One Per Day: The picking a game making platform project – Conclusions

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An arduous week

I guess I don’t know what I was expecting. That some how I would have the wherewithal and self discipline to start every morning at 9am and continually use a particular game making solution for 8 hours straight? For eight days straight? In retrospect this seems like an unreasonable expectation.

So no, I didn’t come even close to re-creating any part of Gradius in any of the engines. But I think I managed to accomplish my real goal anyway: to spend several hours in a number of different software solutions and to try and come to some kind of consensus on which if any of them I want to start using.

This is coming in with the assumption I’ll be spending ~5000+ hours in whatever solution or solutions I end up choosing. Kind of important to “get it right”.

I may not have given some of them the time and effort they deserved. Godot, for instance, wasn’t really working for me. But I also was using it from Steam and wasn’t following a very good guide. I would like to find an excuse to use Godot as it’s free and has a large number of export targets. The version or form of Godot I used, unfortunately, seemed completely broken.

Defold actually seems like a surprisingly friendly and straight forward solution but might be too heavy on the coding half of things at the moment as I don’t know Lua and I’m not sure I want to learn Lua.

The secondary goal of the project was actually to try and figure out if there was some way to not have to learn four or five different programming languages. But so far I’m looking at Lua, Python, GML, JavaScript and some kind of BASIC. And perhaps Haxe, which I had never even heard of before doing this series.

There are also some solutions I never got to, like Cocos2d/creator. I mean I can still try it out, I just happened to arbitrarily limit the series to the days I had off work.

Decision time?

I think I’ve decided to “split the difference” for now and probably split my time between both GameMaker Studio and MakeCode Arcade.

MakeCode because it supposed to be easy to both make and then transfer the games to actual devices to play on. That seems fun somehow. And GameMaker for the sheer number of tutorials, guides, communities and support structure. It’s a shame I couldn’t make a free/opensource solution work for me as that seems like a safer bet with less danger of a subscription lock-in (or a new parent company to start inserting data harvesting banner ads etc).

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