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How To Create An Action Game, As Taught By Action Game Developers #4 –Jaymonius (Arcanion)

by Kevin McVay on 03/18/20 10:58:00 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.

 

As we’ve had a great number of readers proclaiming their wishes to create their own action games, I’ve been speaking with some true craftsmen of the action genre to find out how they make their own titles. Our fourth installment features Jaymonius.

 

Jaymonius

Game developer, Jaymonius is half of the team behind indie platformer Arcanion.

Hello, it's me, Jaymonius. I'm that guy who laughs manically and a self-proclaimed final boss. And my teammate is Abstract the Origin, who has provided the music for the game. Together we are part of Monius Productions!

Arcanion

Arcanion is a simple platformer reminiscent of classic NES games, where you choose your levels and earn new abilities just by playing through the game; but here, you will also be met with multiple challenges along the way.

Arcanion was originally an RPG made on RPG Maker 2003 back in 2009. The reception was not well received and I shut down the project shortly thereafter. After ten years spent making other projects, I figured I'd remove everything but the name, because I just liked how it sounded – even if I'm still trying to figure out how to pronounce it myself. But Arcanion isn't my first game; I have made lots of other games on RPG Maker such as my Phantasia series, and my Lost Land series. So, needless to say, I have experience with making games... at least I'd like to believe that.

The Concept Behind the Game

The game is centered around Magi, who has become a fledging Warrior of Arcanion, and whose job it is to ward off any invaders who would try to take their home. But her skills are put to the test when a thief breaks into the warriors’ abbey and steals a mysterious tome that grants dark powers to whomever reads its pages. It's up to Magi to find the thief and reclaim the tome, while also learning the truth about the home in which they live.

 

 

Development – Where to Begin?

I immediately started working on the sprites. Of course, Magi was the first thing I made when I started the project and originally her design was a lot more detailed when I first began, but I found I was way too overwhelmed as I was trying to make this game, so I took a small break from the program and decided to reduce it to a more simple style so it'd be easier for me to make sprite characters. But it also helped me to make sprite tiles and backgrounds, in which I never had any experience before, so it was a major learning experience to work on Arcanion!

Working Style

I usually just work on it when I have the correct mindset and the adrenaline, as well as plenty of beverages and snacks. It also helps that I listen to game themes that sort of correspond to the development process. Meaning, I listened to a LOT of OSTs of the platformer genre while I was making Arcanion. And if I was feeling exhausted and just didn’t have the drive to work on it, I'd take a break and work on something else for a bit before I could regain the drive to work on it some more.

Big Trouble in Little Development Town

Aside from my older computer's lack of ability to run PGM effectively, there hasn't been anything overly complicated that would take me a long time to figure out. Although, the water mechanics still trouble me, so that may be something that's been giving me trouble. But I just need to take some time to make the proper adjustments on the water mechanics in certain areas of the game.

 

Tips For Creating Action Games on Pixel Game Maker MV

Hoo boy, there's a LOT I'd like to say, but I'll just list the most key points.

First, CENTER EVERYTHING! Having your objects centered will make your life so much easier when creating a platformer, especially if you are making a platformer with jump and shooting mechanics.

 

Also, make sure detections for both player objects and enemy objects are the same. Specifically for attack and wall detections. However, you don't need to have the wall detection for player groups on the enemy groups, because you won't want your player object to be standing on top of the enemies while you're trying to get through your action platformer. Although you should definitely add this if you're making moving platforms and the like.

 

Lastly, MAKE SURE on the basic settings that the player can be pushed around by any object.

 

Message for Those Wanting to Try Their Hand at Creating Action Games

I guess starting on the mechanics and abilities you want to implement would be important, as you can expand on this stuff when making levels later on during development, It's what I did, and this way it makes levels focused on certain abilities a lot more manageable without getting you stuck trying to figure out how you want to design the level and what kind of obstacle courses you want to add.

In conclusion, please do not to hesitate to ask someone for help. We have two Discords dedicated to the program. So be sure to stop by and ask for assistance and we will provide it!

***

Thus concludes our warmly informative session with Jaymonius of Monious Productions, the indie game studio behind Arcanion. We will let you know as soon as the games has a launch date! In the meantime, you can follow Jaymonius on Twitter @Jaymonius!


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