Old Coding Game Tests – Tunnel of Despair

Hey this is Brandon.


Download (windows)

1 – toggle spawner

left click – move spawner

Tunnel of despair was definitely a test.


























































I was watching a play-through of a game called La Mulana, and there’s a segment in the game where the player is on a platform and the background is continually spawning walls to make it appear as if you’re traveling through a tunnel.

It looked easy to do, so i thought I’d try my hand at it and it’s pretty simple scaling up of a sprite shaped as a frame.

(Oh yeah and Ato beta, probably soon, just need to do some minor feature coding and fix bugs.)


Old Coding Game Tests – Scale up test

oh hai thar, robin walker here.

Scale Up Test

Download (windows)

left click – create rainbow rectangle

right click – create rainbow rectangle(s)

I believe the idea behind Scale up test was essentially me trying to figure out how to make a game where you have a character running towards the background and you’d jump over gaps and collect stuff.

Of course, what I probably should have hired someone and paid them six figures worth of salary and put myself in debt so that it could have happened. But instead I vouched to mess around a bit with this myself.

The effect itself is super basic, it definitely has an amiga demo-scene vibe to it.

Ideally if I were to attempt that idea of a game, I probably would have looked into a feature called D3D for fake 3d, or figured out a way to draw “quads” based off a z-axis of sorts (they’re sort of like freely shapeable rectangles). I haven’t really dabbled much in either to be honest, perhaps one day, one day when I learn to become a real boy I will create these effects.

(oh and the Ato beta is very very close, super close to being ready, just gimme a little longer folks)



Old Coding Game Tests – Ring Test

Hi, this is Brandon.

Ring Test

Download (windows)

Press Any Button – create ring

Now I know what you’re thinking…What an amazing game, why isn’t it on steam, origin and epic games store? Because it was too controversial and artistic to be considered a gaben.

Ring Test was essentially me talking to my brother about visual effects for a concert and so I quickly stitched this test together in an hour. The idea of using any key was that if he can send inputs from his instruments to the computer, then surely the input could be read in a program that checks for an any key input. It was not used for the concert because there never was one, it was a lie. It was also too controversial and fell apart due to harsh subjective opinions due to people’s nostalgia.

The ring effects are very basic, I actually use this effect a lot in my games because it’s so efficient and easy to program in. All you really do is take your x_scale/y_scale variables and continually add to them each frame, while also reducing the alpha/opacity of the sprite. Then when the alpha reaches 0, just destroy the object.

As for the origin of this effect, I discovered that I could do this very late in Frog Hop’s development, so you only really see it occur during the angler boss in frog hop.

The blue shockwave, the white pulse from lighting and the yellow attack warning show case this effect.

It was only after Frog Hop that I learned to utilize this A LOT in Nameless, for things like explosions, gunfire, hit effects.

The fade out effect happens a lot faster here in 3-4 frames.

I think I use this effect in the target kills in Ato.

I follow similar principles as Nameless, though in Ato I don’t use this nearly as much and mostly rely on particle effects. It happens extremely fast when the targets are destroyed.

So that’s all I got, hope you enjoyed.


Old Coding Game Tests – Project Q

Hello this is Brandon, creator of Half-Life Alex

Project Q (AKA apparently this was made in 2015, before Persona 5 was a thing)


Download (windows)

Left click – create circle

Right click – trip out

“Project Q” was me trying to make some kind of tunnel escape kind of game. I think I took influence from a game called S.T.U.N. Runner and though about making something like it? (And probably some other atari arcade game that I can’t quite recall off the top of my head)

Image result for arcade tunnel race game

My thought was to spawn circles continually so that it creates the illusion of moving through a tunnel. The result however was something slightly less expected but still interesting. Probably to create the tunnel effect I’d have to mess with the scale rate a bit more to get it to better create the illusion.

I’m not sure why I didn’t continue messing with it, I’m pretty sure this was during the development of Frog Hop and some other small projects (like Bumpy Birdy?) So I think I just was already overwhelmed and decided to just leave it be.

