Bunnies ahoy

Remember how I’ve been contemplating the creation of a video game for nigh unto many years? I think it’s time to get serious about it. But realistically; the grand idea I had, the one I was calling The Venture, is far too grand for anything less than a full studio to put together. So I’m scaling back my initial ambition for a simple mascot platformer. Don’t worry, though, it’s not a furry mammalian mascot with Attitude(tm) — that would fly in the face of everything I believe in! Instead, the humble Telebunny has received a promotion to leading man. Rabbit. Television-rabbit-thing. Whatever. The point is, I decided to try out some proof-of-concept sprite work to see, you know, if I can:

I think I can! Of course, the real trick is animating things, since I have no experience with that. Oh, and creating an entire game, I guess that’s gonna be tricky too. Especially since the only game creation engine I know of for Macs doesn’t really do 2D. But hey, impossible odds make for the sweetest victories, not to mention the most crushing defeats. I’ll document my flailing efforts here for everyone’s delight and schadenfreude.

It’s just a shame that someone beat me to the name “telebunny” by a good twenty-five years. Stupid MSX, mucking everything up for everyone.

40 thoughts on “Bunnies ahoy

  1. Hello, here’s the website to try (and eventually buy) Power Game Factory : http://www.sawbladesoftware.com/

    This is a great program, not too hard to learn. I’ve got the version 1.05 and I made a (simple)2d platformer with it. There is a beta version of version 1.1, but it’s still buggy.

    This software is for creating side scrolling action games for the Macintosh ( metalslug-like) but you can do platformers with it (just remove the gun).

    I’ve tried to make some games too and now I’m beginning to use UNITY, but it’s quite complicated, and I must learn to use blender before that… (my 3d program won’t export animations correctly)

    Your tv-bunny is cute, hope you can make some other nice sprites and that you will post the progress of your game.

  2. I’d recommend flash, but if you want something with a little more hand-holding, bootcamp into windows and try XNA studio express. It’s free, and there’s tons of tutorials on how to do simple 2d games.

  3. Have you considered XNA? I know it involves installing Windows (yuck) on your precious Mac, but I understand the tools are fairly robust and easy-to-use.

    I also know that at least two people on Talking Time have already taken the plunge.

  4. If all else fails, surely Sharkey can put you in touch with the guy who made I Wanna Be The Guy for some suggestions on animating 8-bit graphics. Or even the guy who worked on You Have to Burn The Rope. Or, if you’re going to go all out, the team behind Cave Story.

  5. Well, Cave Story was actually made by just one guy. And he’s Japanese. So maybe those other suggestions would be better ideas.

  6. I was actually thinking of making a game and documenting my progress in the forum (Multimedia Fusion is my program of choice). Now I’ll look like I’m copying you :(

    I definitely hope you can finish this game, though. I’d love to play as a telebunny. Though, I do use a PC…

  7. That’s why I’ve been considering faking 2D in Unity. It has the ability to build to multiple platforms — and not just Mac and PC.

  8. I’m in the same boat, actually, i.e. wanting to experiment with making a 2D game on Mac. I’ve settled on BlitzMax after trying the demo – it’s very high level, 2D focused, and multiplatform.

    If you want cheap as free PyGame is also serviceable but I had to build most of what I wanted from scratch and I got too frustrated with that, so I’m going to shell out for Blitz.

  9. I’d never heard of BlitzMax. Thanks, I’ll give it a shot before I deal with fake 2D in Unity.

  10. If you’re flying solo, I’d say Game Maker. XNA is great but I don’t know if I would call it non-programmer friendly. Good luck!

  11. B-b-but XNA is democratizing game design! You don’t want to be black-listed as a game communist, do you?

  12. I would personally prefer to work in Flash, since you can reach a wide audience with it easily. Maybe it’s not the perfect platform for a platformer (har), but not limiting the game to mac users would be nice. Some of us can’t afford one yet. :(

  13. I can already see your box art with Telebunny’s mouth happily wide open and zooming through an environment with perspective lines going into the distance.

  14. Hey, this is a good enough excuse for me to get off my lazy ass and make a video game in parity. There’s no reason this can’t turn into a Make-A-Game Club kind of situation, where everyone attempts to create a game, whether it’s a 2D platformer, a Space Invaders clone, or whatever they think they can create.

  15. Obviously, the second sprite is that tree from Castlevania which grows fleaman bulb egg things.

    I don’t see the point of XNA for something like this. It’s only advantage is it (supposedly) lets do fancy 3D effects and HD doodads with only a hair less more work than actually doing it yourself. I imagine you can set up XNA to function as a simple 2d engine, but you really want something made for doing that.

    Now, I’m also one who wants to bring about some 2d games of my own, but I want to go about it by coding everything from scratch. Of course, I’ve only ever made slow progress towards actually doing this. It’s nice though if you can teach yourself how to do it because you eventually feel like every game ambition is in within reach.

  16. You should make a GBA or DS game ;) I used to make small GBA demos, and the NDS is very simular… there are lots of open source examples available on the net.

  17. Ironically, I bought BlitzMax a week ago (to fulfill my own RPG creation aspirations). It’s dialect of BASIC is easy to get a handle on, but you WILL be neck deep in code. The up side is that it’s a good introduction to object-oriented programming.

  18. I’m very, very excited for this. Hope you can have time to put it together. Two blogs and a full-time job seems like a handful as it is. Then again, a unique 2D Metroidvania is certainly worth losing sleep over.

  19. All the discussion here seems to be about programs. I hope I’m not the only one who wants to know what’s in the game and not just how it’s made.

    I keep thinking it’s going to start with a space rocket crashing into the hill next to Telebunny village, so the hero Telebunny goes up there with his friend and sees a beautiful diva Telebunny being spirited away by an evil Telebunny with a big cape and his clownishly-dressed lackey. Am I close?

  20. Parish– when your avatar changed on the forums to the Telebunny, I really liked the simple, clean look of the sprite, but I didn’t recognize it. Now you announce this project, and it makes sense. As far as “first looks” go, I love it!

  21. What are you using for your spriting, if I may ask? Are you limiting yourself to a specific palette?

  22. It’s a “rabbit-eared” TV! Make sure you finish the game by February 2009 or we’ll need a converter to run it. :(

    You were lamenting your lack of creativity a little while ago and this game might be a chance to reignite it. Best of luck on the game and have fun with it.

  23. I think the ONLY game programming platform that should be considered is VERGE.
    Because, you know. It’s VERGE.
    Sharkey made that sidescroller that one time. With the Daleks.

    Why the hell do I remember that?

  24. Wow, that’s really nice looking.

    Will the terebunny be a playable character?

  25. Best of luck Mr. Parish! I’m a pro game artist trying to teach myself Unity in my free time. I used to use Blitz, but the support was waning for it and the community was getting more and more grumpy. I get the impression that 2D isn’t too bad with Unity once you get used to it, and it’s worthwhile just to have a physics engine to do some of the work for you.

  26. The LÖVE 2D engine is fast, cross-platform and simple, and uses LUA, the scripting language that many commercial games use for gameplay code. I haven’t used it to make anything yet, but it seems better suited to what you want than XNA:


    XNA will probably be running on Linux before it’s on Mac, which is to say, when Norfair freezes over.

    Best of luck on your project, I’d be happy to share what knowledge I have regarding indie design, art or programming.

  27. As far as game creation engines for the mac go, you just can’t bean Hypercard.

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