Operation: Martian Clone

Some Background:

I had played around in GameMaker 8 previously, but never got to in to it – mainly because I was inexperienced with game development at the time. But I always followed the GameMaker community – notably this subreddit and occasionally checking the forums. Despite my fascination with GameMaker, eventually I would go on to teach myself Unity and C#, so upon revisiting GameMaker (giving in to the temptation of the Humble Bundle this past summer), I felt infinitely more comfortable with it than my time with it before. The ease of picking up GML after doing everything in C# for the past few years astonished me; and it seemed like they had a function for everything. Now armed with knowledge, I created a game by building on an existing “engine”. While this helped get a basic understanding of GML and how to work with GameMaker, I never feel as comfortable building on someone elses codebase. So I set out to create my own from the ground up…

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Adventure Jam 2017 – The Artifact Isle

Up to this point I have only participated in one other game jam – the One Button Jam on itch.io so when I caught word of the Adventure Jam on GameJolt, I decided to have another go at one. The decision came after playing Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and experimenting with an open world in Unity. I decided I could use what I learned in these experiments to to make more than just a tech demo – an actual game. When I reached this conclusion, the jam wouldn’t begin for another 2 weeks but I was free to plan everything out before then. I really didn’t have an idea for a story at this point, but I knew I wanted it to involve puzzle-based trials (like Zelda’s shrines) so I just had to find a reason for them to exist. I tossed around a few ideas but eventually landed on:

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Conquest Combat

I (finally) finished up work on a small little side project of mine, a top-down shooter called: Conquest Combat. This was one I started a while ago but only worked on here and there. True to game development though, it seemed to take a lot longer to get it to a finished state than I would have thought! Between tweaks to the AI and level balance, I would say about 1/4 of the development time was spent on these final touches.

The story is: Terrorist camps have begun to show up all over the place and we are left with just one option: send in our mediocre soldiers to stop them. Due to budget cuts, not only did boot camp training have to be scaled way back, but the intelligence has to be gathered by more cost-effective methods (translation: the internet). Despite this, a number of terrorist camps have been located and flagged for elimination. We need you to take these men and do just that (to the best of your ability)!

The game takes place all on a single screen where you control a single soldier and must follow/lead your fellow soldiers up against the enemy. Upon death you will respawn (if you still have allies alive), however your cohorts will not. Some missions you will have the ability to call in reinforcements while others you will only be able to use what you start with.

Controls are simple: WASD movement while the mouse will aim/fire.

Download it here!

Studio Besus Demo Disc

BesusDemo01Nostalgia is something all too common for me and in my most recent bout of it, Playstation demo discs attacked. Going through many of my older ones, I yearned for the exciting days of getting a new one. I discovered countless games I otherwise never would have thanks to them; Ape Escape, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Bloody Roar just to name a few. With broadband internet as common as it is and demos becoming less and less common for games, they are certainly a dying (already dead?) breed. I wanted to change that, or at the very least, revisit my nostalgia.

To do so, I decided to use my engine of choice: Unity. Thanks to the System.Diagnostics namespace, I am able to open external executables from the “launcher” using: Process.Start(path to exe). But before launching the demo, I open a brief description of the game and give the user the chance to back out or start it. Upon doing so, I pause the music and bring up a new UI message to indicate a demo has been launched. To keep the “optical disc” feel of the Playstation demo discs, I make extensive use of Movie Textures to showcase the currently selected item as well as to play a full screen movie (but this is done an a separate canvas).

Overall I am very satisfied with the feel of it all and even designed it so demo configurations, videos, descriptions, and titles can easily be swapped out for other games and/or specific game studio collections.

Download the Studio Besus Demo Collection here!

Rewired Firewing 64 – v2.1

While not frequent, I had received word that some controllers did not work in Firewing 64. To address this, I have completely overhauled the input system by integrating Rewired in to the project. This will support virtually every imaginable controller you can run on a PC as well as make for a much more streamlined interface for remapping the keys, adjusting sensitivity, and inverting axis.


In addition, I also fixed a bug where the crystal count would not persist between sessions. This meant that after collecting a crystal and exiting the game, your count would return to 0 and the crystal previously collected still registered that it had been.

Though not as exciting as the updates made in version 2.0, at least now it is 100% more playable for those who had controller input issues (or wanted play to correctly persist between sessions)!

Download version 2.1.0 here or on the Downloads page.

Destructanks – Destroy everything!

Destructanks_05Destructanks is a low-poly destruction game where you control a tank with one mission: destroy everything! Blast your way through 10 missions, ranging from suburban neighborhoods to airports.

This originally began as a fun side project of mine as I had always enjoyed arena tank shooters. Rather than go the typical “put X number of tanks in an arena and let them battle it out” route, I decided to work-in some of the destruction tech I used in my other title Crash Co. and work it in to a slightly different tank shooter game.

Destructanks_08The premise remains simple. You start with a set amount of time and earn more by destroying items. The bigger the structure, the more time it gives you. Sizes can range from bushes in a front lawn to an airport terminal, and (obviously) the larger the object, the more it will take to destroy.

Along the way you will also encounter enemy tanks out to stop you from accomplishing your mission. Either evade them and carry on, or destroy them to add time to your clock.

What are you waiting for? Get destroying!

Destructanks v1.0 (Windows)
Destructanks v1.0 (Mac OS)
Destructanks v1.0 (Linux)

Massive update to make Firewing 64 v2.0

Firewing64_v2_MountainTopShortly after the release of the original version of Firewing 64, it was met with generally positive feedback. A number of these people also offered suggestions on ways to improve the game in general, so I took those to heart (at least the ones that I agreed with) and got to work!

First and foremost, just because the game is inspired by the Nintendo 64 3D platformers doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. I used the Nintendo 64 style to be lazy (for lack of a better word). So I improved and updated all of the textures, while still retaining that distinct Nintendo 64 style.

Firewing64_v2_VillageLookoutNext was the geometry. There were parts that I didn’t like, and in general everything seemed to “sharp”. The Nintendo 64 could only do so many polygons so I didn’t want to give up the limited number being used here. Simple fix: apply smoothing groups to all of the geometry.

With the game looking much better, I turned my attention to the controls. Some people had mentioned that they didn’t like the button layouts and the inability to use the mouse to control the camera. That too has been fixed. I was able to reduce the button usage by doubling-up some of them. For example, there is no longer a dedicated button to ground pound. Now that is performed by quickly-tapping attack while in the air. In addition, the character now jumps higher based on how long the jump button is pressed (a staple in any 3D platformer really). In addition, footstep sounds were added as was a wing flapping sound while gliding.

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