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Archive for the ‘SoulHow’ Category

SoulHow to not get Phished

May 15, 2010 2 comments

Reportedly the number of monthly phishing attempts in my state have risen to an all-time high. Therefore I thought it appropriate to write some ways to NOT get phished, and how to identify a common characteristics of a phishing attempt, whether email or web based. Many of my readers probably already know this, but if you do know about phishing but also know of others who don’t, I encourage you to pass this information on to them so they don’t potentially lose a lot of money.

But first, I need you to go here and log in with your paypal details so I know who read this article.

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Got you? You DEFINITELY need to read this article. Seriously, like, NOW.
Didn’t get you? You still might need to read this article.

So yeah, bottom line, you should probably read the article. Just sayin’.
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Categories: Misc., SoulHow

SoulHow to Write an Interesting Video Game Story

May 6, 2010 5 comments

I know I’ve been away for a while, but I’ve finally finished my final final exam, so here’s a present for you all: a new, long article. Yes, I’m technically putting it into my “soulhow” series, and I probably will be doing more, but the new soulhow articles will NOT be game-maker specific.

Anyway, one of the things so many amateur games are lacking, something that’s VERY important (in many games, but not all), is a story. And the thing that even the games that have a story (including some commercial ones) don’t have, is a GOOD story.

The story is actually one of my favorite parts of a video game, possibly because music in a lot of video games is meant to enhance it. So now, I’ve considered a lot of good game stories, and a lot of bad game stories, as well as some good game stories that have some issues. And here, I’m going to outline what I’ve found, for you, and only you. Actually, for you and everyone else who wants to read. Sorry if you thought you were special or something.

*Warning: I am using examples from stories of commercial games in the sections below. They may contain minor spoilers.*
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Categories: SoulHow Tags: , ,

SoulHow to make an Arc Of Sight

August 20, 2009 1 comment

NOTE: Comments are locked. I no longer answer questions about the Game Maker tutorials on this blog; I suggest you take any questions to the Game Maker Community. For more info, view the FAQ page.

I decided to write up a more detailed SoulHow article on my old Arc of Sight tutorial. I’ve been getting some PMs on the Game Maker Community lately asking questions about it, so I thought I’d describe it a bit better here in my blog.

Tutorial Partner file: Link

Note: This example was created for GM7, and it works in either Pro or Lite. However, if you have the Lite version, go to the constants section of the game settings in the example and set “drawrotated” to 0. That will turn off the use of draw_sprite_ext. The sprites won’t rotate as the objects move in different directions, but that’s okay because sprite rotation doesn’t have to do with what’s actually being described in the tutorial. As long as you keep the drawarc constant set to 1, you’ll still be able to easily observe the intended effect inside this example; though you can set that constant to 0 to have a more “realistic” view. Best keep it to 1, though, while you’re still learning what’s going on in each part of the code.

So in case you haven’t even seen this on the GMC, it’s a tutorial in which you will learn how to make an object test for another object inside an “arc of sight”. The first thing that probably comes to your mind is the similarity to “line of sight”. A line of sight is a line usually drawn from one object to another object to make sure nothing is in the way. For example, an enemy must shoot towards the player, but only if a wall is not between them.

There’s collision_line() for that, and collision_* for other types of shapes (rectangle, circle, etc.). But we want to use more of a circle sector shape. Essentially, an arc of sight.
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Categories: Game Maker, GMC/YYG, SoulHow

SoulHow to use data structures

September 13, 2008 Leave a comment

NOTE: Comments are locked. I no longer answer questions about the Game Maker tutorials on this blog; I suggest you take any questions to the Game Maker Community. For more info, view the FAQ page.

Skill Level: Experienced User (6)

I told you it was coming. The data structure soulhow article. We’re up over 8000 hits, thanks to you, so I figured it was a great time to write another article.

So what are data structures? Well first, before I go any further, I’d like to redirect you to the arrays soulhow article if you haven’t read it yet and don’t already know what an array is. The reason is that data structures are just special types of arrays.

Sadly, this is a pro-only feature. So if you have lite, GO GET PRO and come back.

Back yet? Great. Let’s go.

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SoulHow to use arrays

September 3, 2008 Leave a comment

NOTE: Comments are locked. I no longer answer questions about the Game Maker tutorials on this blog; I suggest you take any questions to the Game Maker Community. For more info, view the FAQ page.

Skill Level: Intermediate User (5)

Ever heard of those weird things called arrays?  Me neither.

Just kidding of course.  Anyways, arrays are much easier to understand than they sound.  Due to the fact that I realized I had actually never explained arrays in any blog entry (!!!), I’ll explain them here (as suggested by the article title…) If you don’t know what a variable is, either read the SoulHow to code in GML article, read the GM manual, or else you’re on your own.

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SoulHow to make a more successful fangame

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Skill Level: N/A

What do you think is the most frequently made fangame?  Mario?  Sonic?  Megaman?  Nope, you’re wrong.  The most frequently made fangames, are bad ones.  And sadly, these poorly-made fangames’ reputations tend to rub off onto other fangames and shoot their chances as well.

I really don’t care about original vs. fangame; all I care about is whether a game is good, and I’m sure most of you will agree with me if you truly think about it.  Seriously, who out there has played, for example, Hard Hat 3 by Damaged, and disliked it because it was unoriginal?  The real deal breaker is (should be) the game’s quality.  If you find yourself disliking a fangame only because it’s unoriginal, you should think be thinking a little harder.

And with that said, I will now write something more like what you were expecting in a SoulHow article: how to get your fangame more successful.  This doesn’t mean matching the original game to the T, but making different levels and bosses.  Actually, it involves a number of things.
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SoulHow to make gameplay fun

August 12, 2008 2 comments

Skill Level: N/A

This sounds like a ridiculous idea for an article. Come on; talking about what’s fun? You KNOW what’s fun. Or do you? This is actually a more difficult subject than many would assume. Making your game fun isn’t just about adding more and more features; it requires careful planning, strategy and testing.

First let’s think about what fun games are like. Think about a game you’ve played that was fun; was it engaging? encouraging? interesting? stimulating? rewarding? Now think about a game you absolutely hated. Was it frustrating? boring? repetitive?

Chances are you answered yes to each of the questions I asked above. Now I’d like to discuss some parts of a game where you need to focus on fun. In each section, I’m going to highlight a few words that describe a game as fun, or not fun.

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