GameSalad

Any tips for this game design?

JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member
edited November 5 in Working with GS (PC)

Split into 2 posts because the forums won't let me put all in 1 post..

~~~
Hello all, semi lengthy post ahead.

TL;DR: New guy here who needs help with this game idea. 3 main questions
1) Is there a workaround to having 100+ actors with all similar but different attributes?
2) How do I make actors spawn and line up correctly to each other?
3) Is there a way to extend the scene as more actors appear?

Just a brief introduction, I have literally 0 coding experience but keen to make a game. I've read up / watched tutorials for 1 week now and have a rough idea how things work. However, it does look like I'm going to have like 100-200 actors per scene hence it would be splendid if any of the veterans out there could help me out!

My game idea is rather simple. It's essentially resource management game where you build things and unlock next lvl buildings one by one.

For example, the first scene will look something like

(small picture) Workshop - 0 +
After pressing +, workshop number increases by 1, with corresponding depletion of gold to build it.
After workshop becomes 1, say office unlocks then you can build an office.

My idea so far

  • Actor1: picture / workshop - when key is pressed, pop up to give information about it
  • Actor2: When - is pressed, minus 1 from actor 3 text
  • Actor3: 0 (text)
  • Actor4: when + is pressed, add 1 to actor 3 text, spawn actor 5, 6, 7, 8 for the first press
  • Actor5: picture / office
  • Actor6-8: similar to above

It seems like with a simple thing like that, 4 actors are required for 1 line. I understand that if I use prototypes and edit it, Group 1 of actor 1-4 is 4 actors while group 2 of actor 1-4 is yet another 4 actors since the attributes are different.
If I have like 30 potential unlockable buildings, that's 120 actors in 1 scene already which sounds draining on system resources. Any ideas how to work around this?

Comments

  • JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member

    Continued*

    Second question: how do I make actors spawn in rows?
    To make it clearer, let's say the workshop / - / 0 / + is row 1, office is row 2, it'll appear like that

    Row 1
    Row 2

    After Row 2 is built and added, Row 3 and 4 unlocks to become

    Row 1
    Row 2
    Row 3
    Row 4

    Now say Row 4 is built and unlocks Row 6, I want it to become

    Row 1
    Row 2
    Row 3
    Row 4
    Row 6

    Then Row 3 is built and unlocks Row 5, it's to become

    Row 1
    Row 2
    Row 3
    Row 4
    Row 5
    Row 6

    Is this possible?

    Third and last question: adjusting camera / scene length on app (iphone/android)
    Assuming the camera can only show 10 rows, but I have 20 rows, I'll need a way to finger swipe the entire scene up to scroll through Rows 1-20.
    At the same time, if there are only 4 rows, to make the camera unable to scroll, since there's nothing to scroll to.
    I'm thinking this only sounds possible if the scene is extended as more rows / actors are added?
    Again, an illustration

    Row 1
    Row 2
    Row 3
    --> no scrolling of scene possible

    Row 1
    ...
    Row 10
    --> Scroll upwards to become
    Row 5
    ...
    Row 14

    ~~~

    Thank you all for your time and expertise, looking forward to making my first game!

  • Two.ETwo.E Posts: 357Member, PRO

    Hi there!

    Welcome to GameSalad.
    It looks like a fairly large project to jump straight into without much experience. Would recommend splitting it up into several smaller parts.

    I've attached an upgrade system that might help start you off. You can see I use the same actor multiple times, and change it by changing it's own self attributes.

    The demo has several there features like the purchase button only showing when the player has enough to purchase.

    Either way, it should hopefully help get you started.

    All the best with it!
    Two.E

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,027Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    @JCHERE said:
    Hello all, semi lengthy post ahead. TL;DR: New guy here who needs help with this game idea

    Welcome!

    I'm going to have like 100-200 actors per scene

    Yikes!

    For a little perspective, I was a Computer Science major in college and programmed a little before that so I had an understanding of data structures and programming logic (if... then, loops, etc.) when I started using GameSalad. My first game was a simple space invaders type game with a couple power ups and a few different enemy types. It took me SIXTY HOURS to complete.

    I could probably make that game in a quarter of the time now but just to say that any new venture is going to be time-consuming. You're jumping in to the deep end based on your description. If that's how you like to roll, more power to you but it is something to consider. :)

    You'll want to learn about tables so that you can organize your data and use the table structure to mirror your spawned actor structure. And you may be able to get away with way fewer actors but it's hard to know from how you described it. If you can provide a sketch or screenshot of your idea, that might be a quicker way to get the idea across and someone here can recommend an efficient way to set it up.

