What's the best Game Maker style program for flickscreen platformers?

Started by Sendy, September 01, 2011, 06:19:50 PM

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I've tried Game Maker, and to be honest, I found it difficult to make a simple flick-screen game without stretching my programming skills (which are very limited) - mostly because it seems to default to scrolling level-based stages and circumventing this was quite a difficult task for a beginner...

Basically I'm looking to make my first game, and the kind of games I'm interested in have very simple game logic, and the whole experience of the game depends on the map design, art, music, etc, which are all my strong points (unlike programming, which I'm really bad at... yep so bad I'm pointing it out a second time in parenthesis!).

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!


Hmm, it's hard to think of something that specific - however, it's not that hard to set something like this up in Game Maker - it might be worth googling through the game maker forums for something suitable, as I'm pretty sure there's a common piece of code that gets widely used for this in game maker (something about "executing string", or something). I know Matt Thorson's Grandma engine is pretty widely used for GM platformers, and can probably be tweaked to be flick screen without too much difficulty.


Ooh, Grandma Engine sounds good... FWIW, when I tried to make flickscreens from scratch, I sorta pulled it off after a day or so of tweaking, but I had the problem where if you were holding down left when you crossed the screen, you'd need to press left again to get the player character moving again. For some reason I couldn't see a way to solve that issue, and it was totally breaking immersion for me.

I'm honestly quite suprised something for making generic platform games hasn't cropped up over the recent years, given that platformers are sort of enjoying a rennaiscan.... a comeback. I bought something called Platform Studio about 5 years ago, which was OK, but it just felt very lacking in soul, and the jump action was horribly stiff and couldn't really be tweaked to life.

I'm still of the belief that the perfect 2D platformer hasn't been made, and that the genre has a lot of exciting places to go, especially given the ease with which modern computers can juggle 2D environments, physics, etc...


What version of Game Maker are you using? I could easily fix a problem like your key press problem ... I think. But if it's GM8 I won't be able to open it.


Come to think of it, I saw one open source game maker game once that worked by having a HUGE map, and having the camera position snap to screen-sized intervals. Would definitely solve your room change problem, since you wouldn't be changing rooms, just camera positions. It does seem like that might be a kind of an awkward way to make levels, though. (As well as introduce a bunch of other problems, like slowdown as a result of having so much content on one map)


Looked at the Grandma engine. It's brilliant, but it seems to require good knowledge of GMC scripting to add things (and boy does it need adding to!). I'd rather stick to using the visual programming aspect of Game Maker because I find it easier.

I can certainly see the appeal of having a huge map and moving the camera. Room transitions and overall map continuity would be a lot easier to fathom that way. There's a command which freezes all entities a certain distance from the viewfield, which can help with big scrolling levels, but I generally prefer rooms which reset to their default state every time you enter them.

I'm using Game Maker 8 lite, btw... So far I've managed to make the beginnings of a Hero Core clone, or rather two, one with a large map that scrolls, and one with screen transitions, but has the bug where you have to repress your direction upon flicking screen. It's these little details that I end up getting stuck on and fed up with... I think I'd really rather be in a team and just stick to map/visual/graphic design and music, but I've no idea where I could find someone who meshes with my ideas and would want to work with a complete lunatic stranger  :D

Thanks both for your input!


Terry -- Game Maker lets you deactivate regions of the screen so they don't take up processing power. It would waste RAM, I guess, but it's probably better than using separate rooms given how rooms work in Game Maker.