Look, you can jump!
Alright, here’s the progress I’ve made.
The blue block is the player character. If you look closely, you can see tiny tally marks on the top left corner of it; that shows the animation frame. I made five blue blocks, each with its own number of tallies, and set it to animate automatically. The green block is the platform, and the blue block can jump on it and move around.
So I’ve learned:
- How to animate sprites
- How to set platforms
- How to make a platformer player character
The reason this took so long isn’t because “game design is hard.” What I’ve done here is incredibly simple, and it seriously took me less than an hour to figure it out and implement it. It took so long because lately depression has been hitting with full force and I haven’t felt the drive to do anything except lay in bed or play some of that new Counter-Strike. But I promised updates, and I’m pretty long overdue, so there’s what I’ve got.
Also, since I want to feel like I’m presenting anything of actual value, I’m going to briefly explain the basic concept behind the game I want to make. It might not be the first game I make, since I’m pretty sure my first game is inevitably going to suck, but it’s the one I really want to make, the one I feel might actually be meaningful.
Generally speaking, any artistic project that has any sort of soul behind it starts out with some sort of creative spark; an idea that manifests itself in the artist’s imagination. With games, it’s often the idea of a game mechanic, or an art style, or a new piece of technology that needs to be advertised. For me the idea was a premise, a topic that I feel needs to be explored in a video game.
I want to make a game about suicide.
I’ve only played two games about suicide, and both of them are twisted, offensive mockeries of the subject matter. The first is Adult Swim’s Five Minutes To Kill Yourself, and the other is Karoshi Suicide Salaryman. These are lighthearted games where the objective is to kill yourself. I get the intent; it’s supposed to be a twist on the fact that your objective in most games is specifically to not die. But the way these games present themselves is just so silly and warped that they end up perpetuating the idea that suicide is a joke, and I don’t like that.
My goal is to make a somber, poignant game about struggling with suicidal thoughts; one that may help people understand the perspective of suicidal people, and give depressed people something they can relate to, something that might give them hope.
I really don’t want to explain too much of what I have in mind yet, especially since much of it will probably change by the time it’s finished. But there you have it. I want to make a game about suicide, and I want it to actually mean something.