Old Game Maker’s Apprentice Games – Blocks

Sup gangsters, Brandon here. It has been a while since I did an old game maker game post, so here we are.

Block Game

Before Tetris, there was Block Game. In Block Game you move Purple Guy (Who has an uncanny resemblance to Doom Guy) and try to get to the red button. The boxes will try to crush you but you can manipulate them so they stack up like a staircase to reach higher areas. Be aware too that the blocks that fall from the sky are made of different materials, meaning different crushing properties to other blocks! Unfortunately the game kind of can’t be beaten cause I was too young to be a real boy. Oh well.

Download (windows exe)

Left/Right – Move

F1 – “Help”

F5 – Quick Save

F6 – Quick Load

F10 – Pause

Again there are no viruses, it was made in Game Maker 8.1.


Long ago there were many spherical creatures like Purple Guy. But then one day disaster struck and one spherical being decided they had enough with being spherical, so they searched far and wide for the power inside and found the dark box (much like normal box but slower and does more damage). With the Dark Box they casted a spell that nearly wiped out all of the spherical beings, turning them all into inanimate blocks. Soon after the Spherical One being was disappointed that it didn’t destroy Purple Guy, So now he’s on a rampage trying to murder you. But the catch, if you reach the end, you will save sphere kind, but it turns out that there is also box kind as well. Saving sphere kind would result in destroying all of box kind. Prepare to cry edition.









Crystal Conduit Speedruns??

This will be a pretty short post, but I thought I might as well show this off. I did a stream a week ago where I did a speed-run of Crystal Conduit. The archive can be seen below, of course it is quite long, so if you want to jump ahead to any interesting parts, I put a comment below the video to jump to the actual run and other interesting behind the scenes work. (Link to video)

There are several tricks that can be used such as:

Jumping – Being in the air is faster.

Zipping – if you’re positioned in just the right spot when on a slope and you press the opposite movement direction, you will be warped across the room until you collide with a solid block, this can be seen at the beginning of the run. It’s quite difficult to consistently do.

Super Throw – This is probably the most mysterious and inconsistent glitch of them all, when you throw the crystal, it won’t slow down in midair and as a result fly much further than usual. If there was a way to do this consistently, you could end the level even faster when throwing the crystal into the pedestal.

Of course, being a game jam game it has it’s bugs, I’ll list them out here:

  • Pressing down and throw at the same time will crash
  • Avoid throwing the crystal when there’s a ceiling above you. if you are able to reach the stuck crystal you can still retrieve it.
  • Don’t touch the dumpster while holding the crystal or it will crash, just throw the crystal in.
  • Not a bug but if you get soft-locked (where you literally can’t win) you can press Enter to restart the room to cut your losses (or fall into a bottomless pit).

That being said, Speedrunning 1.0 of Crystal Conduit is pretty fun, below is the video which jumps to the actual run. Other parts of the video contain some extras such as unused content and music.

Also I do streams on Wednesdays 6pm CT. Generally just playing games and whatnot.









Possible Game Concept

Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a short post on something that crossed my mind last night. I’ve wondered about taking these coming weeks off and make a short story driven game. Its premise would be based on the issue of creating art even if no one may notice. Perhaps what sparked this was some vivid dreams and also wondering whether spending time to write blog posts and do weekly streams is even worth the time (or even just making a larger game in general!).

Of course this begs the real question, when I create art and there isn’t anyone who will look at it, why should I even let this affect me? After all, if I write blog posts or stream to 0 viewers, surely there at least must be a joy that I get from doing these things, even if no one is watching.

I feel it would be nice to just put this out there since I try to only work on my main project. I’ll mess around a bit with the story of this idea and see if it really can be made in a short time span. I haven’t fully committed to it yet, so it’s possible it would get abandoned for the sake of getting the main game done.

But if it was worked on…

…It would MOST DEFINITELY be a 2000 hour Open World RPG with 500+ sidequests.



Old Game Maker’s Apprentice Games – Space Game

Howdy gang, today I’ll just briefly talk about the next game I made with the Game Maker’s Apprentice and what YOU can learn from it.

But before I do so, I thought I’d share a very short teaser for my next solo game, it’s still in the works but felt it would be worth showing, there will be more previews and news on it in the future. For now I call it, Ato.

A peaceful world, yet the cost to preserve its harmony is troubling.

Make sure to follow me on twitter, facebook, or even this blog (by clicking follow at the bottom right)!

So now let’s continue to the topic at hand.

Space Game

Space game? Could it be that he solo created HALO?!?!?

Yes, this game IS Halo 8, I was contracted by Bungee and Microsoft to make this one, took a long time but it was worth the wait.

The second game I made with the Game Maker’s Apprentice

It kind of looks like Rocket Launch doesn’t it? Consider it…the distant prequel that was unintentionally a prequel to it. This is a much simpler game, where you first point you ship and then launch yourself until you land onto a moon, land on all the moons to win. Avoid the asteroids and maybe find a secret.

