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So you wanna make a game, eh? Here's a guide!

Posted Oct 1, '12 at 11:37pm

KentyBK

KentyBK

567 posts

Yes, that's true, but again, I'm sure beginners won't understand this. It's only an introductory guide.


Who *exactly* wouldn't be able to understand something as simple as "make sure your game runs fast enough to be playable"? It's all a matter of wording. You should explain most aspects of the process in as much detail as possible, especially in an introductory guide, because that's when people need the most information.

And that's not even beginning to go into all the planning in regards to game design and software architecture.

Now, a few more additions from yours truly:

a. Sound


While it's generally possible to make soundeffects by recording them yourself, I wouldn't necessarily recommend that approach to a novice for a few reasons:

1.) In order to actually get any *good* sound effects you'll probably need something better than a cheap microphone, which could potentially get expensive, especially if you have no budget.

2.) Sometimes it's not really feasible. After all, recreating realistic explosions isn't exactly easy.

3.) There's already a variety of free tools and resources to create both sound effects and music all over the internet.

Anyone making their characters' graphics move use GIF images.


http://sae.tweek.us/static/images/emoticons/emot-stare.gif

Yeah, don't do this. I didn't even know there's programs that *allow* such a thing, but just straight up using .gif files seems horribly inflexible to use, for a number of reasons. Using the standard approach of sprite sheets (and animating via code) is a way better idea.

2) Just to tell everyone... Armor Games will not accept games from Game Maker Lite, because those games are made in HTML, and Armor Games only accepts Flash. I did read somewhere that HTML5 may start to become a competing standard of the gaming industry, but for now... they're not. So if you want to build games for Armor Games, you'd have to do it in Flash.

Stated this as well. However, I doubt HTML5 will ever be as popular as flash. I've used it for games and it's so limited you can't hardly do anything. The only reason why anyone would use it is because it's compatible with almost any device.


And just to set the record straight: You cannot program games with HTML alone. In fact, you can't actually program anything at all, because HTML is not a programming language to begin with. It is simply a markup language that is used to describe the structure of websites.

As such, "HTML5 games" normally include some sort of javascript code. So I'm not exactly surprised someone would find HTML limited for normal programming. http://sae.tweek.us/static/images/emoticons/emot-v.gif

Also, Game Maker games are made in GML, not HTML.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 8:50am

jeol

jeol

3,987 posts

Yeah, don't do this. I didn't even know there's programs that *allow* such a thing, but just straight up using .gif files seems horribly inflexible to use, for a number of reasons. Using the standard approach of sprite sheets (and animating via code) is a way better idea.

I was wondering about that. Yeah, .gifs (which can be made in Photoshop, I think) never actually stop moving, which makes it hard if you want specific animation for different movements and things (you'd have to use a separate image for each). Sprites are definitely easier, especially since you can look at qll of them together and not have to choose a specific frame.
And just to set the record straight: You cannot program games with HTML alone. In fact, you can't actually program anything at all, because HTML is not a programming language to begin with. It is simply a markup language that is used to describe the structure of websites.

As such, "HTML5 games" normally include some sort of javascript code. So I'm not exactly surprised someone would find HTML limited for normal programming. http://sae.tweek.us/static/images/emoticons/emot-v.gif

^ Aye. HTML5, in that respect, can be even more powerful than Flash. I've seen 3D games with it, something that I've never seen in Flash (at least, that performs well). I worked with it a little bit, but it was about as limited as my understanding of code and functions and physics was.
If youâre planning to make a game for AG, youâll need to use a program that produces games in the FLV format, or flash in layman's terms. Adobe Flash can do this, but itâs pretty pricey, so I recommend sticking with a program like Stencyl, which is completely free and is fairly simple to use.

Unless I'm wrong, I'm fairly certain that .swf is the required format for AG. I'm not sure if something like Stencyl can produce something like that.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 9:05am

royalguy

royalguy

149 posts

so what is the required format? I have heard 3 or 4 different things.

