Following the year-long Python build of the engine with Francesco, Fareed has just quit the FlashPunk build of One-Eyed Monsters. I wish Fareed well in his new job and and incredibly grateful for the work he put in on my game.

But it’s my game again. Mine and mine alone.


Have you seen this post Derek Yu did on Finishing A Game? Many of these rules are hard to call, never got to that stage of production, but I have definitely broken rules 2, 3, 4, 6, and 11.

Harrumph again.

The first plans for this game began over 3 years ago in Oakland, California. Now I’ve moved to Providence, Rhode Island, generated several notebooks worth of material, changed platforms at least 3 times, made sprites, music, design documents, maps, backgrounds, animations, objects, dialogs, innumerable puzzles.

I have never actually hit the “production” stage. The entire previous paragraph can best be described as “thinking about a game.” Thinking a lot, yes. But there has never, save for a few pathfinding tests Fareed built, been  playable version of the game. That’s pre-production. As Derek phrases it, “a damn game can be played, and if you have not created something that can be played, it’s not a damn game!”

So there is, at the end of 3 years, nothing, nothing, to show.

pressing on

Well, I am not a coder. I don’t want to be a coder. The time it would take to learn Flash well enough to do what we were trying to do would be at least a year, and I find no pleasure in coding for its own sake. In service of my game, yes, but it will be a long time til I can put characters in a game and make them move. I do not have the coding prowess, and one thing I’ve learned from coding tutorials is that there is no decent way to understand it unless you’re willing to learn all the basics.

Fortunately, GameMaker 7.5 came out for the Mac earlier this year.

It’s a little scary, as working in it means flying completely without a net. There is no documentation of any sort for Gm7.5, save the help document that comes with it (which only just recently got written by creator Mark Overmars; it used to be a copy of the Windows documentation from GM7). There is no section on the YoYoGames forums for asking questions about the Mac build; searching the general questions section for “Mac” yields 0 results. It is not mentioned in the FAQ (which only covers the newer, Windows-only GM8). There is no contact information for any YoYoGames staff (they suggest maybe someday they’ll make a pay-for-service Help Desk). And the bug reporting database will only let you report GM8 or website bugs.

But it works. It’s a little funky at times, but it works. To fend off the depressing feeling that my game is never going to get made, I spent today going through Derek Yu’s GameMaker Tutorials. I’ll admit, I haven’t finished the 4th one, I’m not quite prepared, at 9:30pm, to start building a font. But I was able to make something in GM.

Consider this the first build of OEM.

In this build, OEM is a shmup. A fuck-ugly shmup.

But this one day with GameMaker 7.5 gave me more than I could actually interact with than the last 3 years of false starts and reboots.

If the game is hideous but works, I’ll be a lot happier, and we can always make it look better down the line. What’s important is getting it functional. Fareed has agreed to send me the engine he’s made in a stripped-down form, and maybe someday down the line I’ll get the game ported from GameMaker to Flash and put it on a dozen other systems and make a thousand million dollars.

For now I’ll have to go it alone because I’m sick of waiting. Keep your eye on this space, you might actually have something to see in the coming months.

(I’m still pissed I won’t be submitting to IGF.)


1 Response to “”

  1. 1 Francesco 10/19/2010 at 3:59 am

    Hi Ian,

    sorry to ear that but let me share a little piece of my philosophy with you:

    if in the makeing of your dream-project you are encountering problems just try harder, results will come! maybe in the form of the perfect a person that share your vision or maybe it’s the finding of the perfect design tool for you (GM for Mac? :) )

    Don’t give up, pal! I really like your game, too bad I haven’t had the time and dedication it deserved


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