With this being my second game. GMA (Game Maker’s Apprentice) taught me the ways of the force, having objects spawn in a random spot, having different controls and teaching the very concept of level design.

This here is to just show you guys that I didn’t start out making the Taj Mahal from the get go. It’s a process that takes time and experience to get better at this sort of thing. I hope that by seeing this game that you’ll be a bit inspired to try something new.

Download (windows exe)


Left and Right – Aim/Maneuver

Space – launch

Esc – Quit



If I made a tutorial series

I apologize for abruptly doing a post that isn’t relevant with last week’s, but a mysterious thought crossed my mind a couple of nights ago from a dream…

I saw myself surrounded by water, and the sun started to set. I blinked once and right in front of me appeared a giant Island. I blinked again and it grew larger in scale. Suddenly it vanished before my eyes and I asked myself one question…

What if I did a tutorial on making a game with Game Maker 2?

What if, the tutorial was a video series where I provided art, music, sound assets. I would walk with the user through coding all of it from scratch, no experience required. I’d structure it to be as fun and engaging as possible. The final game could be a fun and cool project…

The Challenges

Fun vs Learning – I’d want to try to make it a simple and fun. Providing code might water down the experience of learning actual game development, where you have to problem solve ways to execute your idea. I could also use basic code systems like “drag and drop” but that would really limit the potential of what can be made and learned. Doing actual coding and explaining it line by line sounds like the ideal choice, but would also be really boring.

Lack of Ownership – When someone follows a tutorial, they might feel that what they created isn’t really theirs. I suppose this is an inevitable trade-off when a user is simply trying to learn vs create their own assets. The only idea I could have is perhaps suggest that if the user wanted to make their own assets they can.

Time – While it’s fun to think of ideas to pursue and get excited over them, committing to creating a series takes time. I’d essentially have to code the game ahead of time, streamline the code, do an actual recording session and then edit the footage. By the time I finished all of that, I could have spend that time making more than 1 game!

Redundancy – There are already thousands of free tutorials and guides to creating video games. If I made a tutorial series, the issue is that it would generally offer the same information, at most, it would show some different preference and techniques. But I suppose this is no different than making a game during the “Indiepocalypse” anyways (Where everyone is struggling to come up with a unique idea that’s fun).

Everyone is Different – Everyone has a different learning style, some are readers, some are visual, some verbal, etc.. Which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. The challenge becomes how does someone make a tutorial that’s engaging to the user so they don’t feel like they’re just doing stuff just because someone told them to.

TLDR, these 3 elements are extremely hard to maximize together (but easy to maximize if only 2 are done):

  • Learning – Knowledge and experience that the user will use and reference to for the rest of their game making career. Making a user actually learn something without having them just repeat your actions isn’t really enjoyable but does serve as a reference.
  • Fun – How enjoyable and engaging it is for the user. Reducing frustrating redundant aspects and providing assets would help with time, but would water down the learning experience.
  • Time – Both for the length of each video itself and my own investment of time. Making each video short would really water the experience down, but making each one long is really unappealing and outright boring. The luxury of time is not something I have.

(I like how I made each one a different color, like it’s Pokemon or w/e)

In-spite of the challenges, If I made a tutorial series, I’d want to make it something that is useful, to the point, and enjoyable. I try picturing a younger version of myself, thinking what kind of tutorial I’d want to use for making games. Honestly I’d probably just want someone to do most of the heavy lifting on the code side and I just make the art and such (which really sounds like it could be accomplished with something like Scratch or Alice).

Let me know what your thoughts are if you have any. What type/style of tutorials have you found to be useful?


Old Game Maker’s Apprentice Games – Dragon Game

Hey guys, I thought I’d do a quick post on an old game I made years ago when I first started making games with Game Maker.

Dragon Game

One of the games I made with Game Maker’s Apprentice.

Dragon game was the first game in the game maker’s apprentice book. When I worked on this game and followed the tutorial, I didn’t have the book’s CD to pull art assets from. As a result I had to make my sprites from scratch. Obviously this art was super roughed and not made to look like the Taj Mahal.

Actually, it really does look like it, I take everything I said back.

Actually, it really does look like it, I take everything I said back.

Collect your own baby dragons to get points but don’t kill them. You can’t actually win in this game, it’s like life, you can’t actually win. If the evil orange things hit you you lose and you’re sent straight to hell.

The background I think is from a level in Chex Quest, and the music MIDI is also from Chex Quest. The Art is by me and the Game Maker program is by Game Maker.

Anyways, enjoy playing this old awful game I made. There are no viruses, it was made in Game Maker 8.1.

