooter game genres. GameMaker easily lends itself to platformers, and also works with shooters, so Kevin and Andrew put together the code and the sprites to make their platformer-shooter tick. Sprites provide animation while code drives functionality. Using sprites, the guys came up with a green, block-shaped player, and a purple, circular projectile. Using code that responds to event triggers, like a space bar press, or a mouse click, they got the player to move, jump, and shoot in response to gamer commands. Kevin also used GameMaker’s visual designer to set up platforms for the player to navigate. When he finished, the game included platforms, a player, a projectile, animation, and code – all the essentials of a platformer-shooter, present and ready for action! Mission complete, right?
Not exactly. Kevin and Andrew weren’t satisfied with just a basic platformer-shooter, so they added an effect sprite to the projectile. Notice the flashing purple and white stars that play everywhere the projectile strikes? That’s the effect sprite! It’s triggered by a successful hit and lets the gamer know when and where he’s struck. However, even the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, and sometimes that’s especially true of game makers. The sprite uses the wrong variable for its purpose. As a result, rather than play for a set interval and then disappear (destroy itself), it remains persistent – leaving a trail of hit effects behind the player. Not exactly what Kevin and Andrew intended! But good practice, and important class material for next time.
Thanks for sharing your new platformer-shooter with us, Kevin! Even with a hiccup or two, it looks like a combination we’d all like to try. Let us know when it’s ready to play!