So you want to build a game?! I sure hope so otherwise I’m not sure why you are here. Yesterday we outlined the plan for Slap Happy (known internally by my development team of me as “Happy Slappy” because I apparently have short term memory loss). Our game will feature the protagonist of “Happy” of which you will be the antagonist. Your goal is to try and slap the happy out of happy so that you can feel more fulfilled in life.
Each slap nets you points but don’t get too comfortable! Happy will be defending himself with infectious happiness and weapon’s grade snowballs. You might not know this but a copy of GIMP or Photoshop (or even MS Paint in a pinch) is all you need to begin designing your game. You want each article to be separated into their own layers or files. I have designed everything in layers in a single file so that I can better see how it will look in relation to the size of the play field itself.
My biggest problem with designing other than having entirely no artistic talents is that I can’t easily visualize how large or small something will look compared to something else out of context. It is for this reason that I highly suggest doing all or most of your art in the same frame like this.
As you can tell I don’t have very many things to work with here. You have the border which is “snow” surrounding a playfield of ice. Ice is important because Happy is going to need to slide around to keep away from your endless slapping. If I made the field out of sand it would be totally unfair in our favor.
There is a lot you can do with this few resources and I’m going to try my best to make the most of it.
The snowball is Happy’s ammunition of choice. He will be wielding these likely two at a time to try and knock your very fragile lives from the mortal coil that is you. I’ve decided to make a single image for the snowball and I’m going to use clever optical illusions to make it look like it is getting closer to you. Anyone who has ever played NES games where you “approach” things will know what that trick is going to be. It’s um…not as clever as I am proud of it.
The slapper will be your tool for slapping the ever loving happy out of Happy. I’ve decided on a flipper because a snowflake looked a bit too much like gun crosshairs and Santa’s gloves look too much like a hitman’s clothing. I’m not trying to convey the wrong message here. We aren’t murdering happy, we are merely slapping him. Albeit being a murderer would still make you the antagonist but it’s a bit dark for my kind of humor.
This is happy in his normal state. He will look like this anytime he is moving around the field and neither A) striking you with a snowball or B) being struck by your flipper. I like simple and have decided to not animate the arms. This could easily be done at a later date with the same game. Perhaps I’ll do an “improving a game in 7 days” sequel to this someday.
You got him! There is a momentary feedback of your success with Happy recoiling from the blow. You’ll notice that I have his face recoiling in the wrong direction for the slap. I might flip the face in post but for now lets act like it makes total sense. One of the reasons I like it this way better is that faces suddenly flipping is really funny and if you disagree I don’t think we can have tea together anymore.
When Happy hits you with a snowball he will cackle happily for about 3-4 frames probably. I will alternate between this open mouth image and the “normal” image to give the illusion of cackling. I was originally going to have Happy have rainbows in his mouth but googling rainbows returned some my little pony images from deviant art that will forever be etched into my very soul.
But I digress we still have still have a few more images to cover! I don’t think we really need to highlight my astounding snowy border (which will help as visual aid for the boundaries with which Happy can travel within). I will not be using a perfect hit detection on the borders to prevent Happy getting trapped in any crevice. If he got trapped it wouldn’t make thematic sense and you’d be able to basically score infinite points. That’s not fun for anyone. Well maybe a little bit. Maybe.
This innocuous looking little box is where your score and life will be kept! I’ve opted to just do that all in text in the actual game instead of having images for it. I think simple is better when you are on a tight time schedule.
Lastly we have the logo for the game! There isn’t much to say here. It’s fantastic and glorious and so high quality that I just know that my inbox will be full of other companies demanding my help on their graphical teams. [you know where to reach me]
So that’s it! I’ve got all the art I need for the project and can begin developing the game tomorrow! It should be fun and I’ll try to catalogue step by step what I am trying to do and the hurdles I’ve had to overcome. We might even show off the code here.
I will try to use as much raw code as opposed to shortcuts in Gamemaker as possible so that they can be more helpful to people and more informative as well.
See you tomorrow!
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