A downloadable game for Windows

They Cometh!

Hi there ๐Ÿ˜€ They Cometh is a game that I created in my free time for two reasons:

  1. trying out 2D pixel art
  2. getting into GameMaker

2D Pixel Art you say?!

Though being a programmer, I have had my fair share of endevours into the realm of asset creation with Wings3D, Affinity Designer, KORG Gadget, etc.
However, I never really tried out 2D pixel art (and animated at that). For this project, I used the glorious Piskel online editor which was a ton of fun. I also learned a lot and decided to progress what might become some sort of skill in the future ๐Ÿ˜‰ To do this, I purchased AseSprite. I'm curious where this journey will lead me to.

Making games with GameMaker

I already had my fair share of tools for making games, some more niche (BlitzBasic) than others (Unreal). For the past 8 years now I would view myself as a "Unity guy" and I owe much of my advanced game making knowledge to this great game engine. It also was the reason to get serious about C# which in itself was a path I am glad I took because that actually pays bills ๐Ÿ˜
However, the more specialized one becomes and the more ambitious our projects get the more abstract a lot of our work becomes. This can kill quite a bit of the fun and was a reason for me to look elsewhere to recharge my creative batteries a bit. I remembered paying for some Humble Bundle years ago and getting GameMaker and so this was what I chose to use.

Post Mortem

So after 10 hours of "work" put into this little arcade game, what are my learnings and thoughts? Well:

  • I really like the way GameMaker structures the process of getting your stuff into the engine and up and running; it was easy enough to get into and a constant point of orientation whenever I felt a bit lost
  • 2D animated pixel art creation is fantastic! I probably spent way to much time pixeling away while listening to awesome game soundtracks compared to what you will see on the screen when playing the game ๐Ÿ˜…
  • I don't like GML and the code editor. Some of that is purely subjective (snake case as best practice for naming; creating public variables by just typing names, creating more private scoped ones with var; how "scripts" are synonymous with "functions"; accessing instances by their object blueprint names) while others I feel are objectively not as good as they good be (code completion, auto formating in the editor, auto bracket closing, general sprite setup, option grouping for easy access). I feel like GameMaker would benefit a lot by interfacing with something like JavaScript or TypeScript and then providing API bindings for code editors like VisualStudio Code
  • I should get into the habit of always working on a small side project and finishing it

That last one is probably the most important learning I took away from this project. It's how I started almost 25 years ago and it's the best way to improve, keep focus, boost your self esteem and finish things.

Closing thoughts

If someone actually downloads this little project and plays it: thank you! This game doesn't offer much incentive to actually busy oneself with it. Not even a built in highscore list. So if you check this game out, you're a hero ๐Ÿ˜

Release date May 22, 2020
Made withPiskel, GameMaker: Studio
Tags2D, Arcade, Simple, Top down shooter
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Xbox controller


they-cometh-windows.zip 1 MB
Version 1 May 22, 2020

Leave a comment

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.