Shadow of Phoenix

Respect for Games

Silent Hill Alley Project – Week 2 Update

Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2021


Last week, I wrote about the new Silent Hill project, which I hope to create as a video essay. As of now, I’m recreating the opening gameplay in a 2D top down perspective in GameMaker Studio 2, and my thesis will be how the mechanics and gameplay promote two themes in Silent Hill. 
The theme of Silent Hill is discovering a hidden truth while the opening gameplay of Harry chasing Cheryl is the theme of chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole. In my final essay, I will explain how the theme of chasing the rabbit contributes to the overall theme of discovering a hidden truth. 
As for now, I would like to talk about the project’s current state, which includes a change in the game from last week, goals I’ve achieved, goals I haven’t reached and plans for next week.
Let’s start with what is different about the project.

Something different about the project

You may have noticed that there is now a No Exit sprite where the player begins, and there are no magnifying glasses that the player can examine which brings up a speech bubble for the player. I was trying to do the same thing with the no turning back arrows, but I had so much trouble getting it to work properly which is probably due to all the instance layers in GameMaker. I removed the player’s ability to examine and comment for now. I have an idea on how to fix it. I may try making the speech bubble a child of the player with a choice of speech images depending on what the player is examining. We’ll see how the project plays out.
Right now, I will recount my main goal being achieved.

Achieved this week’s goal

My main goal this week was to program the AI for the object representing Cheryl. I completed that goal. The object representing Cheryl is the rabbit with a gold circle around it. I chose the rabbit because in this stage of the game Cheryl is the rabbit leading Harry down the rabbit hole. The gold circle is like a gold coin for Cheryl is Harry’s treasure. 
As far as programming the AI for the Cheryl/rabbit character, I used the sequence editor in GameMaker Studio 2 like I did in moving the player with the robotic arm. I initially thought about creating AI states for the rabbit character, but that will take some time to learn. I will definitely learn that in a project in the near future. For now, I used the sequence editor since it’s new to me and it’s another chance to use it. The more I use it the more I’ll know it. Perhaps I should show some kind of indication of the rabbit character being controlled by an AI similar to the Player where the robot arm forces it to move to a particular spot. I’ll have to debate about it. 
But what about the other goal that was achieved as well as the 2 goals I haven’t reached yet?

Other goals: 1 achieved, 2 haven’t reached

The other goals I wanted to complete if I had time this week were to program the game to go black when the player reaches the gate and presses action key, add a layer of fog, and add a pause function that pauses player and other active objects but allows the player to control the inventory.
The one I achieved was programming the player reaching the gate and pressing the action key, which ends the game. In last week’s post, I said that I was going to program an option to restart the game if the player reaches the gate and presses the action key. I realized that there isn’t a good reason to add an option to restart the game if I’m not going to upload a game for anyone to play. As of now, this project is only being made for a video essay so there is no need for a restart option to be added. 
I have not reached adding the layer of fog or pause function/inventory control. Partly due to balancing this project with life. Partly due to programming that AI for the rabbit object ended up taking a lot of time. 
Good news is that I know what I need to do for next week. 

Plans for next week

I definitely want to work on the pause function/inventory this week. I probably won’t focus on item collecting since the player does not collect any items in this part that I’m recreating. Instead, just show a health indicator and allow the player to move a cursor in the inventory when the game is paused. If time allows it, I can fix the player’s ability to examine and comment with a speech bubble as well as add a fog layer.

That is all for now.