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View Full Version : How can I make a 2D side-scrolling game like Contra or Super Mario Bros???


LittleFenris
02-17-2003, 10:00 PM
I know this might seem weird to you folks, but what if i wanted to make an old school Contra or Sonic the Hedgehog style game?? Any game making program out there to do something like this?!

I love 2D side scrolling games like those and would love to take a stab at doing a simple 2D scroller myself. I see a lot of talk about 3D games and game engines but I wanna make an old school game, not the most state of the art 3D game engine known to man. Any advice on how to do that would be AWESOME!!

BTW, I'm not a programmer by ANY means...I am mostly a traditional artist but I know computer based graphics and animation OK.

I use Lightwave 3D 7.5 for 3D, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc...for graphics and Final Cut Pro/AVID/Premiere for video editing. I work at a video production studio doing video editing and some animation for commercials..but nothing too fancy like I'm sure some of you do. My point in telling you this is that I know a lot of the different aspects of graphics and animation but have no clue about programming. I am not totally opposed to learning SOME programming but it is not my thing, so too much and I'm in trouble.

biffen
02-18-2003, 12:36 AM
Macromedia Director 8.5 (latest?) is probably what your looking for. I've seen alot of classic games remade and distributed on the web with Director. I don't know much about it, though. Anybody a Director guru?

Give it a look.

LittleFenris
02-19-2003, 02:20 AM
I've made interactive dvds with video and animation in Director, but I think a video game would be WAAAYYYY past my abilities I'm afraid. :(

ostov
02-19-2003, 07:29 AM
game maker is a dam good tool for old remakes!! If u wanne do some advance stuff u should learn some gml (game make lang. :P) Most people that use it is people around 12-18. and it is free. Check out the games section to se some of the games that was made with it
http://www.cs.uu.nl/people/markov/gmaker/


ostov

visualboo
02-19-2003, 01:13 PM
I'd love to see some current graphics applied to a side scroller. That would be sweet.

Good luck man

LittleFenris
02-19-2003, 04:06 PM
sweet, i haven't looked at it much, but im reading the GameMaker manual right now. Looks like this could be exactly what i was looking for! thanks for the link and I'll keep everyone updated on my progress. Hopefully the programming in this isn't too much for me to handle...i'm an artist, not a programmer.

Thanks again.



Originally posted by ostov
game maker is a dam good tool for old remakes!! If u wanne do some advance stuff u should learn some gml (game make lang. :P) Most people that use it is people around 12-18. and it is free. Check out the games section to se some of the games that was made with it
http://www.cs.uu.nl/people/markov/gmaker/


ostov

kwshipman
02-19-2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by visualboo
I'd love to see some current graphics applied to a side scroller. That would be sweet.

Good luck man

check out Contra: Shattered Soldier for the PS2.

LittleFenris
02-19-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by kwshipman
check out Contra: Shattered Soldier for the PS2.

but contra: shattered soldier still uses 3D for most of the game...its just setup like the old school stuff, but still 3D.

japangreg
02-19-2003, 07:10 PM
Hey, VWTornado.

I originally got into Macromedia Flash as a tool for game development; itís a good tool for old-school games. Check out Flashkit.com for lots of tuts and the Games forum has a lot of helpful people (myself included):p

japangreg

LittleFenris
02-19-2003, 08:40 PM
hey japangreg, i see you live in DC. i live about 35 mins from DC in southern MD. :) Ive been looking at this Game Maker i got the link to earlier...seems like it shouldn't be toooo hard to use, but we'll see. Flash seems like it would take extensive knowledge of programming to get it to do anything worthwhile. and yeah, i go to flashkit whenever i need a tutorial to learn something new in flash. I really need to get off my butt and design a website for myself. I'm looking for a new job now. :) (video editor/animator/graphic artist)

LittleFenris
03-13-2003, 05:30 AM
well, thanks to ostov i will be making a cool 2D side scroller sometime this year. im taking my time with this and doing it right so its gonna take a while. most of the games ive seen made are really simple and the graphics aren't that great...i intend to change that with my game. ;) thanks a HUGE ammount for telling me about this great resource!!

modeling-man
03-13-2003, 06:15 AM
I'd say for old 2d side scrollers. Flash is your best bet. Easy scripting language, and it can do just about all director can do minus the 3D, and horrid Lingo language.
Here's a game me and a bud made for Air National Guard...sorry I know I'm NOT pro-war just well I needed money
Its just a strategy game similar to stratego even though I begged to make it like R-type or a side-scroller. It requires a pretty up-to-date computerto run. I used Swift 3D for the "psuedo- 3D" planes and what not.
Total time was about 2-3 months, lots of feature creep from the clients end believe it or not, but overall not a bad experience.

here's the link:
http://www.goang.com/arcade/arcade_skytank.aspx
Graphics, Music, and interface by me.
Nearly all programming by my friend.

