A Trial of Platform’s – Part 1

So I’ve decided to start creating a game (about time). This isn’t the first game I’ve made, but it will be the first time I’ll try to document my design process through this blog.

Here are some important questions that I’ll need to answer:

  1. What kind of game do you want to make?
  2. What will be your major design concepts/mechanics?
  3. How are you going to build it?
  4. What are you doing for art?
  5. What are you doing for sound?

These five questions I think are the beginning of a good place to start for a project. Now you may not have the answers to them from the get go, and heck they will probably change throughout the projects life cyle, but giving them some thought is a must.

Here are my answers.

  1. A platformer.

A classic game genre that remains prominent to this day. It is often integrated into other genres in the mainstream, usually as puzzles. Nowadays it seems that its the indie developers who still champion dedicated platformer games. Two notable examples being Fez and Super Meat Boy (both of which you should check out if you like platformers).

Maniac Mario

I don’t play them so much any more but creating one, if done right, will no doubt be an invaluable experience in the aspects surrounding game development. Additionally if (more likely when) in the case I need help then finding it, given the deep familiarity of the game making community with this genre, shouldn’t be hard.

  1. Colour based mechanics and Keys and Doors.

To elaborate what I mean by colour based mechanics.

The world of the game will be primarily black and white. The protagonist will be a default grey colour. Being grey will offer the standard jump and run properties.

There are four platform colours in the game, red, green and blue and black. Black will be the default platform colour and red, green and blue will be ‘absorbable colours’. The player can absorb a colour by jumping on one such platform. This results in that platform losing its colour and becoming the default platform colour. Landing on a platform of another colour will override the players current colour, and landing on a platform of the same colour will return the player to grey.

The player being either red, green and blue will grant the player a unique ability which involves a change in the properties of the player from being Grey. These new abilities must then be used to solve a series of levels each of which have a platforming puzzle which in-order to complete, will require collecting a key to open a door.


Keys and Doors are classic. It is an easy way to give a player purpose, allowing for some interesting level design combined with the colour mechanics.

  1. Using GameMaker

For this project I’ve decided to use GameMaker. It’s an amazing tool for creating games for either; those who are less confident in their coding abilities but still would try their hand at game design, or those who could use a fast way to build a prototype of their game. I highly suggest checking it out.


I’ve had GameMaker for awhile but admittedly I’ve become a little rusty. So to learn it again I followed this great tutorial series by Shaun Spalding. He covers the basics of building a game in GameMaker, focusing particularly (and conveniently for me) on the platformer genre.

  1. Review my options

I have some experience in graphics design with Photoshop and Gimp but that is nowhere near enough, so this will be a bit of problem for me. For now these are the options I have:

  1. Finding an artist.
  2. Finding free images.
  3. Do it myself.

For now it’s option two and three, I’ll keep an eye on one though.

  1. Review my options

I’m not much of a musician either, so no easy answer here. My options though are quite clear:

  1. Find a sound guy.
  2. Find copyright free music.
  3. Do it myself.

It looks like its lucky number two for now; but hey I wont rule out one, and maybe trying to make a tune myself for the game might be fun!

So now with a plan in mind, time to get started!

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