 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 9:16am

jeol

jeol

3,987 posts

so what is the required format? I have heard 3 or 4 different things.

For as long as I've remembered it, the format has to be .swf (flash). HTML5, Gamemaker, and any other types of games wouldn't be accepted.

For some reason, I can't seem to find the specified file extension anymore, but I'm fairly certain it would still have to be .swf.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 9:39am

KentyBK

KentyBK

567 posts

I was wondering about that. Yeah, .gifs (which can be made in Photoshop, I think) never actually stop moving, which makes it hard if you want specific animation for different movements and things (you'd have to use a separate image for each). Sprites are definitely easier, especially since you can look at qll of them together and not have to choose a specific frame.


Not only that, but depending on whatever you're making, you can control how fast each animation plays and all that other good stuff. All around more control really. Although I suppose that basically applies to anything you code yourself.

Unless I'm wrong, I'm fairly certain that .swf is the required format for AG. I'm not sure if something like Stencyl can produce something like that.


You're right and it does actually. Heck, it even allows you to sitelock your stuff, which is fairly neat.

Once more in bold in case anyone just skims over these posts: Submitting your games to AG requires them to be in SWF format. Have some wiki article too, just so we have some sort of reference.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 4:30pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

Yeah, don't do this. I didn't even know there's programs that *allow* such a thing, but just straight up using .gif files seems horribly inflexible to use, for a number of reasons. Using the standard approach of sprite sheets (and animating via code) is a way better idea.


GIFs have incredible control if you use GIMP and download a few good plug-ins. It's compatible with sending out animations to other programs, like Adobe Flash and Stencyl. I haven't used a program that didn't allow for GIF image formats, so I don't know where you're getting your facts from. Stencyl and Adobe Flash both have the capability for GIF images, and it isn't hard to do an effect command so the animation doesn't go on forever. I thought that was self-explanatory, but maybe not.

And just to set the record straight: You cannot program games with HTML alone. In fact, you can't actually program anything at all, because HTML is not a programming language to begin with. It is simply a markup language that is used to describe the structure of websites.


Whoops, I didn't word that correctly. Good thing you knew that I messes up there, or a lot of people would have been confused.

I was wondering about that. Yeah, .gifs (which can be made in Photoshop, I think) never actually stop moving, which makes it hard if you want specific animation for different movements and things (you'd have to use a separate image for each). Sprites are definitely easier, especially since you can look at qll of them together and not have to choose a specific frame.


You can convert .GIFs to sprites pretty quickly. Even Gamemaker allows the user to do this.

I mentioned Stencyl could produce games in flash. I don't know why anyone wouldn't think I said that.

Anywho, among the 3 paragraphs hat I missed I need to add some disclaimers, I guess. It's evident there was some mis-communication, mainly on my part. Oops.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 7:40pm

jeol

jeol

3,987 posts

GIFs have incredible control if you use GIMP and download a few good plug-ins. It's compatible with sending out animations to other programs, like Adobe Flash and Stencyl. I haven't used a program that didn't allow for GIF image formats, so I don't know where you're getting your facts from. Stencyl and Adobe Flash both have the capability for GIF images, and it isn't hard to do an effect command so the animation doesn't go on forever. I thought that was self-explanatory, but maybe not.

Like I mentioned before, sprites are much easier to use given that they can operate from actual code and not on cycle. They are actually often used on websites to change from one image to another, for example if you hover over a link that has a picture. You can't do that with .gifs. You also use sprites for about every other type of input with games and such (besides games that use animation, such as practically all 3D games and most 2D platform shooters like Raze since it requires multiple complex movements - in that case, it almost like a sprite anyways, because you have each moving part in a picture that the game picks up). You could probably use .gifs for sprites, but I think .png is most commonly used for its high quality.
You can convert .GIFs to sprites pretty quickly. Even Gamemaker allows the user to do this.

Probably, but the point is that they are still different. .gifs are on a static cycle, sprites are more flexible.
I mentioned Stencyl could produce games in flash. I don't know why anyone wouldn't think I said that.

