Introduction: as outlined in my initial blog post, I am going to attempt to create the same basic game - that of the first few minutes of Gradius for NES - using a number of different game making platforms, one per day during my week off. I'm using GitHub to store the different projects. See my progress in the repo.
|Alt web site||https://github.com/4ian/GDevelop|
|License||Per the github page, MIT License (free-as-in-beer)|
|My github for this project||https://github.com/tildesarecool/grad-dah-clone-gdevelop-ed|
|Export format(s)||android, facebook, html5, iOS,windows/mac/linux, a few sites|
I don’t think this solution had come up the last time I looked at my game making options but from what I’ve seen so far it looks pretty good. It doesn’t hurt that it can be worked on entirely on their web site and whole thing in open source and on GitHub. It also doesn’t hurt that the wiki has a direct walk through of making a horizontal shooter and the software includes a horizontal shooter as a template.
Looking at the initial screen is a little confusing but has this hierarchical format that looks like it should be intuitive. No puzzle pieces to snap together for this one.
It does have a lot of easy things integrated already like an assets library, a music/sound library, a bitmap editor, “behaviors”, export to various platforms like HTML 5, Android, and Linux (among others).
It’s actually sort of like old school Visual Basic in a way: create new “objects” then define attributes, behaviors and events for each of those objects as well as the project as a whole.
I think with more time and an up to date tutorial I could really get into this development method.
At the end of the day
After several hours use, I really like that it has a built in image editor, a method of importing art and sound assets, and that the whole thing seems revolve directly around games in particular (having sprites of type “player” or “enemy” for instance).
And the behaviors for easy import or install are really fantastic. Want to a ship to shoot? Import the “shoot a bullet” behavior and…done. Collisions are similarly handled through a properties based thing.
In fact I’m fairly certain the whole revolves around a JSON file layout and all I’m really doing is modifying that JSON file.
I found the properties interface to have something of a learning curve. I’m not sure if the developers are English-second-language, or what but some of the things just don’t make that much sense. Example: to assign a PNG image to a “sprite” I have to “add an animation”. Even though I’m just assigning an image. And to adjust the properties of behavior I have to go back into “add a behavior” even though I’m more changing a setting.
Based on my even more limited experience with MakeCode, I think GDevelop might actually be more powerful.
My end result doesn’t resemble anything like Gradius but I do have the documentation to blame for that. The tutorial I was reading was often vague and mixed up terms then referred to screenshots that weren’t there or there was an animated gif too difficult to really follow.