If the link doesn't work try it without the 'x' after the asp.
I can offer some help if need be...but honestly flashkit.com is your best bet...I was able to code my own RPG similiar to Zelda 3: A lin k to the Past using Flash. Its tough, but possible.

best of luck
B

LittleFenris
03-13-2003, 02:51 PM
i haven't really tried making a game in anything yet, but it seems to be flash would be REALLY hard to program a game in. i could be wrong though. any books out there i could look at to see how hard it is? my goal is to make a 2D side scroller like Megaman/Contra/Super Mario Bros. so i honestly don't care what else it can do if it can make that relatively easy. BTW, i am not a programmer by ANY stretch of the imagination...im an artist. but i learn other stuff very quickly.

ps. I use Flash MX. and i also have Swift 3D for Lightwave. I was actually gonna 3D model and render the frames for all the characters and stuff for whatever i use to make the game. :thumbsup:

modeling-man
03-13-2003, 08:14 PM
"Friends of Ed" has 2 books out on making games. One, deals with the actual single player, side_scroller, overhead, puzzle games, and creating multiplayer games using a xml thingy. While the second books deals with strictly multiplayer games (it tends to go into Director) but does talk about Flash.
Both books are good to have, and their site has all the chapters sources files for download. So you can review their code, and play the games they discuss. The books were written for Flash 5, but obviously work for Flash MX.

www.friendsofed.com

Plus, they have forums where the editors actually peruse and give help.

Amazon sells the books.
Here's a link for the Flash 5 games studio:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1903450675/ref%3Dnosim/friendofed-20/002-4665885-7464042

Here's a link for Flash & Director Designing Multi-User Websites:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1903450446/ref%3Dnosim/friendofed-20/002-4665885-7464042

As for the "gamemaker" program I have actually used that as well...its pretty nifty, and if you are strictly an artist with NO background in coding, that might be the best option...however, realize that the gamemaker is a bit of a memory hog, and as well if I remember correctly requires the player to download the program to play the game.

Flash is a pretty decent medium and is a VERY liberal coding language...you can code a side scroller about a billion different ways, and also on Flashkit.com there are a couple tutorials strictly on how to make one. So read up and best of luck!
And remember, THINK SIMPLE. If this is your first game..just try for one level...with a simple objective...feature creep is probably the #1 reason "free-time" games don't get finished. At least for me anyways,
B

igotit
03-13-2003, 09:21 PM
good advice.

this has been a great read this thread. thank you all.

LittleFenris
03-14-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by modeling_man

As for the "gamemaker" program I have actually used that as well...its pretty nifty, and if you are strictly an artist with NO background in coding, that might be the best option...however, realize that the gamemaker is a bit of a memory hog, and as well if I remember correctly requires the player to download the program to play the game.

And remember, THINK SIMPLE. If this is your first game..just try for one level...with a simple objective...feature creep is probably the #1 reason "free-time" games don't get finished. At least for me anyways,
B

First off, thanks for the links again. Now for Game Maker...you dont need the program to play the games if the maker made an exe file, which Game Maker can do very easily. Although the maker CAN upload the original Game Maker file so people can see how they did it, which is cool.

And yeah, i've realized that starting off simple is the best way or i'll get frustrated and quit before the game ever gets started.

Thanks again for the comments.

And for anyone that wants to take a look at Game Maker, go to www.gamemaker.nl Version 4.3c is out now, but the end of this month or next version 5 will be out. The only thing the author asks is a $10 donation if you use the program. Nothing compared to how powerful and relatively easy it is to use!

Kalel06
03-14-2003, 03:40 PM
Don't know if i am late with the reply, but you may also wanna take a look at The Games Factory @ www.clickteam.com .
I own the program and though it has a bit of a learning curve, I found that it's more flexible than Game Maker. Plus has a big community around it.

-=N=-

LittleFenris
03-14-2003, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by Kalel06
Don't know if i am late with the reply, but you may also wanna take a look at The Games Factory @ www.clickteam.com .
I own the program and though it has a bit of a learning curve, I found that it's more flexible than Game Maker. Plus has a big community around it.

-=N=-

does games factory have a trial or free version that i could try out before i spend money on it? game maker seems to have a good community behind it...although its in the young/immature side. (like 12-18 year olds mostly it seems)

thanks for the link also. :thumbsup:

LittleFenris
03-14-2003, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Kalel06
I own the program and though it has a bit of a learning curve, I found that it's more flexible than Game Maker. Plus has a big community around it.
-=N=-

By more flexible, what do you mean? More stuff it can do or what? Keep in mind im not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination...although I'm sure I could learn it if i REALLY HAD TO. That just isn't something that interests me.

