Monday, August 15, 2011

Let's Make A Game! Episode 7: Difficulties Arise

I'm finally starting to gain the confidence to experiment. I'll start fiddling with variables just to see what they do, or mess around with things just because. I'm starting to see how things work together and I'm getting able to see how games are made. There's a downside to that confidence, though. I finished up the last lesson about animation and sprite strips and somehow ended up with my character off the screen. I can't figure out quite why, although I suspect it's because I was goofing around with settings and ended up messing something up. Still, experimentation is good! Making mistakes is how we learn. That's what I'm telling myself.

Even with what I'm learning, I still can't quite figure out how a game like Super Mario Bros. is made yet. I understand the principles of collision detection, and with a seemingly simple game, it should be easy to figure out. I still can't wrap my head around how you make levels and scroll them. Ah well. I'll get there eventually.

One of the problems I'm running into recently is time. I usually write these entries several days in advance in order to have a bit of a backlog built up. I want to consistently put these entries out every few days. Even with the backlog, I'm just about caught up, which annoys me greatly.

Mainly, it's really hard finding quiet time to program. I can't really learn unless I'm all by myself and the house is quiet. Usually, when I'm home, my lovely wife and her lovely sister are home as well, and they usually watch endless episodes of Say Yes To The Dress. I simply can't concentrate when that happens.

All of this is adding up to get me a little frustrated, but I'm still making some headway. For example, I was poking around on the MSDN and found a command for making the game fullscreen. They had some sample code, so I inserted it. Here it is: = 480; = 800; = true;
It took me a bit of fiddling to figure out where this goes, but eventually I was able to insert it and got fullscreen! Woohoo!

Unfortunately, I didn't insert any code to end the game, so in order to close it I had to Alt+Tab back to Windows, open Task Manager and close the game manually. But still! We're getting there!

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