Creating a Music Game
For my Tech Project I decided to create a music game that is both educational and fun! (What on earth was I thinking?!)
I first tried creating a game using Construct 3 and following the beginner example and created a game called “Ghost shooter,” but as the free trial was every limiting I decided to try using GameMaker Studio. However trying out Construct 3 allowed me to have a basic understanding of how games are made. First you must add ‘sprites‘ which are like objects you want into include in your game such as a player, monsters, bullets, background etc. Then you create ‘events‘ for these objects so that it ‘does this (shoots bullet)’ when you ‘do this (press spacebar).’ So a game is basically created but ‘sprites’ doing certain actions with when certain conditions are met. The “Ghost Shooter” game was basically a game aim to destroy the monsters by shooting bullets at them before they collided with you and killed you.
GameMaker Studio was a little different to Construct 3 with more complications but followed a similar structure. In GameMaker you had to create ‘objects‘ from the ‘sprites (image)’ in order to add ‘events (actions)’ to run in the game. In GameMaker Studio there are two options when creating a game. They have ‘GML (GameMaker Language)’ which is using actual coding and for those who don’t know coding (like me) they have an awesome option to use ‘DnD (Drag and Drop)’ which is using blocks of pre-made code. This made me think that I can use this as a classroom project for students to create a music game themselves, applying the knowledge they learn in music.
The first game I tried creating, following the beginner tutorial in GameMaker Studio was very similar to “Ghost Shooter” in ‘Contruct 3.’ It had a spaceship as the ‘player’ and monsters that were the ‘enemy’ which you had to destroy shooting ‘bullets.’ In addition I learned to make a title page by creating a new ‘room (screen pages).’
The second game that I made using the tutorial was “Space Rocks.” You created a ship that shoot bullet which aimed to destroy different sized astroids randomly floating around.
Using the bases of “Space Rocks” I tried making a game that relates to music and helps revised music note values. My ‘player’ became an Accent sign (because it ‘attacks’) and instead of astroids I replaced them with semibreves, minims and crotchets which the semibreves would split to two minims and minims to two crotchets when they are shot with a bullet.
I may try to change it so that the you have to shoot 4 times (beats) to destroy the semibreves, 2 shots (2 beats) for the minim and so on. My original idea of the music game was to create a player that shot and collected notes and which would eventually make a song, but I quickly came to realised I difficult that would be with my limited time and knowledge. That’s why I decided to create the game that I did as a revision and a way for students to familiarise themselves with notes and the concept of the note values. This game is suitable for all ages from primary to high school and most intended in helping student who are learning to read notation.
Following the tutorials were not too difficult but it was when I started to deviate from then given instructions it got more difficult. And like coding, if there was even a little mistake, the game wouldn’t run at all or the game would do something totally different from what I intended. I succeeded in creating a ‘win’ and ‘game over’ page as ‘rooms’ and I tried creating a level 2 for the game but that didn’t really go well… I wanted the level 2 to be similar to the first level where the notes split off with the notes flying around faster and the notes splitting further. However, I succeeded in splitting the notes but not in halve of the note value.
I also added background music and sound effects to shooting and collisions. The BGM was from ‘Bensound,’ a website with royalty free music and the sound effects were created on this cool website ‘ChipTone‘ where you can create all types of game sound effects!
With more time I may experiment and develop the game further or try creating a different game for future students. But download and tryout the game!
Download to play (only works on MacOS): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1piXgZ5N0VNBoPLwUKZ0PnFQGuTdJKesr