Recently there was some discussion on game design at the Nintendo Enthusiast forums. It really got me thinking about how little I know about it. I looked back at my own game Rocket Mario (my Super Mario fan game). I started thinking about how it came about.
About a decade ago my brother decided to try out Game Maker. We were both aware of it but neither of us really wanted to get it. We both really enjoyed programming and didn’t think it would be right for us. I decided to try it out with him. The first thing I did was load some sprites. My brother had a Mario sprite on hand so that’s what I used. I was amused to find that Mario was animating at a super high speed.
That was the start of the concept. I wondered what would a game be like with Mario running super fast. I tried out the different options and got the concept down pretty quickly. The game came together soon afterward because large portions of the game were completely random. It took me only a single afternoon, from when I woke up around noon til after dark.
That was it. A sprite moving really fast inspired me to (mostly) randomly place enemies to dodge and I was done. I put a little bit more thought into Rocket Mario 2 but I still don’t know anything about designing a game. All I know is that by chance Rocket Mario ended up being pretty fun and I still use it as a time waster from time to time.