Download (windows exe)

Arrow keys – move

D – shoot

Esc – Quit

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Game Development: How did I start making video games? (Part 7)

Before I start, I just want to let you all know that Clayton Belcher (Jolly Crouton Media), Austin Huebner (Austin Pandemic) and I finished creating a new free strategy game called…

Franchise Wars

Franchise Wars

Franchise Wars is a turn-based isometric strategy game we created game jam style!

You can check out and download the game here

Alright gang, let’s finish this series off from where we left off.

I was fast approaching my later years in college. (in fact, I’m skipping so much stuff that happened from the previous post that this blog post would be filled with so many things like cringey college events, samey cafeteria food, bad housing and dealing with dorm mates who stay up until 5 a.m. with a burning desire to create as much noise as-…Oh sorry, I was rambling for a second there.)

So anyways, I was required to take a science related class for my current year, and was suggested to take Astronomy (Not Astrology). It seemed neat, I mean who doesn’t like space and star wars? I enjoyed the class, it’s pretty technical in it’s own unique way (I think with angles, distance, time) but also “outdoorsy” as a science class (at least with what I experienced). I got the opportunity to watch some shows at the planetarium, which was pretty rad. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that my Astronomy teacher asked if I wanted to work there, so I was like “lol heck yea bro, yolo swag noscope hue hue hue jajaja”.

Let’s skip ahead several more months, for our final project, we were assigned to do what was called the Astronomy Integration Project. Because our teacher was awesome, we could create almost anything we wanted to as long as it had some relation to astronomy. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I do the stupidest thing possible and make a video game since I’ve never finished my own one before and we don’t much that much time left?” So I did that. I grinded for hours, this was my first time experiencing something close to would be called a Game Jam (A Game Jam is an event where you generally have a short amount of time to create a video game). I worked at the game for hours, I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off, there was a lot of uncertainty and lack of experience but I slowly put together my first actual game…

Rocket Launch.

Rocket Launch! Created for my Astronomy class.

Rocket Launch! Created for my Astronomy class.

Fly the rocket to accomplish different mission goals.

Fly the rocket to accomplish different mission goals.

Rocket launch had 9 Missions, it was challenging to make in and of itself, figuring out how to wrangle the code in Game Maker 8.1. I’d run into problems like having to create different sized versions of the planets and assets, handling their physics, hit boxes for unique objects like the tail end of a comet, particle effects and so on.

My Astronomy Professor loved it.

So now what? Let’s skip ahead a bit further as I was now required to create an Art Show for my Senior Final for Graphic Design.

I was in the middle of messing with Frog Hop during this time, and thought to myself. Why not have the art show be based on this video game?

So, I did that, I worked pretty hard, skipping some classes to try and crunch away time at it. I’d work hard to get posters printed and put up on walls (only to have people laugh at them and tear them off the walls) and make promotional cards (which also kept getting thrown out) to get people to know about the show.

Anyways, I don’t think I need to say much about the show itself, I had computers setup so that people could play the game, watch a looping video in the planetarium about the game, and some box art pieces for the game.

I’m pretty thankful that the planetarium and computer science department were so generous to let me use their equipment to pull this off.

Shout outs to the CS department, Astronomy department, the Art department, Yoyo games, the passive aggressive college post office guy and the people that kept throwing out my promotional material (I knew where you lived).

Well, that’s about all I got, of course, I could talk about Frog Hop itself, the other game jam games, Nameless, maybe my other endeavors, but for now I think this is a good stopping point.

So what can be learned from this? What is the TL:DR? What can you take from this?

At the end of the day, unlike the game developers who are super young and their first game sells millions of copies, obvious my story isn’t like that. A lot of this journey is, well, a journey! I don’t have it all figured out. Just because I create games and have reached the “other side” doesn’t mean that I’m different from who I was when I started. Even if I got millions of copies sold of my games, I probably would still be the same, just more stressed and way more busier. People think that you have to go on this extremely individualistic quest to self discovery. But honestly, the more I’ve met with older people who have pursued different fields, the more I’ve started to realize that really no one has it completely figured out.

Life is not a destination, it’s a Journey.

If something isn’t working out, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to keep going or pursue something else. So if you have this expectation that “If I obtain ___, I’ll be happier/more secure/content”, I’ve started to become more cynical with that, and because it becomes an endless cycle of discontentment.

So while yes, it does suck that after all these years I haven’t found any critical success in spite of my hard work. I can at least say to YOU that even if you accomplish those things, they aren’t really going to change you or how you view yourself.

But hey that’s just my view on the matter, some people will still disagree and have some expectation that their accomplishments will change them. And that’s fine, that’s up to them, it’s their life and their perspective, this is simply from my own personal experience on the matter.

Well, that was quite the blog series, I for one really enjoyed writing this series and I hope you found it entertaining/helpful.

Now the question is, what do I write about next? If only my readers could suggest some fun and interesting things for me to write about.