This is the blog post in which you can download and install A GAME WHAT I PROGRAMMED.

I’ve been following Tom ‘made GUNPOINT’ Francis’ GameMaker tutorials since the start of the year. The man has an uncanny ability to teach code in a way that makes sense to people who don’t code. I suspect he’s new enough to coding himself, relatively speaking, that he still remembers what it was like.

BASIC, Inform, TWINE and others have crossed paths with me over the year but none have ever stuck. They’ve either been too difficult or not quite relevant to what I want to do. TWINE is still the engine which has most appealed, because it enables a surprisingly pure writing experience. I suspect I may go back to TWINE, armed with a better knowledge of how all this stuff hangs together.

Tom is teaching GameMaker, the system he used to make GUNPOINT (always write it in caps) and which he is now using to make Heat Signature (not sure whether to write it in caps). Although GameMaker has all kinds of nooby drag-and-drop features, Tom’s bypassing all that and jumping straight into code.

I’ve just finished part 13, which has added a nice little menu screen to the game. As such, I thought it was time to share what I’ve been up to. Note that most of the code and actual design are from Tom’s tutorials, so it’s not like I’ve done this myself – however, I have understood the entire process and am already starting to think about what I can use these techniques for later in the year.

Download the latest build here.

It’s ugly as sin.

Instructions:

  • Move with WASD.
  • Aim with the mouse.
  • There are two weapons in the arena. Pick ’em up by rolling over them.
  • Left click to fire.
  • Right click to swap weapons.
  • The weapons interact in an interesting way. Experiment!
  • The enemies react in different ways to being shot.

Not much of a game there as yet, but it’s further than I’ve ever managed to get in 34 years of dabbling. And I’m still excited every time Tom Francis warbles “hullo” at the start of an episode.

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