RGD: Week in Review

I somehow managed to finish a game this week. Now, I am not all that proud of the game, but my son thinks it’s cool, so I am going with that. The game is called “Grape Boy” and  its premise is pretty simple: You play Grape Boy, a character who catches grapes in his mouth. The more grapes you catch, the higher your score. If a grape hits the ground, Grape Boy loses a life.

grapeboy

When I started the week, I had all kinds of “fantastic” game ideas but as time went on and I worked through my lofty game designs, I could see that I needed to simplify. Thus Grape Boy was born.

Panic set in around Monday evening. It just didn’t seem possible that I was going to complete a full game in a week using traditional programming techniques. I needed a plan B if I was going to make good on my commitment. That’s when I gave Construct 2 a go. I briefly experimented with the game construction kit about two years ago and thought it would be easy to pick up (maybe wished would be a better description). Through the years, I’ve learned that with software development there is always something to fight. There is no such thing as painless development. Frustration is a constant. The folks at Scirra have done a fantastic job of making a very powerful and “easy” to use game kit. If you don’t have a programming background I suspect using Construct 2 is the easiest way to go. For me, it was a different story. I had to restrain my desire to write code and figure out how to accomplish the task using events sheets and layouts. Having a full time job didn’t make it any easier, but I couldn’t let lame excuses get in the way of my goal. I had hoped that my focus on fun would somehow make everything go smoother… No, fun as game development was, there were a lot of hours of “Why doesn’t that just work like in the example?” or “I can’t believe it’s so hard to do this simple thing” and a few hushed expletives as well. I spent most of the week just learning how the game tool worked, but I felt confident that if I stuck with it, Construct 2 would pay off in the end. Grape Boy doesn’t have all the features that I would have liked, but it is a complete game and that was my goal. I wished it had sound and more play elements, but I ran out of time and decided it was better to post a little game than no game at all. I am proud that I was able to add a high scores feature. Now you can try to best my high score. I love a good competition! 

The whole experiment had unexpected rewards for me too. My son caught the game development bug and started writing a game of his own. He is working on his latest masterpiece as I write this post. Thing 1 is a natural gamer and is amazingly talented. One minute I look over at his monitor and he is playing Supreme Commander and the next I see him polishing off an amazing looking space game. All without asking me a single question. I am in awe of his creativity and imagination. I can’t wait to see what he will create next. In the near future, I will be posting his latest creations to AdventuresInPlay.com/games.

Well, this week I plan to take a break from game development to finish off my taxes and take care of my to-do list.

 

 

5 thoughts on “RGD: Week in Review

  1. Peady

    I actually can’t believe you managed to even finish it. It was a weird week with NO time in it for “extras”.

    I am very proud of you for following through. Not easy with Thing 1 & Thing 2 “hogging” your workspace as often as they did last week. They are like kitty cats, those two. Always on the wrong side of every door and always under foot. 😉

    It’s a good thing we love them so much!

    Great job! Oh, and it should be abundantly clear, but I LOVE the name of the game! 😀

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks! It was fun and I plan to make more games in the near future. The Things are like kitty cats, aren’t they? Glad you like the game and the name. 😉 I think a sequel to Grape Boy might be in order. :->

      Reply
  2. Mrsbigblupete

    Wow!! That was one of the hardest games I’ve played in a while. It appears that the arrow buttons are much to complicated for me.

    Congrats on a job well done!

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks, it was a lot of fun making Grape Boy. I like Construct 2 because the players don’t have to install anything to play my games. It just works… However, HTML5 games run much better on Google Chrome or Firefox than they do on Safari or Internet Explorer.

      Reply

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