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UPE - Recommendations for Newcomers Hi there, long time no talk!

Due to the quarantine, I've finally had more time to work on my game again, and am having a ton of fun. :) I know that most users here are familiar with the Platform Builder program (which I have not used before) and not so much the Ultimate Platformer Engine. I wanted to give some brief advice (as well as say hi, since it's been so long since I last checked in here!).

1. If you are interested in using the UPE, I would recommend downloading Gamemaker Studio 2 asap. You can get it for FREE, although there are some limitations on things like exporting games and number of rooms. None of those should be an issue if you're first starting out - the goal is to get familiar with the program and make at least one extremely simple game you can practice and learn from.
EDIT - looks like it might be only available for a 30 day trial now (might let you keep using it after but I can't guarantee it). I would still recommend it, but make sure you have time to really dive in - it took me weeks before I was comfortable using it.

2. You can use "drag and drop" or "gamemaker language" for your project. Drag and drop is simpler, but I prefer gamemaker language (GML) - it seems more complex at first, but it offers much more control and there are many more tutorials out there. It is similar enough to other programming languages, like C++, that you can use tutorials/advice from people who don't even use this particular program and make it work for you.

3. If (this) then {this}; is your new best friend. These types of statements are essential to programming in any language. You can plan it out with flow charts on a piece of paper. It is not always the most efficient way to code, but it works and it's easy enough to understand, so I use it all the time. Most of us here are making games for fun, so keep it fun and don't worry about being professional right away. If it works it works!

4. A "create" event happens once when the object is created. A "step" event happens over and over again (UPE runs at 30 frames per second). Think about what you need to check for every time the game updates (like a pressed button), and what you can do just once (like setting the name of a character). There are other categories, but these are the most important.
4. Before downloading the UPE, you should mess around with Gamemaker. A lot. It will seem overwhelming at first, especially if you are completely new to programming like me, but I promise you can figure it out if you're persistent! There are pre-made games you can experiment with that are included with the download. However, I would HIGHLY recommend starting one from scratch and using Shaun Spaulding's Platformer tutorials on youtube:

5. When you do decide to get the UPE, it will be absolutely overwhelming all over again! This is because it has pretty much everything you could ever need in a platformer game and more. However, TingThing does a fantastic job explaining what each section of code is doing through the comments. Personally, I had been using GMS2 for about a year before I downloaded the UPE, and I absolutely love the physics of this engine - I have never been able to get something so Mario-esque working on my own!

5. The UPE will take a seriously long time to download - you will think it is frozen, but it isn't, just hang in there and wait even if it takes 40+ minutes. It's worth it.

6. You will inevitably have questions, things you're confused on, etc. TingThing is the master, but I will help if I can - I'm no expert but I've been using the Gamemaker for almost three years now and the UPE for about one year, and I would love to help! Feel free to post here and/or message me any time.

April 02, 2020, 12:09:30 AM
Re: UPE - Recommendations for Newcomers @warrior
Thanks for asking! I'm afraid I haven't been able to make any progress on the game since Gamemaker Studio updated to version 2.3 - it's a major upgrade that offers a lot of new features, but unfortunately it seems to have broken the game. I've tried rolling it back to the old version but now it won't build the project at all. :(
I'm sure there's a way to get it up and running again, and I'll let you all know when that happens. Until then I might start from scratch on something else or just try remaking it.

For anyone who is planning on downloading Gamemaker Studio, I still definitely recommend it, but you might want to check with TingThing to see if the UPE will run in GMS2.3 (I didn't want to bother him since I have already changed so much of the original code it would be difficult to troubleshoot).

October 22, 2020, 10:29:02 PM