Player Sprite, Animations and Shadows

I decided that the old sprite that I was using as a temporary placeholder had to go due to the fact that i’m going to have to start testing equipped items which means I need to get an idea of how tall the sprite is and where his/her hands will be etc.

So what I have so far is below:





Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. It just needs a bit more time on it but i’m really pleased all in all how its turning out. I’ve also started a first version of adding shadows, you can see below that there is a shadow that follows the player around, just a small thing but it all adds up. Also some basic animations while moving have been added although they need some work.


Next thing i’m going to try and work on once i’ve finished the walking animations and tidied a few things up is fixing objects to the players hands and have it follow the movement of the hand while walking, mainly the watering can which means making a proper sprite for that monstrosity


Watering some trees, the right trees. Instances.

Around the time of the previous post, I had no idea how I was going to allow for the creation of objects that share the same code, but not inherit each others ‘events/history’ from the moment of creation onwards allowing them to be unique. I suppose this is due to the fact that i’m a beginner with this whole thing but I have since figured out how to get things working perfectly in regards to this one problem.


So previously when i wanted something to happen to an object, I was ‘calling’ it by its object name rather than the instance ID. This was a problem due to me not being able tell the game which exact tree I wanted something to happen to as they all share the same object name and code.

Then I found instances so I was able to draw each objects unique instance next to it and see if I could then call on that number rather than just the object. It would be much easier if these objects were static and never changed locations in the world but if they are grown by the player, then that introduces a whole lot of randomness in terms of where it will be placed etc. Also, the main problem I was having was due to getting in a habit of using global variables instead of local ‘disposable’ ones. I’ve learned to be a bit better at that now.


So even though these two are identical in terms of their code,sprite and object name, they both have a unique identifier to differentiate one from the other.

if you can ignore the temporary sprites which are just there to show growth over time, you can see below a very basic starting point for a system I’ve been working on where I wanted the player to be able to plant their own trees anywhere. I’ll improve this somewhat like I did with the first inventory system once I get the basics implemented.

Once those trees are grown they will have their own activity log unique to each one (unique to each of the object’s unique instance ID) showing world events impacting it. Also birds will randomly choose one as a home based on a number of factors as well as tons of other cool stuff.

Below, the growth process is sped up just to show the typical stages and the need to water them. The numbers can be ignored, they are there so that I can tell if things are working as they should. Can everyone also take a moment to look at the state of that watering can…


I had a bit of a problem with the water effect hitting the right plot of land due to the fact i’m not totally comfortable with particle systems. This watering can and rain are the only two times I’ve tried creating with particle systems.  Weirdly, the stuff i’d learned about instances and instance_nearest(x,y,objects) with the trees helped with getting the particle emitter to shoot water over the right area at the right time. I read other ways to do the same thing but it seemed way over my head for now so I just stuck to using what I knew. I can always improve it further down the line.

Wet soil

I’ve added dry soil which requires water in order to further the growth of a tree. This can be solved by either the weather being rainy, or a watering can / a similar tool.

When the soil receives  water it changes colour as you’d expect and also allows the plant / tree to progress in regards to growing. This can be seen in the below examples:


Comparing tree growth in watered soil to none-watered :


Rain obviously impacts the soil and trees the same way a watering can would but consistantly


I feel like the way I’ve made this work is a bit bodged. As I learn more about GM’s coding, i’ll try and improve it. I’ll need to have a look through it properly once i’ve slept and make sure nothing weird is happening.

Hopefully next blog will be more interesting. Just taken me a while to get this working as i’m still learning.

Basic Weather, Stat Tracking, Particle Systems

The idea that I had regarding per object inventories is harder than expected so there isn’t really much to post about.

I’ve added some rain and a house for some birds though! Still early and the puddle effect is all off but at least it exists!

Also started on a basic ‘Weekday’ system. Eventually to be upgraded into months / seasons.

I made a super basic system tracking stats for certain objects but I think this is the most difficult thing i’ve tried so far. No idea if I can even do it :/


This is a totally basic version of a tree interface showing basic data about anything that is and has happened to it during its ‘life’.

Will see how I get on trying to make this work.


I’ve been trying to figure out how to have a pet system, I always liked the idea of that in games if they’re useful so thought it’d be a good thing to starting messing with.

Temporary sprite / animation

As always the art is just some placeholder stuff. (dat building doe lolz)


So at the moment, this kitty randomly runs around playing but still ends up occasionally coming to the player. When the cat does, you’ll get a visual indicator of how the pet feels towards you. This is based on a few factors that i’m still looking to sort out properly.


I’ve also set up some ‘status bars’ that I thought might be good for seeing if things are working and also maybe for some future gameplay use. Pretty cool though! Currently toggled on and off with ‘C’.


Obviously if the cat runs out of food and/or water, it’ll die… or just disappear? Who knows!

