This week I’m going to try and do something a little bit strange and something with a quantifiable conclusion. It is important to set short projects in your life because you can complete them quickly and get the immediate pleasure from the experience.
So this week we (and by we I mean me – you’ll be watching) will be building a game. Now obviously the first thing to think about is we don’t want our eyes to be bigger than our stomach. I’m going to be making something very simple.
What I am doing is multifaceted. I want to show people that you can really build a game from (basically) scratch in a week. I’ll also be giving you a timeline and talking about my progress each day to see how it goes. You can try to do something yourself and see if you can keep within the timeframe.
You might be saying “7 days?! A simple game could be made in 1!” and this is entirely true. But you might also notice this is going up at 10 PM at night. That means I’ll be working each night for about 1 to 2 hours at best. So I’ll be building this simple game in between 7 and 12 hours.
Today we will be doing the game design! If you want to build something you should have a blueprint for what you want to do! I thought of something amusing and figured I’d run with it. Before anything we should give the game a name. A good name helps guide a project and can be the heart of any living idea. [This is coming from a guy who writes the titles for his posts after he writes the post.]
Great so we have a name! Lets see what other specs would we be interested in? Goal, Controls, Theme, and Display. This might not be everything. In fact maybe as I get going through the build I’ll realize something I should have thought about in the beginning. This is just simple and the basic idea is we are trying to guide our design so that we are not aimless. Note that I’ll be using gamemaker but you can use any program you like or even just a notepad file if you are really a gangster.
[Goal]: The goal of slap happy will be to slap the shit out of “happy”. Who is the happy? That will come later in the week. You will have three “hits” you can take from the “happy” before it is game over. Each hit will make the “happy” slightly smaller and slightly faster. The game keeps going until you die.
[Controls]: The player will be two parts. The screen will be the players “body” and their mouse will represent their hand. The hand can do two things. It can “slap” the “happy” and it can slap the projectiles the “happy” launches. Anything more (or less) complicated than this will add time. Click + instance destroy is a mechanic I understand and can work with.
[Theme]: The theme will be winter themed (spoilers!). The hand will be some kind of winter themed hand, the villain will throw snowballs, the background will probably be a winter theme and the border will look like snow.
[Display]: I’m thinking we’ll work in a 640 by 640 display? Or maybe 640 by 480 (we’ll see). The score will be displayed in the bottom center of the screen and should display both your hitpoints and score. If possible we’ll have highscores saved to a DB (if I upload this) or to an ini file (if I make it downloadable).
So there we are! I would ideally draw this which I could certainly do for you but then we’d need to take pictures of all the images. I think just by reading the above you can get a nice visual of the project. Tomorrow we will begin with the art side of this. I’m going to be collecting or drawing all the art for the project. If I end up trying to sell this for a quarter I will convert all the sprites to self drawn art.
I’m hoping to have all art done tomorrow but we may take two days to finish this.
So here is to the project! See you all tomorrow!