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  • JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member
    edited November 5

    Thank you!

    Can I clarify? I read that if you edit the actor prototype it essentially becomes a new actor.
    Will that not be the case for your system?

    ~~~
    http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/94889/gamesalad-tips-competition-winners
    2nd place: Don't unlock actors in a scene unless you have a good reason for doing so. Unlocking an actor creates an "instance" that can have different rules (and even attribute values) than the original "prototype" actor. While sometimes useful, if unintentional this can make troubleshooting rules tricky because actors that appear the same can have unique rules.

    Also worth noting is that every time you unlock an actor on a scene, that actor is stored in the scene’s XML file. A prototype just references the actor’s stored information, but an unlocked actor copies that information. So if you place 100 prototypes on a scene, it will take up the space of the 1 prototype. If you place 100 unlocked actors on the scene, it will take up the space of 100 copies of the prototype. So unlocking actors not only complicates working with your game, it also slows down working with the project file and makes the file size of your game bigger and loading times longer!

  • Two.ETwo.E Posts: 357Member, PRO

    You can edit attribute values without unlocking the actor. As shown in the attached demo.

    I don't think I have ever made a full game where there isn't 100+ actors on screen. It really comes down how well you use the behaviours.

    Just start learning, and change things as you go. You find get to the end and then decide to re-build the game again with your new knowledge. There is always going to be more than 1 way to achieve something.

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,027Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    If you edit the actor in the scene then it unlocks and becomes a separate instance. That can be beneficial but sometimes people do it without intending to or without understanding what it means to do so and that can be problematic.

    What do you mean by "your system?" Or were you referring to what @Two.E wrote? You can notify a forum member by adding an @ symbol in front of their username within a post.

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  • JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member

    Thank you for all your inputs, much appreciated!

    IRL i'm a bit broke too so I'm actually making some of the concepts and art first before I make the purchase to try haha (4 days demo is too short =)

    "Your system" was referring to @Two.E actually haha

    @tatiang I must say part of my inspiration came from the android game "Time of Exploration" hence the UI I'm visualising is similar to that too

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,027Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    Can't say I'm familiar with "Time of Exploration" but a scrolling list like this:

    Could be made with a few dozen actors, not a few hundred.

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  • JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member
    edited November 8

    For each line e.g. the first one there are 4 actors already right?
    Actor 1: Picture and tree feller

    • gives information when tapped
    • Actor 2: (-)
    • Actor 3: (number)
    • Actor 4: (+)

    Isn't each line a new 4 actors since they only spawn when unlocked?

    Or could they be done with all similar prototypes like what Two.E said?

    Haha but anyway maybe I'll get a better idea when I do try. At the moment I'm busy with my work so I haven't burned the free trial yet. Will probably try that out then purchase the full version when I have my leave comes

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,027Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    Three actors:

    Actor 1: gives information when tapped
    Actor 2: (-)
    Actor 3: (+)

    The number can be displayed from any of those three actors. It doesn't require a separate actor. And as far as prototypes go, you would create the rules for each of those three prototype actors and then just create instances (copies) in the scene for each row.

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  • JCHEREJCHERE Posts: 7Member

    Sorry another question
    Taking Time of Exploration as an example again, if I create something similar, I assume I will have 3 scenes - Buildings, Resources, Score. Each of the 3 when pressed will become a different scene.

    Now on the buildings scene, I assume the top 3 buttons is layer 1 which is unscrollable.
    Layer 2 is scrollable with the Tree Feller, Sawmill etc as actors in that layer.

    However, if you scroll layer 2 up, won't the actors collide with those on layer 1?
    How then do you

    1) Make the part of layer 2 disappear underneath layer 1
    2) If you press resources, to go to resources instead of hitting a (-) button which may be hidden underneath?

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