Testing Out Paper2D

I was interested to see how Paper 2D compared to Game Maker. I’ve always found Game Maker very easy to use and was curious as to how Paper 2D compared. I also wanted to know how Paper 2D fits with the Blueprints in UE4 and its pros and cons in relation to Game Maker’s interface.

I started this exploration by completing the Paper2D Official tutorial, shown below.

The video above shows my recreation of the Unreal 4 YouTube tutorial, available here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZlv_N0_O1gauJh60307mE_67jqK42twB

The basic logic allows the player to move around with the keys or a gamepad, animates the different kinds of movement (idle, run and jump), and creates a variety of platforms. Much of this is available in the Starter Content for Paper2D projects, but it was good to see how it all gets put together.

The video above shows how easy it is to create lifts which move to specific points. It also shows how easy it is to move the platform around and tweak your basic level shape after the initial placement. I actually found this part of the process much easier in UE4 than in Game Maker. I really loved the drag and drop nature of everything in UE4. I also find Blueprint more intuitive than GML, and I’m inclined to start larger projects in UE4 rather than Game Maker because of this speed with which I can perfect my designs in UE.

That isn’t to say that Game Maker doesn’t have some advantages. The visual scripting in Game Maker allows simple work to be done very fast, whereas sometimes seemingly simple work in Unreal requires surprisingly complex Blueprints to get the feature running. It is strange. I think that I could get prototypes working faster in GameMaker but I think that I could polish my nearly completed prototypes quicker in UE4.

I have some extensions to this in mind. I’ve got some more tutorials I’d like to do, but then my plan is to take one of my existing Game Maker prototypes (a 2D platformer) and remake it in Paper2D. That way I can compare what has hard in both, what was easy, and then draw some real conclusions over which software I should use in which situation.

Currently Game Maker feels more instantly approachable, whereas UE4’s  polished interface makes it easier to make quick changes to established designs and prototypes. I look forward to drawing more comparisons in the future.

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