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Ever wanted to develop your own platformer game?

Where to start development of your platformer game?

Generally game development has not been a lucrative business and is mostly for hobbyists which want to just develop something really fun and awesome. Which is why this article will point you in the right direction to start thinking about how to create your platformer game in such a way that it can be captivating for your player and make it fun. The technical details we will point you in the right direction as well so that you can actually start to build your game. Here is an awesome tutorial series on platformer game development. We highly recommend following this series to get more insight into the actual programming of the game. There is a video tutorial and many graphical illustrations of how it is done.

What will help make my platformer game fun?

The biggest issues often faced in platformer games are the frustration that it can often bring to the player. Things such as :

  1. Confusing environments often this happens with too much movement in the background. This can cause the player to loose focus of what actually needs to be achieved. Make it easier for them to understand your level in your platformer.
  2. Hazard clearance distances, often there is a hazard which a player needs to avoid. Don’t make it close to impossible to avoid, this will not challenge your player but rather give them a feeling of failure and frustration.
  3. Gravity often plays a role, make it a little fun by allowing your player to move in a direction while in the air after jumping. This just gives them some extra control and allows them to master new ways of completing tasks in the level.
  4. Power ups and rewards, it’s good to reward your player for completing challenges. Even though this is advised do not grant your player special items too easily. This might make the game lose it’s challenge factor or ambitious factor. Keep your player greedy and ambitious to get the next thing which they need to level up or improve their player.
  5. Create interaction and mystery elements to your game. For example killing an enemy gives your player the ability to use the enemy to throw something at another enemy.

Platformer game development resources

In this platform game development tutorial you will learn to build something similar to this:

platformer game development tutorial
platformer game development tutorial

How to make a rpg

What is a role playing game?

A role playing game consists of a adventure type feel where a player can explore a game world and pick up items along the way and level up and improve their strength or health as they go along. Role playing games usually have a few components to them.

  • A item inventory system which holds power ups, health improvements and more.
  • Monetary system which allows players to buy inventory items or improvements.
  • Battle system either of the action type which the player can roam around the map and fight off enemies. The other is turn based where the player encounters enemies and can attack with their abilities in a turn based fashion.
  • Story lines, the most important component of a good role playing game is a compelling story line. The story line keeps the player coming back for more.

How would you make an rpg?

There are many options for making rpg games such as rpg maker, phaser and unity as your game frameworks or engines.

Planning your rpg game

However the most important part of making your rpg is planning it out. Ask yourself who is your hero in the game, your antagonist and your side role players. You also may want to adopt side games to allow your player to just be slightly distracted from the main story line, this should keep your player interested and compelled. Next you need to figure what sorts of items and power ups you will have in your game. Also will some have a commercial value or will it just be items which can only be used. It’s often nice to have both features to allow the monetary system of your game to fit in very nicely with items which have just been discovered roaming your game map.

For the more technical side you can follow this excellent tutorial series on how to make an rpg :

Phaser rpg and role playing game tutorial

 

Artificial intelligence in games

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence in the context of gaming is usually referred to the computer, game AI or enemy engine. Artificial intelligence techniques are employed to make games more challenging and more fun and compelling for the player to play. In this tutorial we will be discussing some artificial intelligence algorithms used in game development as a whole. With some examples of where each can be used in your games.

Artificial intelligence algorithms

Some of the artificial intelligence algorithms you will encounter are the following:

  1. Neural Networks
  2. Mini Max Trees
  3. Decision Trees
  4. Genetic Algorithm
  5. A* Path finding

Neural Networks

Neural networks in the simplest form tries to simulate human brain biology by having a network of neurons which fire when a certain thresh hold is reached. If the outcome of the neuron firing does not produce the desired outcome back propagation is employed to correct the thresholds of the neurons to make them only fire under certain circumstances in order to produce the required result.

Mini Max Trees

Often used in solving game AI problems such as chess, checkers, uno and other turn based games which have an X amount of combinations. Mini Max trees employ a scoring approach to decision making where a score is calculated for each possible move which the artificial intelligence algorithm can take and then chooses the best possible outcome and prunes down on the worst possible outcomes.

Decision Tress

Similar to mini max trees. Decision trees allow for multiple decisions which a artificial intelligence player can make on a particular game.

Genetic Algorithm

Genetic algorithms try to simulate biological evolution over time. Genetic algorithms generally can be used to find the most optimal way of AI completing a level in a game or killing the player or whatever the goal may be. Genetic algorithms or GA’s as they are known as do this through breeding a large population of outcomes together and pruning of the ones which have the least best outcome then re breading the higher performance individuals to produce even more optimised artificial intelligence.

A* Path finding

This form of algorithm divides a level into zones or a smaller grids which can be used to calculate manuvers around obstacles in your games. An example of this is counter strike bots which can navigate terrain even though they have never been exposed to a particular map.

To find out more about artificial intelligence and specifically genetic algorithms. Check out this tutorial series : Artificial intelligence and genetic algorithms

 

How to start making games

What do I need to learn to make games?

Depending on your ability you can go quite a few routes. There are some tools which will allow you to make games without any real programming experience. Where it is purely drag and drop and configuring a game. However these platforms can have their restrictions and it is always advised to learn some type of programming in game development. There are quite a few options if you want to get into the programming route.

What are the languages I need to learn?

For game development there are number of options. Some of the most popular languages to know is c#, c++ and java script. Some game engines such as unreal engine makes use of c++ as a coding language. Unity engine you can develop in c# or java script. We however prefer a game library called phaser. Mainly it allows you to leverage skills in HTML5 , CSS3 and Java script to build your games. Also games can quite easily be ported to mobile devices such as android and ios. One of the reasons we recommend Phaser is that it allows you to learn key concepts in game development. Also teaches you logic and allows you to get in depth exposure to building your own games with a real life programming language.

Where do I start?

On this blog we have a number of tutorial series which we will be giving away for free. Also you can join our newsletter where we will be constantly be sending you newsletters on new tutorials we publish and updates in terms of latest trends in making games. We are in the process of writing a book on game development where we will teach you to build a full game. If you are interested in getting first picks when we release our book you can subscribe to our newsletter and you will be the first to know.

For now you can checkout some of these tutorials.

Phaser rpg tutorial