Time to meet your maker…
I bet we’ve all said at one time or another, “DAAAAMN. This game sucks. I could
pull a better one outa’ my ass.” Because of this, many of us aspire to one-day
program and create our own games. After all, if you have to be a computer science
major, why not use it for the power of good instead of working for Microsoft and
being Bill Gate’s little mouse monkey.
this idea is Agetec’s Fighter Maker. In this fighting game, there is
an edit mode within the game that lets you make changes to the fighters and
and save them to the memory card.
First off, as a stand-alone fighter, Fighter Maker is not strong enough
to hold its own. The characters are somewhat stiff, frame rate is average. The
backgrounds are sparse and empty, and play control is a dummy clone of Tekken.
To create a credible editing mode, you’ll at least need a solid foundation of
a fighting game.
When you enter editing mode, you select one character, and then have the power
to alter vital characteristics, statistics within the moves, and keys that coordinate
with the moves. You can then test it out after you made the changes. While there
are many characters to choose from, graphically you’re still forced to work off
characters that they created. I would want to worry about the fun parts, like
how their character looks. I made a character called John Shaft. He’s one bad…
SHUT yer mouth! But I didn’t have the power to increase the size of my man’s afro
or give him a fly blue suit. I couldn’t even change the color scheme.
You’re given control over the little things, like which button combo executes
which move, and how much damage it could do. You can change a character’s martial
arts style, and then change the way the frames of animation follow through. It’s
like changing Ryu to execute Chun Li’s moves. Interesting, but you can’t build
a whole new game out of it.
By manipulating the key frames of animation, you can also change what the character
does in response to each command. I made one character have a Monty Python silly
walk when she moves. And I made Shaft do a funky dance while in a defensive
crouch. If I wanted to, I could program a whole dance routine in. But the interface
takes awhile to get into.
It’s difficult and time consuming, but most of all, there is little satisfaction
in finishing it. Because who wants to fight in just an average game, even with
your own bastardized “created” character?
The game is very memory card intensive, taking one space per created character.
While you can exchange characters with your friends, it still isn’t really your
character with all the details you’d want.
When you make something, you want to show it off to your friends. What if there
was a program that let you create PlayStation games, burn them to a CD and then
give a copy to your friend? That sounds better, if a bit more difficult. True,
there was the limited, short-term PlayStation programming hobby system, Net
Yaroze, but otherwise my wish is impossible. If you’re seriously interested
in game design, you just have to work on the computer.
There are more rewarding ways to exert your creativity in beginning game design.
If I wanted to mess around with changing a game, I would want full control —
not just the statistical commands and inputs, but also the art and images — the
fun stuff. For example, for the Quake games, there are free programs that
let you alter the character’s skins and create your own terrain. And these work
because they build off an already strong engine. Even the “create
your own wrestler option” in the Acclaim wrestling games is more interesting
because you can alter the “visual” information of the character.
Fighter Maker is no substitute for actually making a game. While an innovative
idea, it really doesn’t belong on the PlayStation platform. It’s more of a toy
to fiddle around then quickly get bored with. Fighter Maker promises too
much, and delivers too little.