Ato Progress Report January 2019

Hi all, Brandon here.

With the help of my friend, Mike, he was able to help me code the map system into Ato. I’ll keep it short and say that it was not easy to add, especially with the current logic of the game’s save system and room design (and even Game maker’s fickle ways of handling data). After tediously coding in each line to carefully add every single room into the map, I can at least say that the feature works and hopefully will help you enjoy Ato a bit more.

Menu work is still coming along, still a bit fickle. Menus are also pretty tedious having to put in entries for things and adjusting stuff constantly. (and to be honest I’m not really that skilled at advanced coding for flexible UI menus/systems)

Some assistance has been given as well for translation work for the menus in the game, I don’t think it was entirely necessary but I think it will be nice to have regardless.

Work on sound effects is being worked on, sound design is actually pretty easy to get into. It’s definitely a very playful and experimental role when it comes to creating sounds and ambiance. The biggest challenge is just trying to nail the right feeling of a sound and having its timing fit well with whatever it is you’re making.

Music is coming along nicely, a good number of the songs are done and just need to be implemented. Unlike the demo, I’ve been cranking away at making the music a bit more dynamic and having a more intense version of a song kick in when a fight starts to pickup.

Also minor news I’ll probably be doing the Global Game Jam 2020, I’m not 100% sure if I’d want to show that game on an update on indiegogo (since I feel it’s kind of irrelevant?). Otherwise following or the discord will keep you tuned in regarding that.


-Map system
-Warp system
-20+ sounds implemented
-10 rooms added
-2 side things


Old Coding Game Tests – Physics Tests

Hello this is Brandon, creator of full-life 3

Physics Tests


Left Click – spawn object

Right Click – hold and fling

Physics test was me learning about Game Maker Studio’s built in physics feature using Box2D. If that was too much to process then unfortunately you won’t be able to understand the upcoming scientific algorithmic calculus trigonometry nerd stuff that I’ll explain up ahead, might as well stop reading, bye.

Thanks for reading,




Setting up the physics isn’t too hard, and mainly requires some awareness with game maker’s quirks in order to properly utilize it in your game. I will say that game maker kind of threw in the physics feature and if you’re expecting to just toss it into your project with a click of a button you’re in for a world of…learning?

Basically, while yes you can tick the physics option and then assign a shape (or code in a custom one (more on that later)), you then have to be fully aware of game maker’s nuances with using the “solid” option and the collision event.

“solid” is a feature that’s mostly for basic “drag and drop” coding, it’s used for some collision events to occur with physics. However it’s not necessary as you get more in-depth with Game maker but w/e.

Really you just need to have these on (I think, this is all from memory and I’m sure Game Maker 5 HD Remastered will change how it all works) in order to have it work. But then of course there are all sorts of problems you will run into when you have the “solid” option and use the collision event for the solid grounds.

So why would I waste years of my life making something that was not successful? Well this code test was mainly used for the game Visceral Force, a casual physics puzzle game I made based on my experience from testing with this project.


oh and i mentioned custom shapes, basically with making an object use Box2D, you need to give it some kind of basic shape for it’s collision to work. However if you have more complex shapes, you have to be more creative and make an object be build of multiple shapes, i.e. I believe the blue crosses are made up of 3 rectangles. (but keep in mind, doing this too much puts stress on the performance)

So that’s all I got, physics, while nice has it’s own nuances and IMO if you’re thinking “I’ll just toss this into my castlevania metroid procgen roguelike indie trendy not cavestory original game to make it 10000 times better” then you’re right, you can do it, just expect to run into problems if you didn’t anticipate using the fickle solid feature and collision events. Of course if you don’t there is always the solution of just having hand coded physics for object movement instead of being an elitist with the physics sys-

Thanks for reading!



Old Coding Game Tests – Oval Orbit

Hi this is Gaben, welcome to half strife 4

Oval Orbit


QW,DF,AS,ZX,ER – manipulate orbit

Oval Orbit test was mainly a means of playing around with maths in game maker in order to pull of unique orbiting motions.

The combinations are quite varied, which is why I had several of them on screen so you can enjoy the variety that can be achieved.

I primarily used this for projectile attacks in games like nameless, I’m pretty sure I explored this coding test way after Frog Hop was done.

Do I use this in Ato? well…one can’t be too sure.

Do I use this in half life 3? yes.

-Gabe N

Old Coding Game Tests – Joint Flash test

Hi, this is gabe newell, welcome to half life three

Joint Flash Test


Joint Flash Test, is just a pure visual code test, the idea was to figure out means of making it easier to design bosses with joints without code.

I experimented with this idea using Macromedia Flash (which become Adobe Flash and then became Adobe Animate).

The concept was, instead of brute force coding a bunch of annoying scripts and math functions and timings, why not just create the animation ahead of time in flash then export it somehow.

So the idea was I animated some dummy characters above, and then I exported a low quality png sequence for the sausage thing and the stick dude.

The result was that indeed you could have motion tween animations, and you could then theoretically break it apart so that if you fought a boss and could destroy it’s arm, you’d have to export a separate png sequence for that arm. The challenge then becomes if you’re going to do different animations then it can be a bit tedious to handle the exporting and importing which from my experience is really tiring.

I’m not sure what I think of that approach now, but it certainly can work (even if it’s a bit jank because you would have to figure out collisions since the origin point of each joint doesn’t change). And the issue of wanting to work with delta time smoothness or even intentional game slomo sequences would make the result choppy instead of smooth.

So yeah, that was a test, this was a post, that was a gaben.



Old Coding Game Tests – Doodad test

This Brandon, here code game test

Doodad test


Left click – spawn doodad

Right click – spawn doodad extra

Doodad test was a means to play around with Game Maker’s built in code for things like direction, speed, friction, etc.

At first it seems like it’s not much, but in reality it breaks the fourth wall and becomes a game of the year game.

I used these a lot actually for Nameless, for things like bullet shells, impact particles, debris, etc..

Some of the ideas behind it are used in Ato, but Ato is a more modified version for things like the statues pieces when they get broken.

I don’t have much to say, I think I also used it for the magic drop soda bottles in the Frog Hop April 1st video (NOISE WARNING):