Making a platformer was my first goal after joining #onegameamonth and coming up with ideas. “Another Platformer?” you ask. Well yeah, of course there are a lot of them around, but I wanted to learn more about the genre that influenced almost a decade of game releases. I also believe that the simplicity of the controls and the resulting ease of access makes the genre perfect for a short amount of fast and simple fun.
My aim was to make a rather polished game, so I wanted to make two simple games first in order to have the rest of the time until the deadline for my platformer project. I succeeded with this initial goal and created Undead Stones and Crash Racer in Java and haXe NME respectively. These games turned out OK in my opinion. I had some negligible struggle with both of them mostly because I was getting used to the language/framework.
Despite the minor problems I expect having while getting used to a new language/framework and the first approach probably being subpar I wanted to learn something new for this platformer. I enjoyed working with haXe a lot so I decided to play around with a framework that seems to be very popular for flash games: FlashPunk. In my case more precisely: HaxePunk.
Initially I was reluctant to use HaxePunk. You know: I like doing things myself and want to be as little limited/dependent by the work of others as possible. I tried it nevertheless, implemented a simple platformer “prototype” and it was two things for me: Fun and Simple. I really appreciate the aspect that somebody else already did a lot of work for me and it was a delight to concentrate more on the actual game than the code around it. I decided to stick with HaxePunk for this game and it’s coming along nicely, I feel confident that this new game will be “my best/most fun game yet”, but It will be challenging as well, so brush up your jumping skills 😀
I’ve been working on CrashRacer the last couple of days. I added a few features and some content with every commit, and slowly the game advances to its final form. I’ve been taking development easy (hey, I still have february 😉 ), but these small steps brought me pretty far and close to completion. I aimed to make smaller games (UndeadStones and CrashRacer) the first few month to have more time for games I want to make, but are outside of my prior experience and comfort zone. But I’m gonna leave this to the future.
My ToDo list for CrashRacer:
– rudimentary menu
– graphics for background and walls
– balancing (!)
– add wave information to HUD
– some kind of game over screen
All in all I am very happy with this project. I learned how to use haXe (I’m certain there’s a lot of room for improvement) and was able to implement most of my ideas. The next question will be: “Is this game any fun?!, but I will leave the answer to the players.
– rudimentary menu: code CHECK, still need graphics
– add wave information to HUD — CHECK
-added gameOver screen and restart option
-TextFields use a custome font
– fixed some minor bugs
I started working on (or playing around with) a new game today: CrashRacer.
The game idea came to me after some progress and it seemed like a good first haXe game project. I toyed around a bit and had somthing that resembled a moving car. I decided to use this an build the game on top of this “functionality”. The premise is simple: A car, that cannot slow down (for some reason) drives through a desert and has to avoid various obstacles. It will be a reaction kind of game. Development is not too advanced, but it will get there.
I never even touched the subject of flash games or AS3. It’s just something about flash I always disliked, it just seemed more “mature” to program desktop applications, maybe also, because flash never seemed professional (at least to me). There are thousands of flashgames, many of them created by hobby gamedevs. Maybe it was just that: flash is used almost exclusively (as far as I know) for videos/games. So is it something one could take serious? “I’m a AS3 coder.” – “Ah, you create these annoying games for schoolkids with no money, ey?”. Or maybe just the prospect that “flash is a dying technology” – a opinion that is well represented in the internet.
I created a few games (most of them I never truly completed) and used Python/PyGame, Java or even HTML5 for them. I also followed each ld48 compo in the last 2 years or so. And while browsing the entries I noticed that there were quite a few games written in haXe. So i checked haXe and it seemed interesting, but I abandoned the notion of trying it, because of its obvious flash/AS roots.
Another obvious thing I realised is that one could reach far more people with games that run in the browser, but I did not yet make the connection: haXe -> flash -> browser ;).
After I completed my first #1GAM game I realised that I could handle Java and other similar (“serious”) OOP languages quite fine, so why limit myself? Why not try that one technology that seems perfect for the medium games in the internet: flash.
Of course I like to learn new stuff, so the #onegameamonth challenge seems like a good chance to do just that. And it prompted me to look into haXe once more. More specifically haXe and nme which seems awesome enough. At first it seemed like pure haXe nme would offer to little to really be used for games, so I looked into Haxe Flixel and HaxePunk (flash game frameworks ported to haXe). They seem fine to create games fast (and I will definitely use HaxePunk for a game at least once), but I don’t like to be limited/dependent by/on certain frameworks.
After exploring pure HaXe NME I realised that it offered more than enough for me to create games, the only one problem I have so far is that I’m really not used to the “flashy” stuff (structure and similarity to AS3 code). How do I handle collision the best? How do I implement character/enemy classes? That’s the stuff I have to figure out now. Judging from what I learned until now I feel that I will really like it, but sure enough it will be some work to get familiar with the language. BUT: If I succeed it will be AWESOME!