[DevBlog] So, I’ve Been Dabbling in Game Development

game design word cloudThis is my first “devblog” of any sort, so it’s probably going to come off as more of a ramble at this point. Basically, I’ve been poking around and dabbling with Game Maker for a few years now. Dating back to when it still had numbered entries with each new edition and wasn’t part of YoYoGames, I was loosely involved with the program. Granted, I never did much more than just poke around and make incredibly boring and terrible little games – but it’s experience, nevertheless, I guess.

Fast forward to now and not only am I firmly entrenched in game culture and general online games media, but indie games have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame as of late. While I am far from being considered a game designer or developer, I do like to consider myself a game enthusiast and generally knowledgeable person in terms of gaming. Ever since I was little David, I had always wanted to get involved in the actual creation of games, so this is my launching pad. I am of course a writer first and foremost, but I want to spread my wings and expand my horizons a bit more – and that’s where game development comes in. I haven’t touched any of this stuff in months, or years in one case, but I really want to get back into it and posting a blog post is my form of self-motivation.

Game Maker isn’t the first tool I’ve ever used – I have dabbled with RPG Maker as well, although that is a much more focused program with a particular type of game in mind. Game Maker is much more flexible, but RPG Maker is much easier to use and specialized.

Dead Pixel Title Screen

Games I’m Working On

Naturally, I’m not making this post just to ramble. I’m making it because I actually have a few things that are being worked on. They are all in very early stages, but I am curious to see if anyone that happens to read this blog has any kind of feedback for me. So, here are the three projects I’m currently working on:

    • Dead Pixel – This is a traditional 2D platformer. The game was created back in August of 2014 for the GameBoy Jam. The concept of the jam was to have VERY limited capabilities in terms of mechanics, colors, resolution, etc. I created all audio and visual assets by myself and did all of the coding and everything from scratch using tutorials. Here is the synopsis: “You are a Dead Pixel. Discarded from the Gameboy screen and abandoned from your game, all you have left is your ability to feel lonliness. You embark on an epic (note: short and not-epic) quest to reclaim your body and find out why you were left to die.” >> PLAY THE DEMO 
    • Attack of the Space Aliens from Space – After I submitted the unfinished version of Dead Pixel to the GameBoy Jam I figured hey, let’s start another game in a different genre and not finish that one too! Clearly, the name it meant to be comical, seeing as how I couldn’t think of anything. It’s pretty standard stuff – aliens fall towards you and you shoot them. That’s about it. >> PLAY THE DEMO
    • Secret 2D Turn-Based RPG Project – Not really ready to talk about this one too much yet. I foresee this one being my first really “big” project and a lot of stuff is planned out for it with other people getting involved. We have every intention of this one being a commercial game, so I’ll announce this one formally when the time comes. However, here is a little teaser screenshot if you’re super curious.

There you go. If you were wondering what I occupy my brain with during the time when I’m not at my full-time day job, commuting to or from work, planning our wedding, freelancing, or one of the other various things that take up my day, then it’s probably related to this stuff.

Maybe I’ll finish one of these games someday. I hope.


About David Jagneaux

Games Editor at UploadVR and freelance game journalist for various publications.
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9 Responses to [DevBlog] So, I’ve Been Dabbling in Game Development

  1. locksleyu says:

    Congratulations on your first “devblog” post, looking forward to your future writings… I’ve been into game dev for awhile as a hobby, but never used RPG or Game Maker.

    Good luck on your games!

    • Thanks! What do you do you use for game development? I wish I had invested the time and education into more “proper” forms of programming in school, but just never got around to it. RPG Maker and Game Maker are pretty great for beginners like me!

      • locksleyu says:

        I’ve done hobby game development for a long time now, originally starting with Basic language when I was a kid (: Lately, I’ve been writing mobile games for iPad/iPhone, which are in Objective C and C++.

        I definitely think it is worth learning the “proper” forms of programming, since you can apply those to your career even if it’s not related to games.

        Actually, for one my apps I on iTunes I was considering releasing the source code, to help people get started in iOS development.

  2. @locksleyu – That’s awesome! Do you have any recommendations for learning stuff? I’ve heard that Unity is great for indies, but I don’t really have any idea how to go about self-teaching what I’d need to know. I think that’s what’s so appealing about RPG Maker and Game Maker for me – there are large, dedicated communities with tons of tutorials and Game Maker Language (GML) is pretty approachable. I’ve heard it has similarities to some actual programming languages, so maybe that will already help me bridge the gap.

    Any feedback is appreciated! Although, I will likely wait until I’ve made some progress on these projects before moving on to anything else 🙂

  3. I played the demo version of Dead Pixel and it was fun! I love the story behind it. I hope you’ll decide to finish it even when working on the Secret 2D Turn-based RPG. How long did it take to make these games using Game Maker?

    • Wow! Thank you so much! You don’t know how awesome it is for a random person online to stumble across this and enjoy it. That means a lot! How did you find this blog?

      And Dead Pixel and Space Aliens were made in about 3-5 days each, while juggling the rest of my life lol. I followed tutorials by YouTube user heartbeast (who actually recently completed a Kickstarter for his book about Gamemaker’s coding language, GML.)

      • I’ve recently started learning and writing about game development too, so I went looking for blogs about it as a source of inspiration and came across yours through WordPress. 🙂

        Wow making a game in 3 to 5 days? That’s really something! How was your experience with RPG Maker? Can you use it to make any kind of game?

  4. @takingovertheworldwithgames –
    That’s awesome! Good luck with the blog!

    It’s not that impressive when you mostly just followed tutorial videos and kept things INCREDIBLY simple 😛 that made things a bit easier to do over a week or so! For RPG Maker, I love it. The interface is really intuitive and the community is amazing. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say that you can make ANY game, but it’s a lot more flexible than people think. All kinds of RPGs (front-view turn based, side-view turn based, action RPG, tactical) as long as you can learn quickly and utilize community scripts and whatnot.

    That being said, there is quite a large stigma against RPG Maker games. That’s mostly because 90% of games made with it only use stock resources, are unfinished, or are just plain terrible. So breaking out from that shadow is the tough part – have to create something really original!

    My first game isn’t going to be a commercial project though, gotta build up experience!

  5. Thanks! I’m hoping to make my first original game by the end of the tutorial class in Unity that I currently signed up for. Most of us really start learning game dev from tutorials, and then it’s up to you to add your own personal touch to make it your own.

    What I liked about Dead Pixel is that it starts with a simple gameplay and evolves as the player changes into other forms. Playing in pixel form was a familiar but unique experience that I don’t often get from other 2D platform games. It requires movement with as much precision in timing as possible to make sure that I can get to the next block without falling, unlike other games where you can hastily jump around and finish a level.

    Well that’s good that RPG Maker is flexible enough for a good number of genres. Sounds like a challenge to move away from that impression but I’m sure if you put your heart and effort into it, you can make with an original and engaging full game. 😀

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