How to Adding an Effect Action to Your GameMaker

With GameMaker: Studio, you can create video games using simple drag-and-drop Actions. For example, let’s say you made a scrolling shooter game. In that game, you decided to use Sprites (a Sprite is an image or series of sub-images) to represent the explosion when an enemy is blown up. But what if later you decide you want the explosion to be more special? In that case, you can create particles to create an explosion effect.

Here’s how to add a drag-and-drop Effect Action for use as an explosion. The following procedure assumes that you’ve already made your game and you simply want to update your explosion effect from using a Sprite to using an Effect Action. It also assumes you’re already familiar with GameMaker: Studio and that perhaps you’ve completed the Scrolling Shooter tutorial and are looking to upgrade your game.

The Effect Action makes use of particles. Particles have many benefits, including blending and faster processing.

To update your explosion from a Sprite to an Effect, follow these steps:

1.Open the Object that you want to update, such as obj_enemy.

The Object Properties window appears.

2.Select the Collision Event from the Events section.

The Actions for the Collision Event appear in the Actions section.

3.Right-click the Create Instance Action for, say, obj_explosion, and click Delete.

This removes the Sprite explosion from being displayed.

4.Drag and drop a Create Effect Action from the Draw tab to the Actions section.

The Create Effect Action window appears.

5.In the Applies To section, click Self.

6.From the Type drop-down list, choose the desired explosion effect.

You can also leave the default of Explosion.

7.From the Color drop-down list, choose, say, a red color from the color graph.

8.Select the Relative check box.

You want the effect to appear where the Object was, and that’s why you don’t update the X and Y fields.

Click OK.

9.The Create Effect Actions window is saved and closed.

In the following screenshot, the Sprite explosion is on the left and the Create Effect explosion is on the right.

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Fill in the blanks first. The fill-in-the-blank clues often are the easiest type to solve, so you can get a good start on your grid by cracking these first.

Focus on small (three-to-five-letter) word entries. Puzzle constructors just don’t have as many of these short words to choose from in the English language. So, as you work more puzzles, you’ll get familiar with the short words that constructors and editors use over and over. By filling these in early on, you may break open your grid and be able to solve a few of your more difficult clues.

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Get trivial. Because they’re usually fairly straightforward and don’t involve wordplay, trivia clues also may be fairly easy to answer. Plus, you can locate trivia answers in outside resources when you’re stuck.

Eye abbreviations and acronyms. If an answer needs to be an abbreviation or acronym, the clue tells you so. If you see “Abbr.” in the clue, or if the clue itself is abbreviated or an acronym, that’s your tip. Again, these smaller clues can help you answer the more complex surrounding clues you may be stumped by.

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Pick out plurals. When you’re stuck, look for clues written in a plural form. Using a pencil, write an S at the end of each grid entry that you know must be a plural word or phrase. Often (though not always), the S will be correct.

Tap outside resources. Most people can’t work a crossword puzzle without a little outside help. But don’t just type a clue into an online search engine; be picky about the resources you use. Keep a quality dictionary, thesaurus, quotation resource, atlas, and almanac on hand. You can use hard copies of these sources, or you can choose their electronic forms.

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