Learning to Code Kinda

Posted: 2-8-18

Last week, Syn and I were stumbling through learning how to make characters move, setting up collision boxes and making talk bubbles. We were taking bits and pieces of code from various different YouTube videos, trying to piece together techniques and coding the best we could.

I knew that something needed to change. Our code was never going to be uniform if we kept pulling from different sources, for one thing. Also, we were struggling to learn what we needed to know to make things work — even things as simple as collision areas.

So, I did some research, which led me to finding a series of online classes by Heartbeast. I’m not here to advertise for one instructor over another, but I’ll just say that his Action RPG Course is exactly what we needed to get us on the same page and ease us into some of the coding.

I created an account at Udemy, picked up that course, his course on Turn-Based RPGs, and a course by someone else about basic GML coding. When I picked these up, they were $10 each, which is a good deal considering they come with full video courses, all the assets and all the sample coding.

By the time I got done with section 4, I had a full working movement system, and also had my collision sorted out.

The Red Boxes Are Collision Spots

I admit that I got lost after that point, but a lot of that course goes into systems we don’t really need in our game. The Action RPG was more about how to make a Legend of Zelda type game, which it does well. We don’t really need enemies and hitboxes and that sort of stuff for our game.

What we do need, however, is information on making dialogue, cut scenes, music and sounds, camera, and those kinds of things. A blend of this course and the Turn-Based RPG should hopefully give us what we need.

I have to admit it’s tough that so many weeks in, all I have to show for it is a walking sprite and some collision boxes. This is far slower, more costly, and much more difficult than going the RPG Maker route was.

I hope it’ll be worth it!