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Game updates: Title screen, menu, bug fixes

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I thought I would post a quick blog entry to showcase the latest progress on my game: Attack of the Dapper Gerbils. It is a Game Maker 8 (LE compatible even though I have pro) game created as an example for my middle school students (and because I want to).

Here are some of the current screen-shots:


I really like the menu screen. I added some switches that get activated when the current entry is selected and some lights that illuminate to show the current choice. The entire thing is really over the top but that is perfectly fine.


To add to the over the top nature of the menu, I made it so that the MENU text "explodes" when enter is hit. This was accomplished using the following script in GML:

delta_x = x - bomb_obj.x;
delta_y = y - bomb_obj.y;
dist = power(delta_x,2) + power(delta_y,2);
bomb_force = 150000.0/dist;
vx = bomb_force * (delta_x/(abs(delta_x)+0.0));
vy = bomb_force * (delta_y/(abs(delta_y)+0.0));
exploded = 1;

The distance between the two objects here is squared and by finding the "bomb_force" we are using a 1/r^2 force law. 150,000 in this case is just a "magic number" that gave an appropriate effect and is the result of constant absorption (Technically bomb_force in this case is more of an acceleration and the mass has been absorbed into the constant). I find a normalized vector (broken into components) between the bomb and the letters and then multiply this vector times the explosion. Also my code is setting this acceleration to the velocity x,y components but this is just taking advantage of the fact that the letters are for the most part stationary... I should probably adjust it to add to the vx and vy variables but I will do that when I get around to refactoring the code.


I like the wizard/mage guy here. I drew a really crude animation for him where his hands open and close and he blinks and moves his mouth. I want to make some ominous clouds roll in and then have him summon a zombie gerbil (a well dressed zombie gerbil).


In this update I removed my previous crudely drawn background in favor of a solid color. I find it less distracting.

Here we see the camera effect of centering on the door when the last orb is collected. This was accomplished using timelines in Game Maker.

Here I am riding on a cloud. To implement this I created a second x velocity component. When we are on a moving platform this velocity component is set to the velocity of the platform and when we are not on a moving platform this term is set to 0. Treating it this way allows us to still move around on top of the platform.

Want the source?

Get it here! If you want to use anything from it, please be my guest. You are welcome to use any of the "artwork" in the game. The music is all from Incomptech . The sounds were retrieved from the internet although I edited a few of them in Audacity to get more of the effect that I wanted. I do warn that the code is a bit of a mess.. I used scripts where I found it too tedious to use the visual action system but I did not use exclusively script because I wanted it to be relatable to my middle school students (I wanted them to be able to see the relation between what we were doing in the class and my game).

If you don't have game maker and you want a playble exe demo clicky.

Thank you for reading!
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