Mars: The Red Planet


Prompt number three is, “Mars: the red planet.”  This is an intentionally more open-ended prompt.  As always, remember to be creative and focus on the player’s experience.

Good luck, and have fun.

-Dr. Christopher

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77 Responses to Mars: The Red Planet

    • Dan Lance says:

      That was really fun! The wind effects were really cool.

      • Anthony Schuler says:

        I agree, it was very fun! I like the small amount of story elements as well as the animation for the worms coming out of the ground.

      • Steve Ok says:

        Thanks! For the wind effect, I made huge sprites the size of the entire room and just created their instances at certain alarm events. It ran the GameMaker pretty hard.

    • Donica says:

      Neat game! I agree, the wind effects are great!

    • clayh7 says:

      >at first im like, ok no problem, water
      >then oh shit the storm
      >wtf better make it back in time
      >*whew* made it

      Best part was the worm animation!

      Nicely done.

      • Steve Ok says:

        Lol thanks thanks~ I drew the worm sprite on photoshop. Had each segment on a different layer so I’d move them a little, then save pic, and repeated that process. As for the camera moving cutscene, I figured out how to change screen view based on center object, so I just made an invisible camera object, tied it to alarm cues, and moved it around. Had to try a couple times to get the timing right. Also, the camera shaking is not an effect I intended, but I think it adds nicely to the cutscene. lol

  1. Donica says:

    Here is my third prototype, On Mars.


    • Steve Ok says:

      I was instantly attached to Zar. lol nice job with the narrative.

      • DonicaDonica says:

        The game is missing some elements I would have liked to add: a title screen, for one, and more of a story set up. But, I spent most of my time working out how to do the movement and changing rooms. I, also, didn’t know how to do a title screen. 😦 Not without breaking the game. I had wanted to add more of a challenge, too. I guess I’m leaning more toward casual games these days.

      • Steve Ok says:

        Yeah these are just prototypes, I don’t think they’re supposed to be too complicated anyway. The room changing function was working great. As for making a working title screen, here’s a 10-minute tutorial that is insanely helpful. It uses some basic coding, but nothing too complex. Hope that helps.
        OH, by the way, he uses semi-colons at the end of his codes, but you don’t need to do that for GameMaker 8.1

    • clayh7 says:

      Holy lord. Everyone’s name is Zar. But it’s a trap, just dodge number barrel roll over them. Final boss jump his ass. He might fight back, gotta time it right. I promise you’ll find your mother! Quick questions. What race is the character that you’re playing?

      • Donica says:

        Just your basic green skinned Martian. I know it’s terribly cliche, but the sprite works. Zar and his Mom are the only sprites I didn’t make myself. I just took Humans and colored their skin and hair.

  2. Donica says:

    The controls are the keyboard arrow keys. The up arrow is to jump.

  3. Anthony Schuler says:

    Here is my third prototype “Escape Mars”. The astronaut follows the mouse when you hold down the left mouse button. Wanted to play with a different type of movement this time so I went with mouse controls instead of arrow keys.

    • Steve Ok says:

      The collision masks seemed to be slightly too big, but other than that, this was quite amusing. very smooth and simple mechanic. It would have been nice if there was a victory condition. picked up about 16 samples. lol

    • clayh7 says:

      Martians be climbin’ in yo space suit, snatchin’ yo samples up. It’s an install file, by the way.

      • Anthony Schuler says:

        Yeah, I’m still having problems making a single runtime executable. Keeps giving me an error and not compiling.

  4. Sarah Rhoades says:

    Here’s… Martian Horde (Prototype 3)!
    I was going to add a few different alien creatures, but… It’s hard enough as is, I do believe.

    • Steve Ok says:

      high score 1070! this was fun. I do like the simplicity of it. It was slightly confusing visually because the screen width and height were different, so the aliens coming from north and south seemed a lot quicker than those coming from left and right. But anyway, good job 🙂

  5. Adam Becker says:

    Hooray for GameMaker save problems. GameMaker decided to not save hours of progress a few times. Even with multiple back-ups I was set back 4 hours of work on 3 occasions.