The reason I'm doing a game is cause I've always wanted to bring my cartoon characters to life, and I think an interactive video game would be even cooler than just animating them cause they would be interacting with the player and the other characters. :applause:

Kalel06
03-15-2003, 12:16 AM
yeah they have a demo you can download here http://www.clickteam.com/English/download_main.php3?PID=11

By more flexible I meant that you have more control on what your games does and what type of game you can make. I haven't really tried Game Maker but I have read that it's pretty limited on what you can do with it. I do think you may need to learn (atleast) the state of mind that a programer has, to create a decent game.
I started out kinda like you where I just wanted to see some characters I make interactive. But now I am a full fledged, aspiring game designer/artist.

Here's also another program you may be intersted in..(www.darkbasicpro.com):thumbsup: ...also has a demo. This one really needs knowledge of coding/commands, but is the most amazing game creation tool that I have found for the prize that it is (only $100). Almost no limits to what you can make with this one, and that includes side scrollers.

I'm working on a side scroller my self. I would love to see what you will be doing.:thumbsup:

heavyness
03-15-2003, 12:17 AM
some games made with Flash...

http://www.ark51.com/TacticsCore/TCDemo.html [wow!]

http://www.globulos.com/ [like crack! addicitive!]

http://www.globz.net/ [makers or globulos]


the things this guys does with flash...

http://www.joshuadavis.com/ [!!!........]


if your looking into something to make you 1st game, i would go with Director of Flash. both have their +'s and -'s. i've worked in flash and it's has a bigger "fan base" [you'll be able to find more help]. but then again, i'm sure there are apps out there made for this.

good luck! make sure you come back to cgtalk.com so we can beta test your game!

LittleFenris
03-15-2003, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Kalel06
I'm working on a side scroller my self. I would love to see what you will be doing.:thumbsup:

Yeah, I've seen DarkBasic before, but that is waaay beyond me at this point. I checked out Games Factory and the first game i saw was 10 times better than ANY Game Maker games I've seen so far. But there were 2 major things I didn't like about TGF. 1) the manual hadn't been updated since like march of 2000. :eek: and 2)I had to install TGF program to play the game I had downloaded. :shrug: I am still going to check out TGF some more cause like i said, the one game i downloaded was WAY better than any Game Maker game i have seen so far...and I've downloaded probably 20-30 games. I do think this is partially due to the 12-18 year olds that seem to be the main community of Game Maker. Just from the quality of TGF game I saw I think its a much older community (maybe 19-25+). any thoughts? I really think Game Maker has a lot of potential in the right hands (mine ;)) i just need some time to learn it and get some graphics together to make something.

I'm actually in the process of designing all the characters and enemies for my platform game right now. Any books that would be helpful for 2D platform game design that you know of? i dont care if its an older book (since it probably will be since those games aren't popular anymore :()

Thanks a lot for all the replies, it's very helpful!!

Shaun

LittleFenris
03-15-2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by kole
if your looking into something to make you 1st game, i would go with Director of Flash. both have their +'s and -'s. i've worked in flash and it's has a bigger "fan base" [you'll be able to find more help]. but then again, i'm sure there are apps out there made for this.

good luck! make sure you come back to cgtalk.com so we can beta test your game!

I actually checked out a couple books on making games with flash. :eek: They were talking all this stuff about trigonometry, and algorithms and LOTS of coding. :( This is my first attempt at game designing and making and I think flash would be WAY beyond what I can understand and handle at this point. I went onto Flashkit.com and they had a couple tutorials on game making, but not many. Most were highscore screens...I need stuff on the actual gameplay elements like control, shooting, collision detection, etc...Like i said, i need something that does a lot of the coding work for me...I'm a very inteligent guy, but Id like to start small and work my way up to the bigboy toys for game making. :) but full out programming is of NO interest to me.

Thanks for the thoughts, and I will be checking out all the possibilities and seeing which method works best for me.

Kalel06
03-15-2003, 03:05 PM
Glad you like Games Factory, but keep in mind you still may need to learn some coding basics, timers and strings and arrays, but it is still very easy to make a game.
Yeah the manual is a bit outdated, but it's still worth it like you said. As for the having to install TGF to play the games...you might have not gotten a compiled exe. It is possible to make a stand alone product if you buy atleast the home version.
So far all the games I've seen for TGF are great but I still feel that it hasn't been used to it's full potential. Hopefully some one will someday (could be you :thumbsup: ).

My game is still in early development also. I take lots of time in pre-development, I feel that the better planned the game is the easier it is to follow through with finishing it. I do research and everything. I'll post a character sketch in a few for some critique. Maybe in a new thread so I can get some people to crit on it.

What's your game about, VWTornado?

womanonfire
03-15-2003, 03:32 PM
flash sux
if you want to do a side scroller with bitmap graphics it will *crawl* on many peoples computers. not to mention that yes, in order to make anything interactive in flash you must learn much actionscript. better to use a tool made for making games... you will get something done instead of dealing with flash's limitations.

making a side scroller is a noble idea and i wish you luck :)

LittleFenris
03-16-2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Kalel06
I'll post a character sketch in a few for some critique. Maybe in a new thread so I can get some people to crit on it.

