The Lost Age of Keen Fangames

You can discuss anything about fan-made Commander Keen games here.
GoldenRishi
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Post by GoldenRishi » Fri May 08, 2015 4:23

Keening_Product wrote:Posting here so as not to derail the other thread.
Dr.Colossus wrote:In Game Maker you can make a Platform Game with 3d Objects. If you know how it works it's quite easy.
I have once tried to make a 2.5D Keen Game about 2years ago. The ground is a 3d Object with a EGA texture.
Unfortunatelly I abandoned it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHiCSaGdRK8
1) I would never have guessed that was Game Maker.

2) That is AMAZING! The enemy behaviour is complex and gameplay is exciting even just to watch. The ability to hide from creatures underwater, where there are other enemies to watch out, adds a whole new dimension.

3) Is that your own music? Reminds me of a mix of something from Xargon, God of Thunder, some of Game Bird's work and a few other things. Neat as.

I hope this is continued some day.
Yeah, I think that a lot of people look at Game Maker like it's another version of Klik N Play, but if you actually are willing to program in GML, there's very few limits on what you can do (for 2-D platformers, anyways). The fact that post-version 8 allows you to add 3-D effects is a really sweet addition.
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DoomJedi
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Post by DoomJedi » Fri May 08, 2015 9:43

Video is fantastic!

still...Game Maker for me is ...beh.
Made games on it in far past...but it's...Any other engine is better, for me.

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Post by Grimson » Fri May 08, 2015 10:13

Keening_Product wrote:2) That is AMAZING! The enemy behaviour is complex and gameplay is exciting even just to watch. The ability to hide from creatures underwater, where there are other enemies to watch out, adds a whole new dimension.
Yup, it's straight from Heart of Darkness. One of the most gorgeous platformers from the 90s.

Also, have you never played Keen 6? I immediately recognized the song from the factory level :confused
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Post by Plasma Captain » Fri May 08, 2015 13:31

That looks really cool. Really looks like a fresh, updated version of the series...

And I agree, Game Maker is at its best when you actually write code in it rather than just using the drag-n-drop functions. I personally prefer the freedom of programming in a so-called "real" language, but the suite has its merits.

The big problem is that kids and, uh, incompetent people tend to find it, judge it by its silly title, and expect that they can use it to crank out a good game without any talent or effort.

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Post by GoldenRishi » Fri May 08, 2015 15:31

DoomJedi wrote:Video is fantastic!

still...Game Maker for me is ...beh.
Made games on it in far past...but it's...Any other engine is better, for me.
Such as? Other than TeamClick products, I can't think of another 2-D game engine.
Last edited by GoldenRishi on Fri May 08, 2015 15:50, edited 1 time in total.
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GoldenRishi
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Post by GoldenRishi » Fri May 08, 2015 15:48

Plasma Captain wrote:And I agree, Game Maker is at its best when you actually write code in it rather than just using the drag-n-drop functions. I personally prefer the freedom of programming in a so-called "real" language, but the suite has its merits.
I largely agree, but even so learning Open_GL/SL or DirectX as well as garbage handling all of the extra code in C++ or C# always seemed like an extremely difficult task not worth doing unless you actually intend to program games professionally and wanted a result that was actually professional. Just like I wouldn't recommend fully learning Abode Photoshop unless you actually intend to be a professional graphic artist, when other programs are much more straight forward and easy to get results from.

The advantage of GM is that I could focus my energy on pixel art and making an engine the way that I want to, without having to learn how to control hardware, handling all of the memory issues, structuring how the game works, encrypting and decrypting assets, and then the massive debugging that's required for all of it to actually work. If I were making my own professional game, would I learn/take care of every bit of this? As a dimwitted dullard once said, "You betcha." But for a fan game, I think that there's practically very few limitations in GM that would justify the headache of the above things.
Plasma Captain wrote: The big problem is that kids and, uh, incompetent people tend to find it, judge it by its silly title, and expect that they can use it to crank out a good game without any talent or effort.
Well, lol, if we're going to make that complaint, I feel like we're committed to saying that Unity is an awful engine. But yes, people do awful things with GM. Still, people have to start by making crappy games before they make good ones.
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Post by DaVince » Sat May 09, 2015 1:00

GoldenRishi wrote:
DoomJedi wrote:Video is fantastic!

