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Posted by Silver-Streak (1989 posts) -

Silver-Streak made a game!

What did you do?

I made a Castlevania-style platformer. Well, sort of. I made a 1 level demo with a title screen. However, it has:

  • A working title screen.
  • A hero character with jump, attack, idle, move, and dash animations.
  • A working HUD showing your player health, lives, and current stamina.
  • A dash with invincibility frames.
  • Knockback with invinicility frames.
  • Enemies with full animations, different AI/behaviors, HP, and damage stats.
  • A full level with a custom layout.
  • A boss room with boss.
  • End credits.

In theory, with all of this done I could iterate and create additional levels relatively easily. I might do that sometime.

Where can I play it?

GDevelop 5 lets you export your games to HTML and upload directly to itch.io, so you can go right here to play: https://silver-streak.itch.io/not-a-vania

Feel free to leave any feedback you like either on Itch.io or here. I also uploaded my project files with comments throughout. This is for everyone to freely download and look through if they want to learn how I did some of the stuff in the platformer.

Why did you do this?

I had a game idea rattling around in my head, and wanted to learn a game engine that could possibly accomplish it. I saw a bunch of examples for multiple engines that were focused around building a platformer, so I decided to try that.

Now that this is done, I'll take a small break and move on to what I originally wanted to make.

How did you do this?

First, I used @zandravandra's fantastic post around Giant Rom and the Giant Rom Boot Camp.

After reading up on various engines, I originally started messing with Stencyl. While looking into what else was available, I realized I had a GameMaker Studio 2 license hanging around from years ago, and also found "Godot".

My goal was to do as little coding as possible. I know a decent amount of JavaScript, and used to know C# very well, but didn't want to freshen up for the small projects I intended to do.

As I began to dug into those, I realized a few things:

  • GameMaker Studio 2 makes a lot of real complex things real simple (player movement, stats, etc). However, some things that should be really easy end up being complex (making a GUI, or a title screen, aligning text with other text on the screen, etc)
  • Godot is SUPER flexible, to the point where it seems like a real (free) competitor for Unity. However it currently requires much more code than I'm willing to deal with.
  • Construct 3 and Stencyl are very easy to get up and running, but costly if you don't want object limits.

When I was about to dig into Stencyl and Construct 3 tutorials on youtube, I found a bunch of videos talking about a newer open source/free engine. GDevelop 5. It basically seems like a free version of Construct 3/Stencyl, which actually allows you to use code if you really want to (JavaScript).

After reading through the tutorials, I realized it would be super simple to get this up and running once I understood the basics. I've put ~15 hours into learning it, and built the platformer game/demo as my learning process. I also jumped on the GDevelop 5 discord (linked here) and got a bunch of help from the fine folks there. For the art and audio resources, I pulled from opengameart.org and itch.io's free game asset sections.

Special thanks

As mentioned above, thanks to @zandravandra for inspiring me to finally give this a go.

Thanks to @sparky_buzzsaw for showing interest early on.

Thanks to @kiapurity for being my rad wife and being supportive and happy I was doing something creative for once.

Thanks to my testers Sion and Patchouli for their feedback.

Thanks to the GDevelop community for being open and welcoming on this stuff.

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#1 Posted by Silver-Streak (1989 posts) -

For anyone who wants to see how I made what I did, I've uploaded the project files (which can be loaded into GDevelop) and added comments throughout it. You can grab it at the same link to play the game: http://silver-streak.itch.io/not-a-vania.

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#2 Posted by Manburger (102 posts) -

Very cool, great work! Interesting to read about your process.

Also, thanks for informing me about GDevelop! I'm always stoked to discover cool free software I could use to maybe make something (any day now I'm sure)

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#3 Posted by Silver-Streak (1989 posts) -

@manburger: Thanks for the compliment!

For real though, GDevelop is the first time I've made it past the "let me try to plug things together" phase of a game engine. As mentioned above, it combines a lot of what I like about Stencyl and Construct, but is free. Give it a shot.