Umbrellas: A game I made

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Echarin
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PostUmbrellas: A game I made
by Echarin » Thu May 27, 2010 12:07 am

For my final project in this art school I was in over the past year I made a simple game in Gamemaker. It started with this thought I had when I was walking outside in the rain:
Hey, there are some people with umbrellas, and some couples are sharing an umbrella... I've got no umbrella... could I maybe sneak up to someone and share theirs? But what about when I need to turn down some street and the person with the umbrella keeps going straight!? Do I risk getting wet or just follow along?

Well, that was the start. The final idea is something else entirely, but I wouldn't have gotten there if not for thinking of that idea.

We (the class in my school) had a small exhibition of all the final projects, and mine was set up just as a desktop computer running the game with a wired Xbox 360 controller on the table next to the screen. It was conceived as something that would work well in that kind of setting, with people sitting down and playing for a while, then someone else would play and so on and so forth. In a way it "benefits" from multiple playthroughs on the same machine, (though I won't go into how or why as that would be spoiling things) so as an exhibition piece it is probably much stronger than just playing it by yourself. Still, it probably isn't entirely worthless in that context.

So, here's the download:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=GTD93WGX

Screenshots:
Image Image
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Image Image

The contents of the Read Me:

Code: Select all

//!IMPORTANT!\\
For the game to function properly the file "Umbrellas.exe" must always be in the same folder as the files named "Room_****_*.txt"


Don't ever mess with the "Room_..." files, it will only end in tears.


//Controls\\
It is possible to play this game either with an Xbox 360 controller or with a keyboard.

//Xbox 360 Controller\\
If you have a wired Xbox 360 controller, or a wireless 360 controller and a wireless receiver connected to your PC, the controls should be fairly clear (left thumbstick to move, not the d-pad).
Other controllers should also work, but I make no guarantees.


//Keyboard\\
WASD      -   Movement

Arrow keys:
 - Left      -   Xbox 360 "X" button equivalent
 - Down      -   Xbox 360 "A" button equivalent
 - Right      -   Xbox 360 "B" button equivalent


//So what's this game about?\\
The best way to experience this game is to discover for yourself what it is about.


It should all work, but there may be some bugs I haven't fixed yet. If you come across any bugs, or have any sort of feedback to share, don't be shy.

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Seven
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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Seven » Thu May 27, 2010 10:43 pm

Downloading, will give any feedback once I've played it :-)

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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Seven » Thu May 27, 2010 11:53 pm

Having just played this (and won second time, first time I ran out of time when I was killing the enemies :fp: ) and it's really nice idea, quite unique too.

Haven't seen any bugs though nor could think of what to say other than it's good idea in general, although I'll see if I can't make up detailed post tomorrow & maybe I'll find bugs out of blue - didn't seem to spot any when I was playing then again I'm tired at the moment.

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Echarin
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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Echarin » Fri May 28, 2010 1:27 am

Thanks for checking it out. Look forward to more detailed impressions/criticism, when/if you have the time.

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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Seven » Fri May 28, 2010 4:10 pm

I've had another go - first time yesterday keyboard, today keyboard again then 360 controller. It works as expected, however one thing I did experience that may be problem with program itself (or it's just my computer) is when I connect 360 pad and use it, the game would run really slow at first, like chippy frame per skip but it goes away after while and moves smoothly again.

I like graphics too, simple but effective - and I also like textures for water, grass and caves - pretty nice and does show what kind of environment you're in at the moment. There's been moments where I've killed the enemy successfully but when I move at same time, I'd get hit and lose some seconds so it's like I have to kill them, wait for a second, then move on to order to not get hit.

It would be nice to see it have "random" mode, where place of caves, entrance/exit and such are in different places but I can see that would take alot of time & effort, but it would work with that mode - gives user a reason to re-play it. I'm not sure how simple it is adding some kind of leaderboard score as well such, but it would be nice to have one that tracks (local) users to see who has fastest time to finish their playthrough, just a fun idea though - not needed in general.

Other than that though, can't think of anything to say. I've had fun with three different play sessions, although on third playthrough I pretty know where to go, what powers to use. I've find that blue power is least used as I tend to go for key/sword combo, as I tend to enter locked gates and/or through caves killing enemies - not sure having blue power will be faster than key/sword combo though but thought I'd mention that.

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Echarin
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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Echarin » Fri May 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Seven wrote:There's been moments where I've killed the enemy successfully but when I move at same time, I'd get hit and lose some seconds so it's like I have to kill them, wait for a second, then move on to order to not get hit.


I think I know what that's about. See, the enemies don't actually hurt you when you touch them, it's the black circles they emit that hurt. Those may still be around just after they die.
I wanted to have the enemies push you back, like they do in The Legend of Zelda, but couldn't get it working in time so put the circles in because it was the only thing I could get working (it's probably a very simple thing to do, but I'm no programmer; I put the source in (.gmk) just so people could laugh at my horrible and inefficient coding!)

Seven wrote:"random" mode


Far outside my ability, although if someone here knows something about it and knows of some articles that explain it well I would love to try and understand it. But the game as it is just isn't made for that, so it would need to be changed quite a lot.

Seven wrote:I'm not sure how simple it is adding some kind of leaderboard score as well such, but it would be nice to have one that tracks (local) users to see who has fastest time to finish their playthrough, just a fun idea though - not needed in general.


