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Okay, so I haven’t made the jumpy game yet

Turns out the platformer tutorial isn’t nearly as useful as the top-down shooter tutorial.

Oh, I’m sure it is if you have that image pack I mentioned before — the one that has all the sprites and the background, the one that comes with the paid version of Construct. But I don’t, because I’m not exactly rich right now.

I’m terribly frustrated by the tutorial. It looks otherwise very useful, but it doesn’t give any help to people who don’t have the pre-made images. It says you can “substitute your own graphics,” but it doesn’t say how many images you need, what proportions those images need to be, etc.

I would just use a few stand-ins, but it turns out that unlike the top-down shooter tutorial, this one uses animations. This means each sprite actually uses several images — one for each animation frame. I have no idea how many frames I should make for each sprite and what each frame should look like, and I’m really bothered by the fact that the tutorial doesn’t give me any hint about this. It pretty much just leaves you in the dark if you didn’t buy the paid version.

If this was their way of pressuring me to get my wallet out, that seems downright silly — would anyone with any concept of money really spend $80 to get some images for a platforming tutorial game that nobody is going to play?

So yeah, I’ve kind of slacked off. A more self-loathing me would say I’ve been lazy, but I think it’s really two things: Frustration and anxiety. I’m frustrated because I’m obviously not going to actually learn what I need to know about how to make a platformer from this tutorial, and I’m anxious because this whole animation frames thing has just reminded me of how much of a workload making a game is going to be. I suck at making any respectable artwork, and I just realized I’m going to need to make dozens of images and animate them together to make one visually appealing character in a platform game.

To be honest, I’m not sure if every two days is a good schedule for updates. Especially considering I work five days a week, something tells me some of these updates are going to be very unsatisfying for both me and you. I might change it to once a week. I’m not sure.

In any case, I think what I might do is make some extremely basic images, perhaps just rectangles, and use them as stand-ins for the platforming tutorial. If they have to have animations, maybe I’ll have the boxes wobble around creepily. How could that go wrong?


One response

  1. Galzzly

    Sucks that they don’t have a link or something for the resources needed somewhere on the tutorial page.

    I would suggest until you make / find an appropriate sprite to use a 32×32, 64×64 or even 128×128 solid-colored box. As for animation, simply having a large number representing which frame it is over the box would help test to see if it is working how you want it. For the number of frames you want an animation, it really depends, but from what I remember looking at many SNES era games, around 11 frames for a walk cycle is perfect (to my knowledge, Mario and Megaman both had 11 frames of walk animation).

    Making the box now will also help with future projects as you will already have a way to test a game to see if something works or if the game is actually fun before wasting time and effort on art.

    Also, if a box just doesn’t work for you, there is always the Spriter’s Resource website.

    And, while I’m at it, if you ever need old-school sounding sound effects, give this site a try. It’s great for getting just simple sounds which really help testing a game (especially when it comes to collision issues).

    August 8, 2012 at 2:47 AM

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