    The idea was you’re the Curiosity rover trying to retrieve samples on the moon. Move with the arrow keys and get the yellow samples, but avoid the red ones.

    • clayh7 says:

      Your background looks sick! The only thing I would suggest is make it so that none of the background layers are faster than the speed the the ground your walk on moves. Oh and the floor looks extremely flat, other than that looks very fancy.

    • Steve Ok says:

      Loved the visuals, they were fantastic. The movement was nice and smooth. I think a score system would have dramatically improved player experience. Sorry to hear about the save-problem though, that really sucks.

  6. clayh7 says:

    Highscore 1200. >:0
    What now! Your game feels very similar to mine… weird O.o

  7. Tyler Tornblom says:

    Here is my third prototype: Protect Mars

    You are a martian base trying to protect Mars from humans. Destroy their mother-ship and don’t let any humans make it to your base!

    • Steve Ok says:

      Haha that was one of the ideas I had. Martian repelling humans. very nice. Anyway, I totally hacked your game. If you keep shooting at the mothership and not even worry about the little pods that land, you can beat the game with 3 bases remaining. x) Hm, as for controls, I think it might have been better to tie the shooting to left click rather than spacebar, since you’re aiming with the mouse. Also, the laser speed could be slightly faster. but overall, pretty solid. Nice job

    • clayh7 says:

      Nicely done, pretty hard. It’d be cool if you rotated the sprite of the laser to angle where you’re shooting. Unless it was meant to be sideways…?
      You can do that by going to your obj_laser > opening the [Create Event] > and adding a code snippet at the top with the following:

      xdif = mouse_x – x;
      ydif = mouse_y – y;
      if(xdif > 0)
      image_angle = -radtodeg(arctan(ydif/xdif));
      else if(xdif < 0)
      image_angle = 180 – radtodeg(arctan(ydif/xdif));
      image_angle = 90;

      Or something along those lines.

  8. storymanguy says:

    The controls for placing objects are pretty crappy, but it works if you hold down the button and move around a bit. This makes precise placement impossible, but it’s a prototype, so it can be expected. If anyone would like to suggest a better alternative, go ahead. I have no pride for my controls.

    • Steve Ok says:

      You know, for our second prompt, I made a tower defense game that had the similar build mechanic, but instead of using the mouse to choose the tower, i used the keyboard, then placed it with the mouse click. I suggest you play it and see for yourself, and if you have questions about the details, I’d be glad to answer.

  9. Josh Miller says:

    Here is my prototype:

    I didn’t get it to work anything like I wanted it to. The goal is to get to the computer to cause the base to explode. I had originally wanted to implement a line of sight system for the martians but I ran out of time to figure out how to code it.

    • Steve Ok says:

      Aw man, I was waiting for the base to explode but it didn’t. Would’ve been really cool. It was fun though. 🙂 Oh, I was a bit lost at first because I couldn’t immediately tell the doors apart from the walls. Maybe you could make the doors stand out a bit?

  10. Noah Osborne says:

    Here’s my prototype.

    Survive the onslaught by placing martians to defend from the invaders.

  11. Emily Hampshire says:

    I wanted to try out making a platformer, so get to your ship before it leaves without you!

  12. Ken-Min Yeoh says:

    I ended up getting really sick today and unable to really commit to finishing the game due to a pounding headache and fever. It functions as intended, but doesn’t have all the features I meant to implement, and the sprite work is fairly bland. And now, off to bed. Ugh.

  13. kevingravis says:

    Horse on Mars – an exploration adventure game inspired by the original Game Boy & nightmares.

    Controls: arrow keys to move, space to bite or eat things. Play around with the controls and explore everywhere, you might be surprised. You can actually beat this one too. This took so long to make *~*

    • Zachary Brown says:

      Pretty solid jetpack controls! Definitely fun to control in air. If you continue to work on it I’d like to see some more visual representation of the jetpack instead of just fire. Also, was the bouncy collision your intention? It made things a little difficult at time, but with less narrow passages it could be a pretty fun part of the game.

