One Game A Week
Game #1 - Mazes
October 8th, 2018
A 2D Maze Game, Twenty Years in the Making
For my first One Game a Week project, I decided to harken back to one of my earliest game projects. Long before I learned to program, long before I knew I could make video games, I used to make pencil-and-paper games for my brothers and friends to play. One of the things I would do most often is draw mazes for people to explore -- there would be keys and locked doors, enemies to try and navigate around, and complex twists and turns and branching paths to try and disorient the player.
I think my love for drawing mazes might have come from my early love for the PC game Chip's Challenge -- those games were sometimes less about mazes and more about maneuvering blocks around, but the ethos of using your brain to navigate a space really hooked me as a child.
So I decided to build a version of my old maze games.
The Tools and the Art Style
I'd been playing a lot of Metroid Prime in the days before starting my One Game a Week project, and as a part of that I was always listening to Metroid-style music. On the GameCube version, there is also an embedded, playable version of the original Metroid. I played it for a few minutes, listening to those old-school sounds, loving the old-school graphics. I felt it was evocative of a certain time -- and it also resonated with me that this time was the same time I was creating my mazes. For some reason, it just felt right -- so I decided that my maze game was going to be made in the form of some old-school arcade type of aesthetic.
I decided that I was going to make the game in GameMaker Studio 2. I know that 2D platformers are possible in other engines I use more often, like Unity, but for me, I could never get a set of controls that felt right. In contrast, there were several example projects available for GameMaker that had tight platformer controls that worked exactly as I imagined. Rather than fighting Unity, I decided to make this project in GameMaker. This would be a decision that ended up having some pros and some cons, which I will get into a bit later.
Play the Game!
Well, since this is just a demo page so far, and since the game is not yet done -- you can't play it yet, silly!
However, make sure to check back in a few days when the game is complete, and I will have a download link ready.
In the meantime, check out some of Trykon Studios' other projects -- you might be interested in our commercial puzzle game, Omnicube!