Welcome to the World of Sprites

As many of you know, I am always full of ideas for games, but fail to execute them, so I think it’s time I began work on my first real game. No, I’m not talking about my horror game; I am waiting to create that until I feel I have adequate knowledge of game engines to do the game justice. In other words, I will continue to do design work for my horror game, but will not begin to make it a playable game until I have more experience. At this point, I am on my third semester at the University of Advancing Technology, and most certainly do not have enough experience with editors or even design to comfortably lead a project. So here’s the plan, and I suggest it to any other up-and-coming designers: make a game, a simple game. And what better way to start simple than with the world of sprites!

For the next month or two (maybe more, depending how things go), I will be designing and creating an executable game in Game Maker. If you know me, then you know I adore oldschool games and 8-bit graphics, which is why I’ve decided to do all my own graphics, rather than using other people’s sprites. The game will have a more oldschool feel to it, while bringing in new game play mechanics that were not seen during the era of the 8-bit. I also plan on creating my own polyphonic tones to use in the game, although at this point in production, I am not focusing on sounds, and they will most likely come last in production, during the polishing stage, as I have yet to figure out exactly how to make my own. If this fails, I will probably use free sound effects and music that fit the game. So don’t expect any sounds in any demos I release, or if there are any sounds, they probably won’t be the final versions used.

Why sprites, you may ask? Well, quite frankly sprites are easy and simple. They’re small, usually fairly quick to make, don’t require a lot of animation, and are just easy to work with, especially for beginners. There are loads of games out there using sprites, and there are lot of really fun ones. Furthermore, sprites appeal to a wider audience than, say, the graphics in Final Fantasy XIII. Sprites don’t have a lot of detail, but they are lovable, whether you’re an eight-year-old or an eighty-year-old or somewhere in between. As fantastic as the graphics in Final Fantasy XIII are, they do not appeal to everyone, and I know quite a few people who would never play the game because the way it looks. Visually pleasing your audience can certainly be a challenge, but for simplicity and fun, I prefer sprites.

For now, I’m still playing around in Game Maker to learn the editor inside and out, as well as grinding out mechanics and story for the game, so check back soon for more posts, and possible demos and screenshots, of the game!

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