    • Steve Ok says:

      nice job making all the different levels. I enjoyed destroying the big martian banana. lol

  14. Dan Lance says:

    Here is my third prototype, Rover
    The goal is to repair the broken rover and make it back to base before your oxygen runs out.

  15. Christopher Casey says:

    Here’s my third prototype, Mars Tank Invasion. No sound and graphics are rudimentary, I spent a ton of time and I think the idea may have been out-of-scope for one week. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though and I like the idea, so I hope I get a chance to work on this one more.

  16. I started working on a 3d collection/ survival game. the enemies were appearing and the gun model was right by my screen, then I super broke something. Also I didnt have time to write a system for 3d collision (I tried). So I moved to a 2d 2 player platformer

    3D game (what I finished):
    2D Game (2 player):

  17. Zachary Brown says:

    P3 – Mars Defends!
    Ships, Missiles, and small meteors get caught in Mars’ orbit! Left click to freeze a small meteor or missile in place, then release left click to toss them a little bit. Move too far from an object and it gets out of your orbit. See how long you can last.

    This ended up being more of a toy than a game, but any feedback will still be appreciated.

    • Steve Ok says:

      That was really cool. Love the gravity mechanic. I think it’d be really cool if you could somehow get things to orbit around planet, and then release it when you want to. Oh or have like a big battle arena with all the other planets in the solar system, and the goal could be like, the best planet left standing battle royale. shoot asteroids at each other lol and the Sun could be like the final boss. and you can be like MARS DECLARE INDEPENDENCE NOW. FIGHT THE (solar) SYSTEM. lol I mean Mars IS named after the god of war. xD anyway.. i’m going off on a tangent.

  18. Mark Zamora says:

    A simple ship maze – messing around with top down controls instead of platformers this time.

  19. James Pappas says:

    This one is totally incomplete.
    It was going to be a fighting game (The Sun exploded and the radiation caused all the planets to turn into fighting robots), but the tutorial I was following got a little too complex for one week’s work.

    As it is:
    Player 1’s controls move both players simultaneously. (bleh)
    A: left
    D: right
    T: punch1
    G: punch2
    U: kick
    You can move off stage; no collision was added yet.

  20. clayh7 says:

    REDDER [by: Clay Howell]
    Game Maker File:

    Alright, so when I first heard the prompt, I immediately thought of a flash game I played as a kid called Red. This my version of an adaptation of the game. I do want to give credit to Case Hollingsworth, who made the original game Red where I derived a lot of inspiration from. ( here is his deviantArt profile, all I could find on him)

    Secondly, I learned from this game after many hours of troubleshooting that Game Maker’s ability to freeze the screen is near impossible on the steam version if you want to scale a game to a smaller screen size. This means, when I made the game for 1920×1080 (my monitor size) the pause function would cut off the edges of the screen for my roommate’s monitor (1360×768). So I modified the code to only show the nice still of a pause screen if your monitor is (1920×1080).This has no effect on game play at all for you folk with smaller screens. This means that the pause screens for smaller monitors will be blank (sorry!). Other than that, I hope you enjoy!

    (File attached if you want to know how I did something in code. Not many comments, didn’t get around to it, but ask me and I’ll show you how I did something :D)

    • Devin Butler says:

      The link should be updated with a fixed version now.

      Cheats for people who want to play with the talent try:
      8 resets points to zero
      9 sets points to three, the max you would have without cheats
      0 sets points to nine, allowing use of all talent tree options.

  21. Christopher Thompson says:
    W: Forward
    S: Back
    A: Turn left
    D: Turn Right
    C: Toggle cruise control
    F: Collect sample

    Collect all samples to win

  22. Lucas LeBlanc says:

    This is a simple racing (time trial only) game. I toyed with a follow camera and tried to work out a power sliding mechanic – it turned out okay. I did some other minor things like a start menu, and I layered the car sprite so that the chassis can be colored separately from things that wouldn’t normally be painted, such as tires.

    • Lucas LeBlanc says:

      Sorry for the double post, but I feel like I should mention: don’t forget to use F1 for help, as per usual for my games.

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