I played around a lot with Adobe Flash in my late teens or early twenties (whenever Newgrounds was friggin’ huge), but I never really liked the look of what I could do with it. I think those preconceived notions of tweening software are why I was so reluctant to delve into Spine, but I’m happy to say I’m over it. Spine is fantastic.
The problem is I kind of feel like I’m going to break Gamemaker every time I import a Spine animation into it. Its Spine support leaves a lot to be desired, so much so I’m not sure it’s entirely worth upgrading to the Pro Edition of Spine yet. Maybe I’ll check out the unofficial runtimes and see if that improves things, but I’m being lazy on that front. I just have a feeling if I were to do it all over again, I would do it again with Spine, but not GM. I guess it depends on how well the competitors integrate these types of animations, which I haven’t read up on yet.
Yesterday I played around with backgrounds for a few hours. The test failed spectacularly. I had a generic cityscape going by in the background and there was no middle ground between “too slow” and “so fast I’m going to puke.” (I’m not exaggerating… I’ve never had a game give me motion sickness and crossed eyes the way my own did.) I assumed I could quickly slap some backgrounds together for testing, but it’s clear the backgrounds affect the way the game feels more than I expected.
On the bright side of things, I think I’m zeroing in on an artstyle. The mere thought of it no longer fills me with dread.