Introducing Stay At Home: The Game

Introducing Stay At Home: The Game
Stay At Home: The Game Map | Screenshot By Author

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The Acknowledgements Splash Screen, The (Bland) Title Screen), The Map

As someone whose mind races 1,000 miles a minutes with ideas, I’ve always romanticized the idea of making a video game. Keep in mind, I’m not necessarily someone who would identify as a programmer. Sure, I’ve dabbled with Python and C++ on and off throughout the years but I’m not the person you would go to if you had a complex embedded system you needed to make from scratch. While I consider myself very tech savvy, that tends to manifest itself in other areas.

During the ongoing quarantine for COVID-19, I thought of the idea of making a video game again and dove right in and the cycle repeated itself:

Hyperfocus on Ideas ➡️ Look at Tons of Resources ➡️
Get Overwhelmed ➡️Stop

While looking at resources, I came upon r/GameIdeas on Reddit where people post game ideas to workshop them or for others to get inspiration. One post caught my eye from a user, u/Bakoro, for a game about staying at home and “resisting the call to adventure.”

I immediately loved the idea because it was kinda silly, relevant to current events, and I thought that it could be used to raise awareness for a good cause!

I latched onto this idea and ran with it!

My goal for this game was two-fold:

  1. Make something (Obviously!)
  2. Get comfortable with doing and publishing things that aren’t “perfect”

One thing I’ve been working on during this quarantine is writing and publishing it in an effort to not let perfection be the enemy of progress.

Had I pursued this game a couple of months ago, it would never have seen the light of day. I already have hundreds of ideas to improve it and how to make it better. However, the reality is that this isn’t a contender to be Game of the Year, and that’s ok.

Currently this “game” is a 2D map with a very small character. While you stay within your house/yard, the timer in the top right counts up. If you try to leave, the timer resets back to zero.

That’s it…..for now!

I didn’t worry about all the other features/ideas I had in mind because I don’t want to spend decades on this game. Instead, I’m putting it out there at v0.50 both to show that not everything needs to be perfect and to show others that if you have an idea, just go with it!

I made this game with an old version (1.4.9999) of GameMaker:Studio  that I purchased way back in 2015 but never really used for the reasons mentioned above.

I’m not done working on it yet and would like to implement the following things (among others):

  • Some Introduction Dialogue
  • Background Music
  • High Scores
  • Random Events to “entice” you to leave
  • Animating sprites so the world feels lively
  • Getting the HTML5 version working so it can be played in a browser.
  • Make the Title Screen Better
  • So Many Others!!!

As I make more progress on it, I’ll eventually post the source code and assets that I’m able to under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license for others.

In the meantime, the Windows Installer is below:


Full Disclosure: Unless you are interested in game development or just curious, it probably isn’t worth the trouble of installing it but one of my goals is to get the HTML5 version working. For some reason, running it in the browser made everything lag and then crash. Making the Windows Installer available was in and of itself a step in personal development to just get it out there sooner rather than later.

I look forward to updating the game and writing more about it over the next coming weeks but if I can leave you with one takeaway, it’s like the old adage goes.

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.


To the extent allowed by law, the rest of any assets/intellectual property/etc. is under CC BY-SA 4.0 by Orlando J. Hernandez, Jr.