Hopefully be able to make a few more visual indicators and link that to how the pet has been treated. I don’t really want it to be a chore to look after but at the same time i’m not sure if it should just exist.

Inventories, arrays, nightmares..

Really don’t think i’m smart enough to figure out a lot of the stuff to do with arrays and as it turns out, inventories that work as I want them to aren’t too easy for beginners to make.

I made 3 different versions, one that is shown in the previous post and another that was ‘meh’ in terms of functionality and now the one I have which is exactly what I wanted. At least for now.


Manually displays global variable of ‘rose seed’ quantity but has no ‘slots’ (just writes the data to an X,Y coord) doesn’t use arrays and other items you pick up don’t have any way of knowing where to show their quantity and item type based on what else is in the inventory. Also can’t click and drag or empty your inventory without manually using each item in there.

The dirtiest inventory that you ever did see


Whoo! Now you can drag items around, drag items out of the inventory and get stacks on stacks without anyone questioning you! Those crappy sprite tho! It’s all temporary!

Moving things around and things..

Obviously need to change the look of things and improve it as the visuals I haven’t even spent any time on any of the art yet.

Lost all my progress, started again!

Long story short – lost all my ‘work’, starting again with a different engine and different theme for the game. Mainly posting here to keep track of my progress!

Here’s what I have so far after just under a week. (I haven’t made the mistake I made previously where I focused mainly on the art before the game mechanics. This time i’m focusing firstly on making the game systems and figuring out how to do what I want).

It will look a whole lot more basic than my last screenshots due to the fact that RPG maker allowed for the use of their preexisting systems and assets whereas with Game Maker Studio requires you to start completely from scratch.

This has meant I’ve been learning how to use the systems and built in code language which is really fun.


Top left you can see that the time is listed. This updates as time goes on. Also as you can see above i’ve made a really simple first version of an inventory that follows the player around and draws relative to current position.


Planting seeds happens as expected with growth over time which i’ve figured out recently!


Also there is a basic day/night cycle currently which will have a big impact on gameplay in the future.


Lastly, worked out how to actually backup my files…

I made a carrot..

Pointless update but I made the plants look better and gave them more growth stages. Here is the carrot I made (first version). Pretty pleased with how it moves in the wind!


Very Basic Farming

I’m still here! It’s been a while since I’ve last posted an update, lets just say it’s been a stressful few months. Anyway, here I am with some minor updates.

I’ve been working on testing some basic farming and growing of crops. I haven’t worked on any sprites or anything currently as I just wanted to get an idea down regarding how it will work. With the help of some great ideas from ‘Driftwood Gaming’ I’ve got something super simple together. The below just shows the basics of how you’d expect it to work but I thought I would share anyway.

(It all looks very ugly for now but will get the relevant art added once the functionality is as it should be – the map here was just thrown together for this example)


You can check on the progress of your seed, see how close to being ready it is. Obviously the growth rate is accelerated just for this example:


So after waiting for the seed to grow, you’ll see the usual expected results:


You can see in the last GIF that he receives 2 Carrots – this is currently set to drop a random number between 1 and 3 but that will be changed.

It’s all very very basic at the moment, will add to it and improve it with my own art assets and make things look nice with the text and icons. Hopefully will continue to work on this and post an update shortly.


Sending NPCs on fetch quests..

It’s been a bit of a slow week in terms of progress, I’ve just been trying to learn more about Pixel Art and improve on it. I came up with a …fire extinguisher and a shelf?

Untitled-1  SHELF   GIF

This was my first attempt at starting to use the basics I’ve learned from the great udemy course on Pixel Art which you can find here. Oh, I added an animated door panel thingy too which was pretty fun to mess around with adding super simple animation to it.

I actually wasted most of the week (in terms of my free time at least) to trying to create a game within a game. I wanted to make a working version of a space invaders as a game you could play on the ship, no idea why but I learned a lot about variables and conditional branches so it wasn’t a total waste although I did completely delete it.

As for the game so far, this is how it’s looking currently. Super slow progress for the above reasons.


It will look a lot better when I’ve started adding significant ‘stuff’ to the parallax layer and also fill the room with realistically placed suitable props / objects. I want things to have a use though, I want a lot of things like this happening:


The items can be picked up from the world and used, they obviously appear in your inventory as a normal item would (based on the number you find which will be sometimes randomized using variables). I’m thinking of just having a basic alternative to ‘treasure chests’ which wouldn’t really work in the setting. In the gif above an ‘NPC’ is sent to retrieve some BioGel for the player which can be taken and used to restore HP. Nothing special but something I thought would be cool to use in different ways.

One of those most frustrating things is getting my head around auto-events, parallel processes and linking everything together, takes time I guess when you’re trying to learn how to do the art for the game as well as actually making it.

Hopefully i’ll stop wasting time trying to make games within games and start trying to make some actual progress. All fun, though!