Good Morning, Week Twelve!

I recently bought a SNES controller to USB adaptor so I that I can plug my old gamepad into my laptop, and as an added bonus I’ve been setting up the buttons to correspond to keyboard keys so that it can be used to play Hanami. Game Maker has a limited range of functions for “joystick” input, which took a while to figure out. Each button is given a number, and I used a process of trial and error to work out which button responded to which figure! I made a note of all the relevant buttons so that I can make the best of controller input in the future:

Button 1: B
Button 2: A
Button 3: Y
Button 4: X

Button 5: L
Button 6: R

Button 7: SELECT
Button 8: START

The direction buttons (D-pad) are a given! I downloaded a script from the Game Maker Community forums which is fully customisable to allow each button to represent a keyboard key (I could have done this myself but this way was just easier and saved a lot of repetitive typing!) So far, I only have to accommodative for a short list of functions, but I’m trying to think of ways to use more of the controllers buttons (only if this doesn’t make things overly complicated!)

X (execute): Button 2
Z (jump/back): Button 1 & Button 3
S (Inventory): Button 4
RETURN (Pause): Button 8

I’ve created a new object called obj_joystick_control which simply sets each controller button to “false” until it is pressed, in which case the script operates the relevant function, so I haven’t had to go back and find everywhere that I’ve coded for keyboard input and change it! Obviously, you can still use the keyboard as I’m guessing not everyone has a SNES controller and USB adaptor lying around. For me, I find there are few PC games that I would rather play with a mouse/keyboard than a gamepad, and I think all good PC games should support controller input!

Back to more important things, yes it’s now week twelve of the EMP and the beginning of the Easter holidays. According to the timeplan I wrote 12 weeks ago, I should be “thinking of ways to resolve problems with various downloaded scripts and extensions” this week, which I’ve actually ended up doing as I’ve gone a long and as a result, haven’t had too many problems to resolve. My “problems” so far have mainly been visually, as I’ve included a range of useful extensions and scripts that execute functions far better than I could have done if I’d tried from scratch. As well as this, I’ve allowed this week for feedback from videos- so visual feedback rather than gameplay feedback so that I can continue to refine the game’s graphics.

As visuals are my main emphasis right now, I’ve decided to tweak my timeplan slightly from now until the end of the project. It wasn’t easy to predict exactly what I would have by this point when I wrote my original timeplan (which is why it’s ended up being a little vague!) Last week, I had planned to start to work on physical attributes of the game like casing and manuals, but ended up concentrating on getting level 2 down, which went really well and I managed to get a lot done in one week! So for now, I’m going to carry on designing and creating levels, and concentrate on other areas one at a time. I’ve tried to prioritise a list of things to do in terms of how important they are to the finished game: level layout design/creation, object/content placement, code for interactions, GUI/menu systems, sound refinement, physical design. Based on this, I’ve here’s my new timeplan:

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