A wholly average space heritage military-industrial management simulator, made to teach myself to code.
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Saucerberks Gamemaker Project
Tom Francis Tutorial Source Files



A very average, but importantly complete, 2D space heritage military-industrial management simulator, built in order to teach myself to code. It really concerns the shooting of aliens, but with a flimsy, gossamer veneer of pathos.

You are a complete and utter Saucerberk, a pan-galactic official in a lime-green spaceship shaped like a computer mouse. Until you are obliterated, or until the funding runs out, you are commissioned to patrol and maintain those sectors of space which were the site of great battles, famous disasters and interstellar wrecks, preserved for the enjoyment and education of tourists, grieving family members and visiting dignitaries alike. Despite their high visitor turnover, these zones of open vacuum are dangerous places; however, it is not momentum, entropy or jagged hunks of floating gigasteel that is your greatest enemy, but instead the peculiar alien algae-beasts which seem to infest these sites. These are sacred places of remembrance, as well as turning a pretty space-penny, and the aliens' presence is upsetting the relatives of the dead (and your superiors). You must get rid of them as quickly as possible, and become THE BIGGEST SAUCERBERK OF ALL. Or something equally vacuous. Vacuous? Because we are in space?


Download Latest Version (Windows Only)

How To Play

  • First of all, please use a physical, honest-to-a-god mouse. Not only is it, pleasingly, the same shape as your spaceship, it will make the game far more playable. You can play with a trackpad, but I make no apologies for how unpleasant an experience that will be.

  • Move the ship with W A S D.

  • Fire the Rapid Finetooth Orb Blastoid with Left Mouse Button.

  • Fire the Pheromone Seeder with Right Mouse Button.

  • Turn the ship by turning the Mouse.

  • Each level takes place at a different memorial site: the level is completed when every alien is destroyed. You have three lives.

  • There are two types of alien infesting the wrecks: at the risk of exposing the design, let's call these the Vandal and the Glutton. The swarming Vandals, which are antagonistic to the Saucerberk, can be easily destroyed by the Blaster. However, the Glutton cannot be harmed until it has swallowed at least one Vandal. The only way to do this is to use the Pheromone Seeder to lay a trail of delicious chemicals to a Vandal, inducing the Glutton to swallow it and become vulnerable to the Blastoid, and satisfying, explosive bursting. The more Vandals are swallowed, the larger the burst will be.

  • Until all the Gluttons are dead, more and more Vandals will be drawn to the memorial site. I haven't yet decided on the intricacies of the ecosystem that this is all supposed to represent. I don't suppose I ever will.

  • The debris fields hold other hazards and boons amongst the ancient wreckage of the long-archived starships. What is that beeping? Why is it suddenly very warm? I've lost control of my ship! All of these confusing exclamations are part of the frantic, fleeting fun of being a Saucerberk.


The game was developed from the tutorial series How To Make A Game With No Experience by Tom Francis, the developer of Gunpoint. It is one of those calm, well-structured introductions to a complex subject that seem to take me ages, and many false starts, to find. It covers building a top-down shooter game from scratch in the proprietary-yet-powerful Gamemaker development environment. By the end of the series, I understood a lot more about conditional logic, OOO, dependencies, trignometry, debugging, and lots of other aspects of actually making and finishing a game. The base mechanics (particularly the gastronomic relationship between the Vandals and the Gluttons) are part of Francis' tutorial game; the extraterrestrial setting, and some of the more minor mechanics, I fudged together afterwards. I've included the week-by-week files that were bundled with the video series, for no other reason than to make them more widely available.

Tools Used

###License This game was a means to an end. I improved my coding abilities, and eventually had something to show people for it. As such, I have no desire to license it or restrict its use or dissection in any way, shape or form; please do whatever you want with it. If you own Gamemaker: Studio, you can open the .gmx project file in this repository and play around with the code directly; I have commented it fairly rigorously.

For more details, see the License.MD file in this repository.

System Requirements

I'm fairly certain that the game should run on any Windows PC or Mac built in the last five or six years. However, if you have any performance problems, please see the Bugs section below.


If you experience any issues of performance, crashes, odd behaviour or the like, please do send me a bug report via email with as much detail as you can manage.


Feel free to follow me here on Github, on Twitter or do send me an email. I will happily, and with some camaraderie and relief, pass on the advice and patiently-gifted code blocks that other developers have given me during the development of this game. I'm just pleased that I finally understand how arrays work.