For the sake of closure, I want to make a development blog about a dead project of mine from 2013. It is the last "big" project I worked on. Perhaps I will pick it up again some day, but for the time being, I am working on other things.
If any of you remember playing the first-person shooter Sapphire Tears by JakeX (or Requiem
, if you want to go by his fancy new name), you'll also remember that a huge--and I mean huge--game mechanic was the fact that, at the beginning of each match, players had to build a base for themselves or their team. Depending on the game mode, that also involved placing a core (a.k.a. a flag for capture the flag), claiming territory, and so forth. Unless the host loaded a map using a third-party build tool, everyone had to start from scratch in an empty world, and had a limited amount of time until the actual match started.
There was absolutely nothing fancy about the graphics. The most complex graphical aspect of the game was that JakeX turned on fog in the 3D engine. Everything else was solid colors and square blocks. As the player, you were simply an upside down cone with a sphere for a head.
That all said, the actual gameplay was terribly addicting. And I never wanted it to end--even when the community that played the game for years died off.
Although I have experimented with making 3D games many times, I have never learned enough to make something polished. Perhaps I will one day. Coupling that with the fact that I truly love 2D games that have a "retro", "pixel art" feel, I decided I wanted to create a game that had similar mechanics to that which I was addicted, but in a 2D platformer perspective.
Creating a shooter with "complex" mechanics in a 2D platform perspective presented a handful of interesting challenges that I enjoyed contemplating. For example, how could I make "zooming" with a rifle work elegantly? Or, how should walls of buildings be handled when there isn't enough time to necessarily build every single interior detail during the build time before a match starts--unlike how you would in a game such as Terraria.
I also loved the idea of actually being able to build your character. By this I mean, earn items and currency. And possibly level up. But the challenge of implementing this game mechanic while keeping the game balanced and appealing to newcomers also intrigued me.
To cut it short, I loved thinking about how this game would work, and how I would implement it.
For now, the Game Maker files for this game are tucked away on some external hard drive. As far as I can remember, I had just about everything implemented in its most basic form. When I stopped, I was at the point of expanding the implementation of the online play to include lobbies, server lists, and cloud-saved players with stats. It also had a pretty critical bug where some (well, most) bullets would fly right through opposing players because of timing and frame issues.
Ironically, I have always loved designing and developing the networking aspect in games (yes, I was one of those "I'm going to make an MMORPG for my first game" kids...but I actually have three or four working demos of such a game sitting around on an external hard drive as well)--yet that is where I stopped.
So, to finish it up, here are two screenshots from Discord that I found that I would like to share here for fun. As you can see, a good amount of stuff was implemented.
Perhaps one day I will get back to work on Discord. It is still a game idea that is very appealing in my brain. I would love to recreate it in something other than Game Maker, but maybe I should just pick up where I left off and see where I get.