The code is super simple, the circle object (which uses the draw_circle command) that is spawned just has a size value that increases and when the value exceeds a certain limit, the circle object destroys itself and also sends a command to have the background color match the circle object.

Easy. Done. Ready to Ship for 80 Dollars Collectors Edition. DLC not included.


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):


Old Coding Game Tests – FPS Test

Oh hai thar, brendon here.

FPS Test


move mouse – look

ESC – quit

FPS Test was an experiment to see if it was possible to create the illusion of being in a “3d” space with 2d slides.

I don’t have mnuch to say, it’s extremely simple code wise and involves locking the mouse to the game window and then making any adjustments to your direction by checking each step for any changes that the mouse made.

really it’s just…

xLook += mouse_x * global.sensitivity

If it didn’t have mouse lock, the view would keep spinning and only stop if you brought the mouse to the very left of the screen.

It was cool to see if the idea would have worked or not, it does, though to make sprites for this would be much easier if you made a scene in 3D and pre-rendered them out.

Though certainly this can be done with hand drawn imagery.


Old Coding Game Tests – Ball Room

Hi gang, looks like I have returned to look at some old projects I’ve made. So I decided to do something bite sized and show a “demo scene” test (quick programming experiments I made when I was learning game maker (though I still am learning even to this day)).

A big thing with these is that there’s not much in terms of gameplay and I mostly talk about the goal I was trying to accomplish and how I did it. Most of the time when you learn a new program, you just have this urge to try something out. Especially when you’re starting out and you have a bazillion ideas in your head. I believe I mostly did these Coding tests just to play with an idea and most of the time they didn’t really develop into an actual game (though I will eventually cover some of the misc games where this was the case).

Ball Room

Download (windows)

left click – spawn ball

right click – destroy the world

Ball Room is still my most legendary creation to date. Featuring revolutionary 3Dx Jigga-watt graphics (patent pending) and utilizing dynamic crash processing, the most latent computer feature to date. This game revolutionized and inspired metal gear solid.

Ball room was specifically designed as a challenge in my head where I saw an old NES game called Penguin Wars

Intense penguin action, rated M+ for maximum power! Nintendo power!!11

I saw the ball move towards and away from the camera along the table in the game. And then thought to myself, “I wonder how to code fake depth in game maker” and then thought “why do I even consider doing pointless coding projects that make me look like a chump with 1 million likes, yet I still manage to be able to finish making games-…

Oh sorry I got carried away there.

So anyways, Ball Room was my shot at just playing with fake depth with ball objects.

It’s really simple, I create a ‘z axis’ variable and set it to a random number. then I have that affect how big the ball will be and where it will be along the vertical space.




There’s also a fake ground value I have that has the ball check if it touches it’s own personal “ground” to then bounce off of. Actually that code aspect is very similar to how I did the jump feature in Frog Hop’s Map system.

The fake “ground” is his original spawn position, and whenever his fake z-axis goes past it, he will stop “falling along the z-axis”

It was actually super hacked in and probably not the best way to code the ball room. I’m trying to think back on why I didn’t make a game of it, unfortunately I can’t remember. I think this was one of those rare cases where I just made this little demo scene of balls bouncing around and was satisfied with figuring it out.

If I think about it now, I really don’t know what kind of game I would have made, maybe I would make a cowboy gunslinging game and shoot the bouncing targets? Or drive a toy car avoiding the balls? 3-d munchman (yes munchman, not pa-)? I suppose there are plenty of game concepts that could come from such an experiment.

Apparently I have this fascination with 2-D games that have a fake z-axis. Games like Mario & Luigi, Golden Sun, and plenty of beat-em-up games like Streets of Rage have this aspect.

I will say that as pointless as this coding test might have been (especially since I didn’t even accomplish the goal of making a game of it). That I do find myself going back to the source code from some of these projects to copy/modify them into any current project that I’m working on.

I look back on Ball Room and I gotta say it was pretty fun to code, good times good times.

Thanks for reading!

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