Like with my Pixel Kitchen, I decided to work on this new project with Gamemaker Studio, but I am using the updated version, Gamemaker Studio 2. So far I have found working in Studio 2 a very pleasant experience and thankfully most of what I had learned in 1.4 directly translates over to 2.
The first thing that immediately jumped out at me is that the User Interface is so much better when compared to the previous version. Instead of having a horrible mess of windows and popups layered on top of one another, items are organized into a single work-space. You can specify if your project is going to be a Drag and Drop project or a GML (aka coding) project, this lets you bypass the step of having to drag a code action into a game object.
I am still doing pixel art in Aseprite instead of the built-in graphics editor; but, the new graphics editor is still a very useful pixel art and animation editor. I have found myself making quick modifications to sprites directly inside of Gamemaker Studio 2 because it is faster that having to open up Aseprite, export a sprite sheet and re-import into Gamemaker.
Speaking of pixel art, I have been trying to work around my limitations as an artist. I have been designing characters and enemies out of really simple and basic shapes, but complex enough to still give them some character. Most of my enemies are built out of a series of circles, but sometimes I walk on the wild side and throw a triangle into the mix.
Environments have been a little bit more of a challenge for me. What I ended up doing to be able to make the different levels was designing an incredibly simple pattern and repeating it for the whole level. It looks simplistic and basic, but this game is designed to be a clone of a NES game that I liked as a child, so on some level I think that it fits the aesthetic perfectly.
Development of this game is progressing smoothly and I hope to have more to discuss about it sometime soon.