Tools, Tutorials, Videos & Seminars

Devblog numba 5:

This won’t be a crazy super long post this time, Diary. Mostly just an update on what I’ve been up to the last while.

I’ve been crazy hard at work on the game but it sure doesn’t feel like I’m making a lot of progress on it. And in truth I’m not. Yes I’ve done a bit of coding here and there and I’ve done some sketches and notes. But mostly my time has been spent doing TUTORIALS. Tons of them. Basically I’m recreating other peoples games. And I’m sooo glad I started doing this. I’m learning tons of tricks and coding techniques that I never would have figured out on my own. Every 2 hour tutorial I finish is probably saving me 2 days (or more) of work that I would have fumbled through.

Here is a screenshot of the Farm RPG tutorial I’m following. You can see I just got the planting system working.

If you are interesting in learning GML I recommend following the tutorials from Shaun Spalding and FriendlyCosmonaut. Their tutorials are totally free on youtube and crazy simple to follow. And they provide the assets. I also paid for a tutorial on Udemy. It’s like $50 or $200 now but it was $13 on sale. I haven’t followed it yet but it’s time is coming.

If you follow me on twitter, instagram or facebook you would have seen this. The first successful test of my collisions! All that trigonometry and junk I was babbling on about before in action. The character is just a placeholder.

Awesome butt, right?

This shows my idea for the perspective is viable. Truthfully there’s still a bit of an issue when dealing with boxes that are way bigger or smaller than others. I’ve spent hours and hours reading about ways to fix it but it’s just eating up all my time. I’m going to start splitting all assets into same-size boxes to make the depth sorting faster for me. If a long table is actually 2 sprites then so-be-it.

But creating assets is about to get a looot easier. I found a plugin for Sketchup! Sketchup is a marvelous drafting tool for making blueprints and designs for buildings. It’s not “officially” a 3D rendering program but I honestly wish all 3D programs were as easy to use. In about 15 minutes I created a table and chairs to use as a test. The chair legs are totally stupid but since it was a test I opted not to go back to fix them. And then using the Eneroth Axonometric Plugin I was able to convert the table to my Oblique Projection in 30 seconds. I used the settings Left Angle: 0, Left Scale: 1, Right Angle: 45, Right Scale: 0.5 if anyone wants to try it. Here’s how effective it was:

Because the plugin completely destroys the shape of the object to make the perspective work I only get to keep the lineart. No shadows or rendering will work properly. But it’ll still save me a ton of time compared to just doing the entire thing by hand. Especially with round objects. The math to get a cylinder drawn in oblique is tedious. For funsies here’s that same model from another angle after running the plugin.

That’s favourite.

There isn’t a lot else to mention except that two nights ago I went to Press A To Start. It was a networking seminar put on by the Macewan Game Development Club. They had speakers from Bioware, Beamdog, XGen Studios , Infinite Monkeys Entertainment and Serious Labs they answered a ton of questions about breaking into the industry. And more importantly they talked about what the day-to-day life of a gamedev really is. And they were honest. Brutally so. (especially Trent from Beamdog but in a good way).

And after a bunch of indie devs had their games setup to see. It’s surprising the kind of talent that’s in the city around me. I really need to make an effort to go to Game Camp at some point but the timing just really doesn’t work with my schedule. I’ll need to figure something out. Logan, the guy that runs it, was also a speaker there and apparently a teacher as well. it was clear actually. His answers were the most positive and concise.

Of all the games set up the two companies Max Games and Raptagon Studios stood out the most to me. Max Games doesn’t make any games that I would be interested in playing (mobile, moba, strategy, etc) but their art stood out. And Raptagon Studios’s game sounded the most ambitious so I’m definitely keeping an eye on them. Plus they have a tie-in comic and I’m a sucker for comics.

In fact, the other day I was without my sketchbook so I had to doodle a comic on lined paper. Gross.

It’s dumb but got a few retweets so hey whatevs.

This “short” post got really long suddenly so I’mma end this and get back to it.

Michael “How Do I Use A Semicolon” Ward

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