What's your game about, VWTornado?

I'd like to see the character sketches if you don't mind. :) If you post in a new thread, please give the link here so I can check it out.

To make a long story short, it's about a platypus that was on vacation at the beach, when he is suddenly attacked by mutant animals while just chillin. as he progresses he finds out that the last remaining tasmanian tiger (now extinct in the real world) has decided that since all of his kind have been killed off, that he will return the favor by polluting the Australian environment and killing off or mutating as many other animals as possible. The tiger employs the help of his henchmen...a few tasmanian devils. :) He has taken over a nuclear power plant, which he is using as his base of operations and his way of getting nuclear waste to pollute the local environment. The whole game is based in Australian locales. I have been doing A LOT of research on australian flora and fauna so the game is mostly authentic looking. I'll post the sketches on monday when I get on the computer they are on. :cool:

In the meantime, I am making a much simpler game to test out features that I want in the game. Using different characters and all cause the ones I'm using the the platypus game will take quite a while to 3D model, animate, and render.

modeling-man
03-16-2003, 09:33 PM
I wouldn't say Flash_sux. Its a jack of all trades really. I mean you can stream content on their, music, video etc. Also, make a site or banners, or whatever. You CAN make games with it, that people only have to wait mere seconds preloading that is cool.

However, if you are planning on making a huge epic RPG look elsewhere...and as for code...actionscript is cake to learn. If you play on making a game I'd hope you learn SOME code or scripting or else your game probably wouldn't do much beyond moving a character back and forth, and perhaps talking to an NPC.
Just my thoughts.
B

Here are some "pixel" based games...not slow on my computer:)

www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/Castlevania/

www.i-mockery.com/
A TON of good classic games with a twist...most all done in Flash.

leviwalton1
03-17-2003, 12:53 AM
my suggestion is to go with director 8.5. i actually took a class and i suck at coding but i picked it up somewhat ok, so if your halfway decent you should learn lingo pretty fast and plus if you wanted to implement 3d director supports that. in fact im taking a class now and we are devoloping a 3d. go us! woo!

bentllama
03-17-2003, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by visualboo
I'd love to see some current graphics applied to a side scroller. That would be sweet.

Good luck man \

Viewtiful Joe.

Check it out...

LittleFenris
03-17-2003, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by modeling_man
However, if you are planning on making a huge epic RPG look elsewhere...and as for code...actionscript is cake to learn. If you play on making a game I'd hope you learn SOME code or scripting or else your game probably wouldn't do much beyond moving a character back and forth, and perhaps talking to an NPC.
Just my thoughts.
B

I will be learning some coding to do more than just move back and forth. ;) I think I'm gonna show people what Game Maker can do. Since I haven't seen a really good game on it yet. And Games Factory seems dated to me. Maybe its just the manual, but still, that kind shows a lack of concern for updating it on the makers part. BTW, is Multimedia Fusion the fancy commercial version of TGF?

Kalel06
03-17-2003, 03:56 PM
Sounds like a cool idea that you have there VW. Can't wait to see some of the sketches of the tasmanian tiger...sounds like a cool character. Plus I happen to love Australia (never been there but love that it's stays out of the history books when it comes to wars...lol) anyway. I posted a thread with just a color test (very plain no detail just wanted to get the colors down flat) of the main character of my game. The thread is called "Need Crits on Color Scheme" here on the game design section. Check it out if you got time.

I think it cool you are gonna go with Game Maker...like I said I haven't given it a go but, I guess it's all about preference, just like some people in this thread ,like leviwalton1, like director or Flash instead. I preffer TGF since I guess I already learned to use it.
Multimedia Fusion is TGF but for all kinds of multimedia. It has more features and some people make great games on it, but TGF is focused on games and screensavers. Still a good program non the less.
Also modelling_man is right...to make an at least decent game there needs to be some knowledge in coding...that's what i have learned from experience.

Check out my thread if you have time,VW.

Thanks.

LittleFenris
03-17-2003, 04:25 PM
Here's the sketches I have so far:

I took the sketches offline.

Kalel06
03-17-2003, 04:34 PM
Ultra Cool, love the lizard and the the one with the dart shooter. Nice sketches too. It's gonna have a cartoon style to it fight?
I like the line on the koala..lol...gives him a "I'm coming out of the depth of the river" look, even though i don't know if koala's like water.
Good Job.

My thread got lost so I will post my sketches in the "work in progress" and give you the link here.

LittleFenris
03-17-2003, 06:13 PM
They will of course be much cooler in full color and stuff, but I think they can hold there own as black and white simple line sketches now! ;)

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