This would actually be very easy to implement, but I don't really feel it fits in with what the game's supposed be about. I'm kind of regretting actually putting in a way to finish the game, instead of just expanding the world in all directions and make it more of an exploratory game (I wanted to do this originally, but realized I didn't have enough time before the due date).
Maybe a way of tracking overall "wins" like it does overall "fails"?

Seven wrote:I've find that blue power is least used as I tend to go for key/sword combo, as I tend to enter locked gates and/or through caves killing enemies - not sure having blue power will be faster than key/sword combo though but thought I'd mention that.


I thought for sure the blue power was overpowered and allowed for too many shortcuts!


One question: How long did it take for you to learn the game mechanics? I put a bit of emphasis on sounds to help the player understand the gameplay mechanics, but of course that's of little use to someone who's deaf.

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Seven
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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Seven » Fri May 28, 2010 7:52 pm

Echarin wrote:
Seven wrote:There's been moments where I've killed the enemy successfully but when I move at same time, I'd get hit and lose some seconds so it's like I have to kill them, wait for a second, then move on to order to not get hit.


I think I know what that's about. See, the enemies don't actually hurt you when you touch them, it's the black circles they emit that hurt. Those may still be around just after they die.
I wanted to have the enemies push you back, like they do in The Legend of Zelda, but couldn't get it working in time so put the circles in because it was the only thing I could get working (it's probably a very simple thing to do, but I'm no programmer; I put the source in (.gmk) just so people could laugh at my horrible and inefficient coding!)


Ah yes, these black circles. Programming is hard, so I see your point :lol:

Seven wrote:"random" mode


Far outside my ability, although if someone here knows something about it and knows of some articles that explain it well I would love to try and understand it. But the game as it is just isn't made for that, so it would need to be changed quite a lot.


Aye, it seems you'd need alot of 'sheets', more than just ones that's pre-loaded with this game's .rar file. It would be fun idea, but can see why it won't happen.

Seven wrote:I'm not sure how simple it is adding some kind of leaderboard score as well such, but it would be nice to have one that tracks (local) users to see who has fastest time to finish their playthrough, just a fun idea though - not needed in general.


This would actually be very easy to implement, but I don't really feel it fits in with what the game's supposed be about. I'm kind of regretting actually putting in a way to finish the game, instead of just expanding the world in all directions and make it more of an exploratory game (I wanted to do this originally, but realized I didn't have enough time before the due date).
Maybe a way of tracking overall "wins" like it does overall "fails"?


Ah interesting, I thought it was pretty much where people can try various ways to see if they can get to goal quicker, with limited powers/such :lol: :shifty: Although overall wins/falls would be pretty good idea :D

Seven wrote:I've find that blue power is least used as I tend to go for key/sword combo, as I tend to enter locked gates and/or through caves killing enemies - not sure having blue power will be faster than key/sword combo though but thought I'd mention that.


I thought for sure the blue power was overpowered and allowed for too many shortcuts![/quote]

I tend to like killing enemies so I tend to just get red umbrellas :oops: I might have to try out blue power more, it was very useful ability but I tend to go all power with little key help in playthroughs :shifty:


One question: How long did it take for you to learn the game mechanics? I put a bit of emphasis on sounds to help the player understand the gameplay mechanics, but of course that's of little use to someone who's deaf.


Not long - only took me few seconds after trying out everything, and two tries (yesterday - one failed, which is why I didn't count it yesterday as it's "learning how to play" game before I start it properly) I managed to finish it with ease. It might be good idea to include little Read Me that's available in-game by pressing F1 or something like that (Or Back/Start* on 360 Pad) and tell what the game is for, what powers do, and little info. Not too much, if you want to make sure player has to learn themselves on rest of game as I think that's part of its charm.

*That reminds me... you should be able to pause the game, if that's possible. Since timer's running and while its ideal to play it in one sitting, there's bound to be moments where there's little distraction that player has to take break from game itself and deal with the distraction or something. Just a little nice touch, that's all.

Twitter: SevenFisher
Nintendo ID: SevenFisher (Nickname: Seven)
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Echarin
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PostRe: Umbrellas: A game I made
by Echarin » Fri May 28, 2010 8:27 pm

Seven wrote:
Far outside my ability, although if someone here knows something about it and knows of some articles that explain it well I would love to try and understand it. But the game as it is just isn't made for that, so it would need to be changed quite a lot.


Aye, it seems you'd need alot of 'sheets', more than just ones that's pre-loaded with this game's .rar file. It would be fun idea, but can see why it won't happen.


Well, I'd have to redo a lot of stuff so I'd first have to find a way to do without the pre-set room txt files; just figuring out how to simply write to and read from those files was a lot of hassle for me.
Actually, if it was all random then there would be no need for all those txt files, and I also lose my clever method of tracking how often people have failed.

Seven wrote:Ah interesting, I thought it was pretty much where people can try various ways to see if they can get to goal quicker, with limited powers/such :lol: :shifty: Although overall wins/falls would be pretty good idea :D


Yeah, I just need to find a similarly clever way of tracking the "wins" as I do the "fails" (have you picked up on that yet? won't spoil it here if you haven't)

edit:

Seven wrote:It might be good idea to include little Read Me that's available in-game by pressing F1 or something like that (Or Back/Start* on 360 Pad) and tell what the game is for, what powers do, and little info.


Uh uh, no way, absolutely not. It's a simple enough game that everything about the game should be learned just by playing it.
I'm trying to teach myself how to design games, and that includes learning how to make the gameplay mechanics clear through the playing of the game rather than through written instructions. If the player doesn't understand the game then that just means I've failed in my job and need to try harder.


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