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GameMaker concepts and programming advice

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Cotcho, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Cotcho

    Cotcho Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Posts:
    5
    X-post from a reddit thread.

    Im just starting out with GameMaker and really want to understand more than just copying tutorials.

    Currently I’m following FriendlyCosmonaut’s “My first game” tutorial which is great and well presented albeit a little on the quick side. It also doesn’t deep dive into the reasons for said programming choices (it does briefly go over some aspects).


    I can understand the code, and I know I can refer to the help documentation. however, my issue is if I wanted to do my own project I always feel I need to consult the video tutes to “copy” code.


    My other issue is how to know where to put different bits of code where. What object or event is code supposed to go into.


    Ultimately I would love to know how people like HeartBeast, Shaun Spalding, FriendlyCosmonaut etc

    1 - learned how to use gamemaker

    2 - learned where to put code (what object/event)

    3 - learned how to piece things together properly

    4 - learned how to find functions and how to know when they would need to develop their own functions


    I would love to have a conceptual overview of everything. Being shown how to do things through tutorials doesn’t always close the gap on how to actually do it on your own. That’s not to say tutes are not valuable, they are and the above content creators are some of many to produce high quality stuff but I’d also like to know the why’s and how things work the way they do.


    An example of what I found interesting and really helpful was this blog post:


    https://www.yoyogames.com/blog/63/best-practices-when-coding-in-gamemaker-studio-2


    Whilst it doesn’t hand hold on everything, it explains why certain design choices are made and how to adopt best practices in gamemaker. I’d love to be pointed to stuff like this too to compliment my learning with tutorials.
     
    Red Phantom likes this.
  2. fishfern

    fishfern Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Hey there!

    Welcome to the world of gamedev! I feel your pain when it comes to tutorials, I was the same when I started out learning in earnest a couple of years ago. It sounds like you may be the sort of person who responds well to learning about basic concepts and building from there. I would suggest you look up some general game making concepts to familiarise yourself with the general basics. Things like state machines (which Shaun Spaulding has a great tutorial on), Boolean logic, switch statements, and so on are all good general topics to bounce around. I would suggest seeking some tutorials focusing on these kinds of things, rather than specific game types. For example, from the sounds of things, a 'state machine tutorial' would likely be more to your liking than a 'platformer tutorial', as it would be more general, but give you the conceptual basics to build your own ideas and style.

    I wish the best with your learning!
     
    Cotcho likes this.
  3. Cotcho

    Cotcho Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Posts:
    5
    Thanks for the response. I think you may be right. I can interpret code and understand it in general, it’s my understanding of where code should go. Eg. why do you put that bit of code in that event/object and how do you know what implementation is best.
    I’ll have a look at Shaun’s state machine tute and hopefully that will begin to be the answer to my learning.
     
  4. Alexx

    Alexx Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    441
    I find this varies from project to project and what mood I'm.

    If the code does what it intends to, is understandable by you and other people, and does not cause memory leaks - then you're a winner.
    Some people think code that takes up the least number of functions or lines is best - I however rate readability and reuseability more important.

    Various coding tricks will come with time, I think a mindset of problem solving and learning from others (both which you appear to have) is the important starting point.
     
    Cotcho likes this.
  5. Cotcho

    Cotcho Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Posts:
    5
    Thanks Alexx, yeah i'm really wanting to cut my teeth on gamemaker, i just seem to get caught up a lot in the how's and why's sometimes to an extent it blocking me from actually learning.
     

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