Portfolio Project work

To be honest, I’d actually on reflection rather not be showing this as a portfolio piece, but as this is a University assignment, well, fair’s fair.

I attempted, somewhat naively, to make a small section of level for a 2D platforming game entirely in the GameMaker 8.1 engine. Unfortunately, as I had no real prior experience with actually attempting that, the final result fell short of what I’d hoped for by some distance, though I hope at least the work that went into it is clear enough for something done in 3 months.

(An ingame shot)

Inspired by pixel art and eastern fantasy landscapes, I took the brief of ‘Science Fiction City Port’ to build a retro-futuristic scrap-town in the sky, ramshackle, hauled up great distances and constructed out of whatever was available. Admittedly the constraints meant a lot of the science fiction elements (planes and aircraft) were cut, but the hope was there.(one of the main inspirations)

The project’s main flaw was simple. Overambition. I attempted to do too much at once and hence spread my efforts thin; had I, say, only focused on the visuals and abandoned the ‘code a game’ part all together, we could have had a much different and frankly better end result. As it stands, the game is glitchy, has to suffer a number of grievances simply from being on the GameMaker engine and painfully incomplete; attempting to make a detailed platformer with all the mechanics that requires as a first time project was perhaps not the smartest idea I’ve ever had. For all its rough edges though, there are things I’m proud of; it has an entirely customised lighting and rendering system separated out from GameMaker’s own, and whilst a lot of the fluidity was sacrificed to try and bring the rest of the project up to speed, the animations for the player character are still something I enjoyed making.

(Character Sprite Sheet)

Whilst the creation of the code base was an exercise in frustration, the creation of the artwork taught me a lot and I believe I learnt many valuable lessons whilst producing it all. It’s not as full as I would have liked and I had hoped for more animated pieces, but as it stands what’s there is of a high quality to me.

(The environment art in full)

Ultimately, I had fun in the creation of this project, even if it did have me grinding my hair and pulling my teeth by the end of it.


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