still...Game Maker for me is ...beh.
Made games on it in far past...but it's...Any other engine is better, for me.
Such as? Other than TeamClick products, I can't think of another 2-D game engine.
Construct is another one. Or of course the stuff that doesn't rely on a point and click interface for coding.
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Plasma Captain
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Post by Plasma Captain » Sat May 09, 2015 4:18

GoldenRishi wrote:
Plasma Captain wrote: The big problem is that kids and, uh, incompetent people tend to find it, judge it by its silly title, and expect that they can use it to crank out a good game without any talent or effort.
Well, lol, if we're going to make that complaint, I feel like we're committed to saying that Unity is an awful engine. But yes, people do awful things with GM. Still, people have to start by making crappy games before they make good ones.
Well, exactly. That's the point I was trying to make - the problem is in perception, not in the product itself.

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Post by GoldenRishi » Sat May 09, 2015 21:38

Plasma Captain wrote:
GoldenRishi wrote:
Plasma Captain wrote: The big problem is that kids and, uh, incompetent people tend to find it, judge it by its silly title, and expect that they can use it to crank out a good game without any talent or effort.
Well, lol, if we're going to make that complaint, I feel like we're committed to saying that Unity is an awful engine. But yes, people do awful things with GM. Still, people have to start by making crappy games before they make good ones.
Well, exactly. That's the point I was trying to make - the problem is in perception, not in the product itself.
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I agree. Making a good game is hard work, even if you're saving yourself a lot of time in constructing your own game engine.
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Post by Lava89 » Fri May 15, 2015 23:39

GoldenRishi wrote:lava89 -- Hey man, long, long time no see! I noticed that the Keen 64 project is still alive and kicking, lol, although I guess you haven't updated it for a while. What have you been up to?
Yeah, I (somewhat) recently transferred it over to Unity, but I need to learn more about how it works, and I've been slacking off from doing more of the tutorials, haha. But the great thing about learning this kind of stuff is that it can translate to my other projects, which I'm definitely thinking of moving over, eventually, to Unity as well.

As for what I've been up to, at this point, getting out of college with a Master's Degree.
For instance, I seem to recall that Lava89 and I had considered having him help me with the art for my games (I think at the time I was calling them "The Tantalus Wars") and I could help him with programming (for Keen 64), but in the end I seem to recall that we both agreed that these games were our creations and so nothing ever came of it.
I definitely remember Tantalus Wars and I've always admired your pixel work, in fact I still have one of your works floating around on my photobucket account that you asked me to host:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v337/Tirqin/Bip.png

As for Keen 64, I'm not completely opposed to accepting help, but I'd prefer to get that initial game out by myself. This is a for a number of reasons.
1) I see Keen 64 as a start of a potential community for more 3D games (and yes, I am saying this without actually releasing the game....so I kind of feel like WB right now when they promise a cinematic universe for DC comics...or Peter Molyneux promising the world to gamers). So having that first game out, with all of the developer files released publically would be a good push to something better, where people could just jump in and improve upon what I already did.

2) Making the project myself helps me become a better developer in general. If there was ever a community project launched out of Keen64, having made an entire game would make me more useful on a team. Also, even if Keen64 II or whatever doesn't go anywhere and a bunch of people pull out (which happens alot....people get lives and stuff, haha), I at least have that original Keen64 under my belt, that only depended on me.

It also helps if I do plan to use Unity for my non-Keen projects. As it is, development I did in Blitz3D between SpaceJourney and Keen64 has been practically symbiotic. For instance, the inventory I designed in SJ, gave me ideas on how I ended up designing Keen64's level editor, that I built in Blitz3D. Then saving levels in that editor gave me ideas on how to do save games in SJ, which is already a fully functional feature in an update that I plan to officially release.

3) If people want to build off of my work, I may not be involved in anymore Keen fangames. So I at least want to be involved in making that first game.

4) Because I don't know...bragging rights? :D



So yes, I do want to make Keen64 by myself, but after that first game, the sky's the limit and I am open to more games like it and even open to not being involved in their creation. I also recall us talking about working together on a possible Keen 3 remake, which I recall being your favorite Keen title. If I can get Keen64 out, I am definitely still open to a project like that. :)
I'm really proud of Lava89 for actually continuing to work on Keen 64 for all of this time, it's really respectable.
Wow! Thanks! I am truly honored!

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