Heartbeast Studios Talks: A New Course to Teach Students to Create A Turn-Based RPG
Ever wondered what it would be like to create your own fantasy RPG? Well, Benjamin Anderson from Heartbeast Studios can help you do that.
Anderson teaches courses on game development through GameMaker Studio, a “professional 2D game development engine” utilized by many indie developers. His online courses on Udemy have seen over twenty thousand students. Now, through a Kickstarter campaign, he wants to bring to life a new course: how to make a turn-based fantasy RPG using GameMaker.
The course will not be for beginner students, as it will teach more advanced GameMaker techniques. For those new to GameMaker, it might be wise to check out Anderson’s other courses first. But if you have some experience with the program, then this course can help you grow even more.
Money raised from the Kickstarter campaign will be used to fund Toby Dixon, the pixel artist creating the game’s beautiful animation. The campaign’s rewards start from $3, where you will receive a copy of the game to play, and rise to $25, where you’ll have early access to the game’s source code plus all previous benefits from the tiers in between.
At the time of writing this article, the campaign is less than $200 away from the goal. Benjamin Anderson was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the course.
Noor Sami: You're working with Toby Dixon as the pixel artist for the game -- how did you choose him, and how has your experience been?
Benjamin Anderson: I first met Toby on Twitter. I sent out a tweet asking for some pixel artists to email me and he replied. I was very impressed with his strong colors and unique style. Working with Toby has been a pleasure. I highly recommend him.
NS: Are there any specific challenges you anticipate might come up during course creation?
BA: Keeping the video lectures under 7 minutes is a challenge for these types of courses. Programming is not easy to teach. It is even more difficult when you have to do it in a short amount of time -- but keeping students engaged is a priority for me, and videos under 7 minutes are an important part of that. This will be my 3rd course and I'm confident that I can structure the course in a way that will be fun and engaging for students.
NS: What do you think the hardest part of the course will be for your students?
BA: I think the hardest part for the students will be the small things. Even experienced programmers can miss the small things, such as a stray semicolon or a missing bracket. These things happen to everyone. I'll be answering students’ questions every Monday to help with this. Sometimes it just takes a new pair of eyes.
NS: What made you choose a turn-based RPG as the teaching form of this course?
BA: I'd done a few other kinds of courses using GameMaker and I noticed many of my students were requesting the turn-based RPG genre and I liked the idea.
NS: Is there anything else you'd like interested students and backers to know about the course?
BA: Ask me questions! I'm very active in the Kickstarter messaging system and Twitter. If you have a doubt or a question, don't hesitate to ask.
NS: I have to ask- what's your favorite RPG?
BA: My favorite turn-based RPG is Golden Sun for the GBA. It is hard to pick just one, though. I've enjoyed many different RPGs over the years.