Oh wow… look at the month

So I haven’t updated in a bit. I got started on my thesis and kind of checked out of everything. So let me get you up to speed.

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First I hired a new artist. He is pretty pumped to work on the game. His art style stands out very well and I think it will fit the theme of the game overall very well. We don’t have any art back just yet but I’ve seen sketches and they are great.

On my end, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about programming. There hasn’t been much to tell. Working through Visual C tutorials isn’t riveting enough I think for a Creative Twitch Stream (though I did set my wife and I up with a streaming account to start doing stuff like that soon).

I’ve been hitting the books with Scott Lilly’s text-based adventure game tutorial series for C#. It is a really good resource but I keep getting stuck. There are places where something doesn’t work and there isn’t much help from the program or site for how to work around it.

You can comment and he is quick to comment back but you usually have to either upload your code online (which is a tutorial in and of itself for GitHub) or try to look it up on forums. IDK, you have a question and go to learn why something is working and you just find people ready to insult you for be a ‘noob.’

So I’ve bounced around tutorials and editors till over the weekend I finally cracked over Game Maker. I thought this has to be the most beginner of beginners territory, I went through all the steps of My First Game with the Catch the Clown game. I feel pretty good about it. I even made my own sprites pack, added some different features. I feel good about making my first completed game.

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I started my second game and found out that you can only have 20 sprites on the Free Edition. I understand they have to make their dollar too and at this point I was really liking Game Maker so I checked out the licenses. Only $150 for your ticket of admission… That’s… uh… high?

What’s the deal? You can fully create a game, export, and likely sell it but under restrictions of sprite and macro counts? If you are going to restrict how people use it why not allow them to make a lot of their game (enough to be invested in it) and then offer a license to be able to export it? Sort of like old RPG Maker.

It makes no sense to me to allow someone all the power and features of the software as a demo with restrictions. I mean I can make a lot on 20 sprites. I could fully make my game in maybe 5 or 10 different project folders then just combine them later?

dungeon bounce1

Like I said I don’t mind supporting them but the price was pretty high for a hobbyist (or very poor) designer. Why not offer a lower cost option with more features and only a computer export? Why not have meters that show you how many more objects you can create before its going to cut you off. At this point you just have to find the limit to know where it is at. Not to mention that the official site says there are no limits on the number of resources (which is a big lie right now).

Wait, wait–I got this. Offer the full suite of products at $60 but make people pay a license fee if they make money off of it. Force the compiler to throw up a splash page that says “THIS IS A TEST COPY–PAY MONEY TO GET RID OF THIS PAGE!” Really, just do anything other than this sort of predatory, freemium, shareware deal you have going on.

The main problem here is that Game Maker is the engine for non-programmers. If I were teaching young children game design I would love to part in their school license. This would be perfect to tech logic and development skills. As it is however they are effective excluding one of their huge markets with such a high cost of entry or a fake freemium version.

Anyway, rant over. I guess it is back to the books so I can make a game in Unity. I just need to go through the Lynda tutorials (through my grad program–thanks OU) so I can write the C# scripts.

My next major task is to write on my thesis. The major idea is to create and test if a videogame version of the student instruction for the library would be an effective teaching tool. I think I could make the game in Game Maker if I had the scratch. Hopefully I can make it Unity though instead.

Also the wife and I will be starting to stream online at some point (possibly over the winter break). We are kind of focused on getting the house heated and working on school stuff.

Thanks for reading!

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