The roles of the team were divided roughly as follows:
- Fabrizio: Lead Programmer, Team Leader
- Marc: Artist, Assistant Programmer
- Sarah: Assistant Artist, Lead QA, Marketing Manager
First off, very early in the project we learned two things…
1: GameMaker is great at making certain things easy but other things REALLY hard.The program has certain limitations, especially in the free “Lite” version. We gained some more functionality when we switched to the full HTML5 version but we were simply unable to do certain things.
2: We probably chose the most difficult game out of everyone in the class in terms of game mechanics!! The realistic movements of the character are what the game was most famous for. Recreating those movements in GameMaker & making them faithful to the original game was a nightmare, especially for Fabrizio as he assumed the role of lead programmer!
We also quickly realised that assets such as sprites & levels layouts from the original 1989 game were almost impossible to find. However, we found that there were a lot more available for the 1992 Apple II remake. With these realisations, it was necessary to change our approach to the project & the game in general.
The first change was to convert the game from the original semi-2D style to regular 2D. The original layout of a level from the ’92 is shown below:
Now, below is my altered background image used in GameMaker:
The effect was basically to “flatten” the game into a strict side-on view. This made life immeasurably easier for Fabrizio & shortened the time involved in the project overall. However, as the Lead Artist, this meant I had to painstakingly alter the original images, often pixel-by-pixel! Still, as challenging as it was was, it was also kind of fun when I saw the end product!
In the first build of the game our major goals were: tracking down the sprite sheet for the prince character & getting the basic movements of the prince working. Even these tasks themselves proved to be difficult. This was going to be a LONG project! The link to build 1 is below: