Space Tank Commander Re-Redux

So it seems I enjoy self-inflicted coding pain. I’ve decided to move Space Tank Commander from AGK2 to GameMaker Studio 2. There are two reasons I decided to switch development platforms.

The first reason is time, I have increasingly less time to devote to my game programming.

I started the game in AGK2. One of the things I really about AGK2 like is that it’s 100% code based. I have the flexibility to create virtually any type of game I want while having access to an impressive graphics engine, and it’s cross platform. And it does all of this with minimal fuss.

But being 100% code based also means I have to code every little thing.  I love writing code, I really do. But as the feature list of Space Tank Commander grew (mostly ideas from my son), it became more daunting. Coding takes time. A lot of time. I don’t have a lot of time.

The second reason is that I bought GameMaker Studio and most of the platform modules 3 years ago and have done absolutely nothing with it. Since AGK2 is code based it felt natural to me and I never really bothered learning GameMaker. I poked around with it every so often, but it seemed mostly drag and drop to me so I never put any effort towards it. I bought it during a sale when it was heavily discounted so I never felt compelled to use it.

The beta of GameMaker Studio 2 became available recently and I thought I might poke around with it again. I spent some time with the language in GameMaker, GML. The syntax is similar to C which made it comfortable.  I realized I could use the graphic objects and events, but use code in place of drag and drop. With  GameMaker I can save time using the objects, events and level editor while retaining the flexibility of code.

GameMaker Studio 2 is not as flexible as AGK2, but with the time saving features it’s a good fit for Space Tank Commander.

So, I have started rewriting it from the ground up. It’s moving along smoothly. It’s about 60% of the way to matching the features in the AGK2 version.

-Keith