Meet Drew! He works with instructor Shawn as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Drew’s a big fan of trains, so while he learns game design in GameMaker Studio, Shawn suggested that he work on a train-themed twist of the classic arcade game, Frogger!
To build the “Froggeresque” train-dodging game, Drew first prepared its digital assets. Using GameMaker’s graphical tools, he added a train track background to the game scene and drew the sprites that provide animated actors for gameplay. In Drew’s case, he needed two trains and one player to bring his game to life. Drew created these sprites himself in GameMaker. The player, which moves with code only, is represented by a single drawing, but the animated trains each use a series of drawings. These series show the trains’ movements in stages, so that when the computer “plays” the series associated with each sprite, they generate the illusion of rotating wheels and puffing smoke. Drew polished up each drawing to get it ready for use and then finalized all his sprites. Digital assets complete!
Once Drew finished preparing his assets, he moved on to coding. Using drag-and-drop instructions, he programmed his player to respond to a variety of gamer-driven events, like key presses, so that the player can dodge the trains and get from the bottom of the screen all the way to the top. Code also cues the train sprites to start playing once the game begins. As a final flourish, Drew created a special introductory scene where the trains drive across the background to give the gamer an idea of what’s to come. Trains, it’s time to meet Frogger!
Great job on this project, Drew! You impressed your instructor with how much you remembered about GameMaker, sprites, and code. You also pulled off a fun, playable challenge. Keep up the good work! We’re excited to see you start designing your own games and we would love to see more of your creations.