February update (I’m not dead!)

Whoa! Nearly five months have passed and I haven’t posted anything. How did I let that happen? Oh, right, I’ve been very busy working on my new game!

After studying a few game engines I had to pick one of them. At first I settled with UDK, and I had pixel perfect 2D graphics working, but in the end, it was just overkill. There are better engines dedicated to 2D games out there. I’ve tried a few, and in the end I chose YoYo Games’ GameMaker Studio. It is perfect for an intermediate programmer such as myself. And now they have released GameMaker 2 Beta which has a lot of nice features and improved performance. I can add four thousand enemies with simple AI without a frame drop on my i7 notebook! The engine is still in Beta though, so it’s not perfect, but I’m very satisfied.

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About the game: there is constant progress, and I’m getting near to the point where I’ll be producing art, so it should be interesting to start showing some things. So far I’ve been working on the game’s base code and gameplay elements. I’ve got platforming movement done, ladders, swimming, jumping, a smart camera, fighting and now I’m finishing a hookshot gameplay mechanic inspired by Arumana no Kiseki, a Konami game made for the famicom!

Besides that, I have checkpoints, a cutscene system, warps, talking npcs, shaders, pausing, option screen, debugging features, a hud… With all that and along with assembly coding I did for the hack, 2016 was officially the year I did the most programming in my life. It’s been fun to learn all this stuff, but I can’t wait to go back to making pixel art. So far the game is mostly reusing the original art I did for the hack, but there will be changes (for the better).

– Nesrocks

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