Masterclass Game Design
After this very interesting history lesson Mark Overmars started telling about what makes a good game. The basis of his story can be read in the tutorial What is a good game by Mark Overmars available from the Game Maker website. I highly recommend reading through that tutorial because the presentation was pretty much the same story. An interesting thing was that halfway of the presentation he divided the students in groups of 2 each and game them an amount of small colored blocks and a few dices and a piece of paper with the goal to create a game. A few examples he gave for games where: try to make a tower of the colored blocks which is as high as possible and which can carry a dice on top. An other idea he gave was to make a game like paper, stone and scissors. Red wins from blue, blue wins from green and green wins from red. Every player gets 4 stones of each color. Now both players take one stone out and show it to the other. The first round is random however with the second round you know which stones are removed from the game so with some good tactics you can now predict which stone is the most likely to be pulled by the opponent. Now it was the job to think up a good game yourself with just a few colored stones and some dices. This gave some very interesting results. I believe Mark Overmars was planning to put a few of these games online. I'll post a link here if I see any of them.
The afternoon of the master class was reserved for the actual programming of a game. For this we used Game Maker 5.3. Because some people had never worked with Game Maker before most people where busy using the scrolling shooter tutorial, which can be found on the Game Maker main page. Also during these hours we had some time to talk to Mark Overmars about Game Maker and Game Maker 6.0. Mark Overmars showed us Game Maker 6.0. The first change you see is that the image of the button add sprite is changed. Within this alpha version the image was Pacman . A more important change was that in the data tree you will no longer have datafiles. However you now do have font resources. Within this resource you can select a font from your system, select the size, color, bold, italic..., and all those things. Then when you create an executable the font is added with the given settings.
An other change is that within the Game Options (which changed name within this alpha release) you have a new tab page to add data-files. Also you have a few more options for selecting the screen resolution and how to handle screen resize. Also within the sound resource you now no longer need to select the number of buffers. The program does this automatically. You can select some nice effects such as the sound panning, and also add special effects though the sound file such as echo and a few more.