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And so it begins..
by Kayleigh Burnett on 12/05/12 11:20:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Name: Kajiru! Kajiru!
Type: Pacman-esque
Music: 8bit Chocobo theme

This was our first year project. We had twelve weeks to make it and in typical university student fashion I left it till the last week and whipped this up yesterday. The program we are using is Game Maker Lite 8.1 so for those unfarmiliar with it, it is very limited to what it can do. I'm fond of arcade style games so I drew inspiration from Pacman. The guidelines were to produce a three leveled executable game that was playable, a case cover and an A4 poster to promote it.

If you could take five minutes out of your day to give it a go and give me some feedback, it'd be greatly appreciated!

Game: Here!
Case Front: Here!
Case Back: Here!
A4 Poster: Here!

For those interested in the grading scheme, the guidelines are below:

        both game and packaging are of a standard that could be made available for sale.
B1       game and/or packaging need a little work before commercial release.
B2       game and/or packaging need more work before commercial release.
C         both game and packaging are acceptable but need much more work.
        game and/or packaging are unacceptable and need much more work.
E         game over.

As you can see my lecturers have quite the sense of humor.

Thank you for taking time to read this.
Have a good day!

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Game Designer


Chris Dunson
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I think the case's back should have some details about the game. If your game was on a shelf for people to buy it and it caught someone's interest they would turn it over to look for more information. A couple in game pictures with a description of the gameplay would be nice.

As for the game. Starting the game was painful. Your music is really loud and I already have my laptop's sound very low. If you could make the music quieter that would be nice. Your movement system is a bit rigid. When walking into a wall above you the character will go forward a bit and then is forced back. This doesn't happen when you walk into a block under you, but happens everytime you walk into a block to the left or right of you. It's your first game. I'm sure you'll figure that out.

The game lags every time you collect one of the jelly globs which slows down the action-feel of the game. Can you imagine playing Pac-man where every time you collected a pellet the game froze for a second? Are you using a loop for those collisions? However you're doing it the game shouldn't lag like that. I used Game Maker myself when I was teaching myself how to make games and made the same mistakes. I'd love to see your gmk file and I could definitely point out everything specifically that is wrong and why it is so.

Is that Earth Worm Jim saying "Ow"? Priceless.

Oh and um level 2 has a bit of bad design. With the mushroom enemies spawning in the center of the level you kill yourself if you 'eat' them there while powered up.

Great job on your first game! I hope you spend a lot more time on your next one and continue to make progress. Good luck!

Stephen Molyneaux
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Hello Kayleigh,

I agree with everything that Chris said, along with some details.

First, on the second stage I picked up all the blue jellies and the top two red ones, but didn't complete the stage until I picked up a red jelly (I saw this when I first played through the game and tested it a second time, both times I picked up the bottom left red jelly).

Also, being able to save scores in a nice touch.

I haven't used game maker for a long time, so I don't know what limits there are, but things like the score and number of lives should be in the game window, and being able to mute would be nice

For the controls I often found myself getting stuck around corners

I enjoyed level 3 the most, the openness of the first level doesn't seem to suit pacman-style games, and its easy to die right away on the second.

I'd be a good idea to start early on the next game, and I hope you stick with it.

Jake Moore
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Don't take this the wrong way but you can tell you only spent a small amount of time on it. Typically in game development 80% of the work takes 20% of the time and the other 20% takes 80%. But that last 20% is what really makes a game good to play. The core idea was there and it was implemented but really lacks polish. Using the grading scheme provided I would give it a B2.

Most of my advice for the game itself is the same as Chris. The lagging on pick up and the odd movement when you hit a wall.

The poster and the boxart don't match style-wise and both don't really match the game, splashing some of the colour from the games background, or even screenshots on the back like Chris suggested would help immensely. For this kind of stuff always try to build up a brand, even if it's just a first year uni assignment. I've turned concepts and IP from a uni assignment into full games in the past.

If your making a game you enjoy playing you should always go the extra mile,which means giving up the ancient university ritual of the all-nighter and spending some time on them. Congrats on your first game and keep on making 'em.