Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Doodle Cloud

Today I'm showing off a Flash game that I made. The very first Flash game I made, in fact. But first some history. Back in October 2008, I was forwarded a link from one of my professors. The link was this one, for the Labs at Kongregate.com. Located on this site are a series of delightful tutorials, called "Shootorials", that can teach anyone how to use Adobe Flash to make a simple side-scrolling shooter. I highly recommend these tutorials for anyone who has thought about using Flash for game design purposes. The tutorials are extremely easy to use, understand, and follow along with.

Using these Shootorials as a guide, over the next six months or so I made my own side-scrolling shooter. What came out of those six months is Doodle Cloud, featured below. It's not incredibly fun, nor is it entirely balanced, and there is at least one glitch that I don't know how to fix, but goddamnit I'm still proud of it.

Arrow keys to move, space bar to rain... and that's it. I would tell you the goal of the game, but you can figure it out. I believe in you.

More than anything else, Doodle Cloud was an experiment. I had no clear idea of what I was making at first. I just chose a cloud because they're easy to draw. I chose the "child-like drawing" aesthetic because I have the artistic talent of a child. And since I was learning how to make side-scrolling shooters, it follows that the cloud would "shoot" rain. Downwards, naturally. And the rain could grow flowers. That's pretty much how it happened. The rest of the game mechanics just came out of what-ifs: What if you had no defense against the enemies? What if your score was the same as your health? What if I kept the interface clean during gameplay, and how could I still show the necessary information? Pretty soon I had something resembling a game, and that was good enough for me. It was all an experiment, without a hypothesis. I'm glad that it ended up as good as it did. The only thing I didn't do was the music and sound effects, which I got off a freeware site called flashkit.com.

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