Well, I think that was elaborated upon because you said FLV rather than SWF.
 

Posted Oct 2, '12 at 9:20pm

KentyBK

KentyBK

567 posts

GIFs have incredible control if you use GIMP and download a few good plug-ins. It's compatible with sending out animations to other programs, like Adobe Flash and Stencyl. I haven't used a program that didn't allow for GIF image formats, so I don't know where you're getting your facts from. Stencyl and Adobe Flash both have the capability for GIF images, and it isn't hard to do an effect command so the animation doesn't go on forever. I thought that was self-explanatory, but maybe not.


Well yeah sure, you have good control when *making* them in Gimp, but that's not quite what I meant. When I said "control" I meant that in the sense of being changeable at runtime.
One good example to illustrate this would be changing the speed with which your animations cycle. Imagine a powerup in your game that doubles your characters speed. In addition to simply increasing the relevant variables for your movement calculations, you'll also want to reduce the time inbetween frames, to make the walking animations play faster. If you really feel like being fancy, you could probably make the animation speed dependant on your characters current speed instead of using fixed values.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure you can't do this sort of thing simply with preloaded gif animations. Atleast without some sort of code to handle this sort of thing. At which point you might as well use sprite sheets, because those are also easier to manage, compared to seperate gifs for every simple animation.

You could probably use .gifs for sprites, but I think .png is most commonly used for its high quality.


That depends. Just in terms of image compression, you won't notice much of a difference, because both use a lossless compression.

The main difference between the two(apart from animation) is that .gif only has an 8-bit color palette (i.e 256 distinct colors) as opposed to .png which supports 24-bit "true color". Not to mention .png images can also have an alpha channel.

Alternativly you can use .bmp, but those tend to be massive because they're uncompressed.

Well, I think that was elaborated upon because you said FLV rather than SWF.


Yep, it was just a simple clarification, because those two are easy to mix up. For the record, FLV is basically the default file format for online video files, like Youtube videos.
 

Posted Oct 3, '12 at 4:32pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure you can't do this sort of thing simply with preloaded gif animations. Atleast without some sort of code to handle this sort of thing. At which point you might as well use sprite sheets, because those are also easier to manage, compared to seperate gifs for every simple animation.


Well yeah, obviously you'd need at least a little code to manage the cause and effects, or you'd have your character walking but not actually moving. I like preloading GIF animations to create sprites, which is virtually converting the image. You have the power you had when creating the GIFs and the, well, awesomeness of having a sprite. It's a best of both worlds. I honestly would have thought you'd do that as well, as you obviously know a thing or two about game making. Like I said, I haven't used a program before that didn't allow,if not recommend, GIF animations to be converted into sprites. All the goodies, like timing, carry over to the sprite. That's why you don't get images that continuously play over and over again. Or, if one would like, they could just code some stuff to give the GIF a timer after it becomes a sprite, but that's not too bright. Too much work.

Alternativly you can use .bmp, but those tend to be massive because they're uncompressed.


Lol .bmp. Haven't used that since my days with Microsoft Paint. xD

Yep, it was just a simple clarification, because those two are easy to mix up. For the record, FLV is basically the default file format for online video files, like Youtube videos.


Yeah, I don't know how I didn't catch that. Anyone with a YouTube channel back in 2005-07 had to pre-convert their videos to FLV before uploading. What a pain.

Although, I have heard a few stories of people making FLV files like .SWF, so the user could manipulate them.
 

Posted Oct 3, '12 at 5:30pm

KentyBK

KentyBK

567 posts

You have the power you had when creating the GIFs and the, well, awesomeness of having a sprite. It's a best of both worlds.


Well, at that point it's really more of a difference in workflow than anything else. My main point was against just loading the .gif animations and not using sprite sheets.

But apart from that, GIFs are simply a worse format for sprites than PNGs. Being limited to 256 colors and no Alpha hurts in the long-run.
 
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